Boeing delays 787 Dreamliner, again

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Boeing delays 787 Dreamliner, again

Seattle (WA) – Boeing today announced that will have to delay the first flight and delivery of its 787 aircraft once again. The first flight of the aircraft, also called “Dreamliner”, has been moved into Q2 2009 and the first delivery is now planned for the first quarter of 2010. Originally, Boeing had planned to deliver the first 787 to customers by May 2008.

The aircraft builder said the schedule adjustment is necessary because of a recent Machinists’ strike and because of a requirement to replace certain fasteners in early production airplanes.

“Our industry team has made progress with structural testing, systems hardware qualification, and production, but we must adjust our schedule for these two unexpected disruptions,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Scott Carson in a prepared statement.

“We’re laser focused on what needs to be done to prepare for first flight,” said Pat Shanahan, 787 program vice president. “We will overcome this set of circumstances as we have others in the past, and we understand clearly what needs to be done moving forward.”

Moving forward, of course, means preparing the plane ready for its first flight and getting it up in the air. According to Shanahan, Boeing still needs to finalize and incorporate “remaining engineering changes” and complete “systems testing, qualifications and certification.”

Prior to the strike, which Boeing says halted much of the company’s commercial airplane work from early September into November, the 787 was planned to make its first flight during the fourth quarter of this year; the first delivery was planned for Q3 2009. After a series of delays, Boeing is significantly behind its original schedule, which expected the first plane to be delivered to customers in May of 2008.

Boeing said that it is still looking at the potential financial impact and is “evaluating the specific impact of this delay on customer delivery dates and will provide customers with updated schedules once completed.” Boeing did not say how many planes it may be able to build in 2010.

Boeing has close to 800 orders for 787 airplanes so far.