Air India accepts 787, Boeing produces first “clean” version

Good news for Boeing on two fronts: Air India and Boeing agreed to a compensation deal, reported to be valued at $1bn, that paves the way to deliver the first 787s to the embattled airline. The first airplane comes from Everett, and Charleston’s first completed 787 is also slated for Air India. Air India has 27 787s on order.

Boeing produced the first 787 that is “clean” of the problems that have plagued the program for years and which caused massive rework that takes an average of 13 months to complete. This is a major milestone for the program.

Meantime, Boeing hopes to firm up some MOUs on the 747-8I soon.

Finally, a bit of history. This story contains an interview with one of the surviving Tuskegee Airmen. Their story has been depicted in the awful George Lucas movie Red Tails and the far better Ted Turner movie Tuskegee Airmen. The latter is available on DVD through

24 Comments on “Air India accepts 787, Boeing produces first “clean” version

  1. It will be great for Boeing to finally firm up those 30 B-747-8Is. That will give that program a well needed shot in the arm. Maybe Boeing can sell a few more at the FAS this year?

    As far as the AI B-787-8s, Boeing should have just backed out of the deal, and given those airplanes to another airline. AI is in a financial mess, and blame all their on everyone else, employees, the Indian government, and Boeing.

  2. Well, the agreement so far is between Boeing and Air India. The final say is with the Indian government. Yet it seems no lessor has taken up Air India’s RFP for an SLB arrangement. To quote “Dude” Lebowski: “Where’s the money?”

  3. Sorry to rain on the parade, but LN66 is still not “clean of problems”, it’s close enough to 100% COA to declare it ‘complete’ at roll-out.
    LN66 still incorporates a triple-digit number of titanium ‘bathtub’ fittings around the SOB join that only the first 787-9 might finally do away with. To name just one issue.

    • Even the 777 isn’t without some final work on occasion on roll-out. The point is that this is indeed a milestone for Boeing, and we think it should be recognized as such.

      • I’m just picky here – “complete” and “clean of problems” have very different meanings. If the objective of 100% COA has been met on the 787, its a milestone achievement, yes. But it’s not the end of the story on rework and redesign.

      • Correct, and no A-380 has rolled out complete on time. In fact, with the rib feet cracking issue, things will slow down for the A-380, again. Almost no model airplane currently in production kicks out every airplane on time, for various reasons.

        keesje, I doubt JL will ever be a B-747 customer again, and they certainily won’t be needing the A-380. BTW, Saudi Arabia, China, and Japan all have trade surpluses with the US, as they do with the EU.

        BA Investor the estimated 13 month average to complete the B-787s is just that, an estimate based on information they have. But they don’t have the full picture as Boeing has not released, in detail, exactly what work each individual airplane needs. In other words the estimate is just a guess. In my opinion, the B-787s that need the most work is, at most, 6-7 months of work. That makes the average amount of work needed somewhere around 3-4 months, per airplane. The only real vairables here is the supply of parts needed and the size of the workforce Boeing assigns to the reworked airplanes.

    • Any link to that? What other issues do you have for us?

  4. Whatever the status of the latests dreamliner is, I guess it won’t have to go to the Mod center, whih is a great achievement. now the 50 something bad 787 pile can start shrinking.

    For the 747-8i, customers that have depts, trade deficits, state carriers from US dependent states seem to have a taste for the 8i.. Airlines from China, Philipines, Saudi, ElAl, JAL, could be prospects..

    • Is the estimate of 13 months on average to complete the rework based on substantial understanding or is it a guess. Can anyone bring any clarity to the extent of the rework and whether Boeing will now concentrate more energies toward reducing this backlog since the production line will move along more smoothly with fewer issues.

      Will the rampup be taking so much effort that the rework will take a back seat or does this start a new effort to increase deliveries by getting the backlog organized so as to prepare these planes for delivery.

      An overview of this situation would be most helpful

  5. The frames above 40 seem to be quite fast to rework, its the ones below 20 that will take the most time to fix. LN7 seems to be on its way to ANA soon, been in EMC for a long time. That would be one of the slowest frames reworked. 8+9 are delivered. These are the frames reported to have 4 tons too much weight. Maybe best to fly them on shorter routes?

    • en590swe, There are 25 frames above 40 so “quite fast to rework” is encouraging. But what process is in place to approach the total number in inventory? Will 41-65 be reworked systematically and then the earlier one afterwards or are the issues different for each plane and there is a different approach.

      Your view is more encouraging yet there has been no schedule or statement from Boeing as to the approach, scope or expectations. These planes represent a great deal of income and I do not understand why there has not been a concerted and systematic effort to get these planes flying and off the Field.

    • Distractions, Distractions. but expectable.

      Only having production snitches to fix instead of reworking the plane along a perlstring of design changes is quite the achievement for this project.
      Over the first 11 deliveries a logarithmic plot can fit a straight line. That would indicate a
      functional learning curve ( broken by the recent nondeliveries though).

    • Oh, I see. Criticisim is only allowed if directed at Boeing, but not allowed if directed at Airbus.

      Uwe, production snitches are reworking the airplane.

      CBL, check out the actual A-380 deliveries vs. the scheduled deliveries, or the fact that nearly 5 years after the first WhaleJet delivery Airbus has yet to meet their planned annual delivery schedule.

      • OK, Everybody, let’s grow up and quit this tit-for-tat back-and-forth. Stick to the issues.

  6. KC135TopBoom :
    Correct, and no A-380 has rolled out complete on time.

    Any supporting info to that statement?
    just curious to learn…

  7. leehamnet :
    Boeing has new homes for the Terrible Teens.

    I seem to remember some time ago ANA signed up for most of the first 20 aircraft except the 6 prototypes, under conditions w’ll never know..

  8. I don’t suppose it is too much to hope for that we could all celebrate progress for each company’s programs? And perhaps be encouraging when things don’t go well ala 380 wing cracks? The 787 is finally moving forward with ramp up and a clean(er) aircraft after an arduous and painful birth. Boeing is to be congratulated in my book. Airbus is going to eventually get the wing problem fixed. Both are trying to create new cutting edge products and advance the field. Both make leaps and both have stumbles.

    This constant KC vs UWE vs keesje bitching is like watching Desperate Housewives of Seattle and Toulouse…

    • If only they were more of this tipe of comments here, it would surely be more enjoyable to read them.

      • Me, I especially look forward to the commentary from Normand and Rudy.