By John Dodge
Posting in Design
In a terse four paragraph press release, Boeing this morning announced that the first flight of the two year late and counting 787 Dreamliner is slate...
In a terse four paragraph press release, Boeing this morning announced that the first flight of the two year late and counting 787 Dreamliner is slated for the fourth quarter.
The maiden 787 flight was supposed to happen before the end of June, but as the the month wound down, it became clear that wasn't going to happen. Then Boeing dropped a bombshell that a small section of the wing where it attaches to an assembly called the wing box needed reinforcement.
I Twittered about the new schedule several days ago, citing a blog post from friend and former Reed Elsevier colleague Jon Ostrower. He his Aug. 20 post at his FlightBlogger blog cited a secret Boeing document dubbed "Z18" which laid out the new schedule. Ostrower has consistently scooped stories about the 787.
Commercial deliveries have been pushed back until the fourth quarter of 2010, Boeing said. The company hopes to produce 10 a month by late 2013, drawing down an order backlog of more than 800.
"This new schedule provides us the time needed to complete the remaining work necessary to put the 787's game-changing capability in the hands of our customers," said Boeing Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney in the press release. "The design details and implementation plan are nearly complete, and the team is preparing airplanes for modification and testing."
The importance of this deadline is reflected that CEO McNerney was cited. He usually leaves the talking to Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Scott Carson or Commerical Airplanes VP and GM Pat Shanahan, who've been under intense pressure to get the plane into the air.
Boeing has been hammered in the press and financial markets because the vaunted plane is so late. If it doesn't go this time, heads will be sure to roll.
More coverage of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner on SmartPlanet:
- Is 787 Dreamliner novel manufacturing strategy on the rocks?
- Boeing's Candor on 787 Delay
- Boeing 787 Delay Call Live
- Boeing 787 First Flight Delayed Again
- Boeing 787 "Gauntlet" videos worth a look
- Boeing 787 Dreamliner mitigates turbulence
Aug 26, 2009
I think the whole sub-contracting around the globe concept is something you maybe do only after you have completed and perfected the process in house (for the most part, of course!).
As someone who has spent a lifetime in the aviation field, I say, take the time to make it right. If the wing falls off, then heads will surely roll.:-)
...for the undertaking of such large and ambitious technical projects using new and unproven technologies while dealing with thousands of large and small vendors all over the globe. Computer modeling for proved inadequate for predicting structural vulnerabilities, and the discovery of weaknesses only after physical testing meant re-designs and delays costing months and billions of dollars. Meanwhile, inadequate oversight of countless subcontractors resulted in delayed and/or not-to-spec components that have added literally years to the project. Glad I'm not a stock holder anymore, but I can't wait to read the book.