Boeing, as expected, is pushing back the first flight of its much-delayed by six months to the fourth quarter. Commercial deliveries will be delayed in the third quarter of next year and Boeing has dramatically revised the number of deliveries to 25 down from 109 in October.
This follows a comprehensive review of the 787 schedule Boeing promised to conduct in January. Boeing executives blamed the delays on “traveled work and unanticipated rework” and said they have confidence in the new schedule, which has a built-in margin for unforeseen problems discovered in testing. That margin was completely exhausted in the previous and now abandoned schedules, which called for commercial deliveries to begin as early as next month.
Boeing’s complicated and far-flung manufacturing process has not gone smoothly and is principally responsible for the delays.
Pat Shanahan, program manager for the 787, outlined in a press release the milestones that will occur prior to June 30. They include "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."
Boeing executives will update the media and financial community in a conference call this morning at 11:00 AM EST.