A surprise to no one, Boeing has pushed back the first flight of the 787 Dreamliner to the second quarter and the first deliveries to the first quarter of 2010, blaming this delay on the 58-day machinists strike and "fastener replacement work."
First flight was set for this quarter, but Boeing CFO James Bell had warned the strike would delay it at least by the number days in the strike. As reported in Design News, as many as 8,000 fasteners have to be replaced in the first 12 Dreamliners under construction.
"We must adjust our schedule for these two unexpected disruptions," Boeing Commercial Airplanes President Scott Carson said in a press release.
While many problems could still derail the latest timetable adjustment, 787 Program Vice President Pat Shanahan spoke unusually strongly through the press release about making first flight by the second quarter.
"We're laser focused on what needs to be done to prepare for first flight. We will overcome this set of circumstances as we have others in the past, and we understand clearly what needs to be done," he said.
Indeed, it has been tough sledding for Boeing to get the 787 in the air. For the first time in its myriad releases about the 787, Boeing hedged by inserting in large type at the bottom of the release:
"Forward-Looking Information Is Subject to Risk and Uncertainty"