787 First Flight delay perspective

Update, June 25:

In the myriad of stories about the new 787 delay is this nugget from an Australian reporter: “The 787-8 is currently around 7.5 tonnes overweight and showing a burn of around 4% more fuel than necessary to meet the performance that Qantas thought it was buying.”

Update, 2:50 PM PDT:

  • The delay will be a minimum of 2-3 months.
  • The weak points are where the wing box attaches to the fuselage.
  • Delamination occurred during the static tests.
  • Morgan Stanley now predicts entry-into-service in 2011, slipping from March 2010.
  • Boeing stock was off ~7% or ~$2.5bn.
  • The impact on suppliers remains uncertain.
  • From 6 AM PDT to this update, 1,200 stories appeared on Google News about this delay.
  • Today the GAO said the Pentagon should reconsider the Boeing-Bell V-22 program because of poor performance, reliability and excessive costs during the time the tilt-rotor has been on duty in Iraq.
  • We learned that the roll-out of the 747-8F has shifted from September to November.

The Wall Street Journal has this humorous lead to its story:

Hold the sake? Boeing Co. and All Nippon Airways Co. managers last week marked a “week of 787 Dreamliner Milestones” by smashing open a ceremonial barrel of the rice spirit.

The hangover set in on Tuesday.

Original Post:

The first flight of the 787 is delayed by several weeks, Boeing announced this morning. The full press release is published in a separate post below. Here is the key part of the press release:

Boeing today announced that first flight of the 787 Dreamliner will be postponed due to a need to reinforce an area within the side-of-body section of the aircraft.

The need was identified during the recent regularly scheduled tests on the full-scale static test airplane. Preliminary analysis indicated that flight test could proceed this month as planned. However, after further testing and consideration of possible modified flight test plans, the decision was made late last week that first flight should instead be postponed until productive flight testing could occur.

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Podcast: Paris Air Show, A Look Back

Addison Schonland, Richard Aboulafia and I did a podcast late yesterday, talking about the commercial orders at the Air Show, Airbus, Bombardier, the tanker program, UAVs and last but not least we took bets on whether the first flight of the 787 would happen on June 30. The answers are very interesting in light of this morning’s news.

787 First flight postponed

  • Press Release
  • Source: Boeing
  • On Tuesday June 23, 2009, 9:00 am EDT

EVERETT, Wash., June 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Boeing (NYSE: BANews) today announced that first flight of the 787 Dreamliner will be postponed due to a need to reinforce an area within the side-of-body section of the aircraft.

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Launch aid for the A350

This is the seventh in a series of reports from the EADS media day and the Paris Air Show.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Airbus is almost certain to tap launch aid from its member states (France, Germany, Britain and a miffed Spain) of $4bn-$5bn for launch aid for the A350.

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787 FF June 28: Aviation Week; Umm, June 30: Flightblogger

Aviation Week magazine today reported that Sunday, June 28, is the likely day for the first flight of the Boeing 787. Read the story here.

Bloomberg has a good piece on “the $15 billion dilemma” faced by Boeing to respond to the Airbus A350. This story may be found here.

Update, June 20: Flightblogger reports June 30 now targeted for first flight.

787 Line 2 decision near/Updated

Update, June 19: Air Transport World’s Geoffrey Thomas (the 2008 Aerospace Journalist of the Year) spoke with Boeing’s CEO Jim McNerney on the 787 Line 2, and it’s more warning to the IAM. Here is the full ATW Online report:

McNerney: ‘My nerve’ to launch new aircraft programs is ‘spectacularly strong’

“No, No, No!” was the short and emphatic answer from Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney when ATWOnline asked him whether the manufacturer has lost its nerve to launch a new aircraft program after the battering the company took from 787 production glitches. “My nerve remains spectacularly strong,” he said during a conversation this week in Paris. “We did not do the job on the 787 supply chain execution. But we are fools if we do not learn from it. There are things we are going to do very differently going forward.”

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