787 first flight: up in the air, so to speak, suggests IAM

During a podcast conducted Wedesday with the IAM by Innovation Analysis Group about the contract negotiations between Boeing and the IAM, an IAM official ended the 16 minute podcast with the suggestion that Boeing may have to reevaluate its schedule for the first flight of the 787.

At the Farnborough Air Show, 787 program chief Pat Shanahan told Bloomberg News that the first flight was expected for November; schedules provided suppliers still currently list the first flight for the end of October.

The IAM official, when asked if November (Shanahan’s Farnborough prediction) was still likely, the official responded that he believes Boeing will have to reevaluate this timetable. Off-line, the official confirmed that this was exclusive of any potential strike.

We queried Boeing today about the IAM prediction, and the response from corporate communications was that the schedule for “the fourth quarter” has not changed. The spokesman on the 787 program declined to respond specifically to the November date referred to by Bloomberg (this spokesman was not at the Farnborough Air Show and did not hear Shanahan’s comments).

Chatter is becoming increasingly frequent that first flight may be in December toward year-end–which is still the “fourth quarter” published by Boeing.

Update, 6:50 AM PDT, Aug. 29: Business Week has this piece about the cost of the Dreamliner being $2bn more than expected due to the delays. See also today’s updates under Boeing’s best-and-final offer posting below.

2 Comments on “787 first flight: up in the air, so to speak, suggests IAM

  1. The 748 was not discussed but it’s widely reported among Wall Street analysts that they expect anywhere from a 5-7 month delay in the 748 deliveries.

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