Boeing today announced further delays on the 787 Dreamliner program.
While significant progress has been made assembling Airplane #1, first flight is being rescheduled due to slower than expected completion of work that traveled from supplier facilities into Boeing’s final assembly line, unanticipated rework, and the addition of margin into the testing schedule. The new delivery schedule is based on a more conservative production plan developed with the 787 partner team.
First flight of the 787 will move into the fourth quarter of 2008 rather than the end of the second quarter, and first delivery is now planned for the third quarter of 2009 instead of first quarter.
The new schedule now targets approximately 25 deliveries in 2009.
Pat Shanahan, 787 vice president and program manager said: “The work that remains to be done on Airplane #1 is well defined, and we can see our way to — and have confidence in — the new milestones we have set for it. We have addressed the major challenges that slowed our progress while trying to complete the primary structure — the parts shortages, engineering changes, and manufacturing changes — and we are well into the systems installation that is the precursor to putting power on the airplane for the first time. We have also worked closely with our partners to achieve higher levels of completion of their parts of subsequent airplanes, and we will continue to drive improvements in the supply chain and production system performance.”
For tracking program progress, a series of milestones will occur before June 30: 787 static and fatigue structural test airplanes will move to their testing locations; Airplanes #3 and #4 will enter final assembly; hardware airworthiness qualifications will be complete; and power on will be achieved.
Shanahan also said the program has changed the timing of the introduction of two 787 derivatives. The 787-9, a larger variant of the airplane, will be the first derivative of the baseline 787 with delivery planned for early 2012. The 787-3, a shorter-range model previously slated to deliver in 2010, will now become the second derivative of the airplane family.