Boeing 787 Dreamliner: Delivery Delayed By 6 Months


Boeing has announced that the first delivery of the long-awaited Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be delayed by at least 6 months. Industry analysts have foreseen this announcement coming, especially since Boeing earlier had to postpone the first flight tests of the 787 by two months, which would have caused a very ambitious and extremely tight flight test schedule. That news were communicated early September, two months after the ceremonial rollout of the first aircraft.

B787 At The Rollout 

The first flight was originally planned for September 2007, then it was delayed to late November or December 2007 (due to software problems and shortage of bolts), and now the company says, the first flight has been pushed back to the end of the first quarter in 2008. That alone represents a 6 months delay in the program, but with the new first delivery date, it looks like the original test schedule will be in place (actually they have added an extra month to it), and tests will not be rushed through. They now plan for a test period of 8 months, while the flight testing and certification on Boeing’s last new airliner, the 777, took 11 months some years ago.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) of Japan, that is the launch customer for the 787 will receive its first aircraft instead of MAY2008, around late November or early December. The delay is a blow to ANA, which was hoping to fly passengers to next summer’s Beijing Olympic Games in the initial planes of its planned 50-strong 787 fleet. By the delay of the first delivery, approximately a further 30-35 787s scheduled for delivery in 2008 will slide into 2009, affecting around 15 customers. However, Boeing expects to have delivered 109 aircraft by the end of 2009, only three fewer than originally contemplated. While calling it “an aggressive plan,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Scott Carson  said he “remains confident it is achievable.” Airlines with orders for the first 100 Dreamliners may have problems finding replacement planes while waiting for 787s, but may also be entitled to compensation from Boeing. Qantas for example, one of the world’s largest buyers of the new plane, said Boeing had assured it that the first of the 15 aircraft scheduled for delivery from August 2008 would still arrive within six months of the original delivery date. “Boeing said the August 2008 aircraft would slip, but not by six months. Once that aircraft arrives, the remaining 14 aircraft deliveries will be staggered until December 2009,” Qantas Chief Executive Geoff Dixon said in a statement, which echoes Boeing’s announcement, that they plan to eliminate the backlog in deliveries caused by the shift of the first delivery, by the end of 2009.

The delay may be embarrassing for Boeing, as they have repeatedly said they will not follow Airbus in its test and delivery delays connected to the new Airbus A380 superjumbo. Airbus had problems with the wiring of its two floor aircraft, while Boeing is now struggling in the assembly of its first composite airplane. During a webcast yesterday, Carson said the issues driving the decision revolved around “traveled work and parts availability on aircraft number 1. It simply proved to be more difficult than we had anticipated to complete the out-of-sequence work in our Everett factory.” He said the main problems were installing parts of the plane’s structure, which had been thrown out of sequence by some suppliers sending incomplete work to Boeing’s main plant, aggravated by a shortage of some small parts. Flight control software and systems integration activities are not pacing items in the revised schedule for first flight, he added.

by balint01

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3 Responses to “Boeing 787 Dreamliner: Delivery Delayed By 6 Months”


  1. 1 boeing777 October 15, 2007 at 7:04 am

    Have a read of Richard Aboulafias thoughts here:

    http://fleetbuzz.wordpress.com/2007/10/15/richard-aboulafia-speaks/


  1. 1 Boeing to Further Delay 787 Dreamliner « Airline world Trackback on January 16, 2008 at 2:58 pm
  2. 2 Boeing To Further Delay 787 Dreamliner Program « Airline world Trackback on June 23, 2009 at 7:31 pm

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