787 surge line delayed by rework; 787-9 to use this line in 2013; 787-10 launch all but certain

Boeing is delaying activating the 787 surge line in Everett (WA), while rework on the first 65 787s continues. Steve Trimble of Flight Global has this report. Meanwhile, Bernstein Research, in a note issued today, says the surge line will be where the 787-9 is produced and that the launch of the 787-10 is a near-certainty:

Boeing management described development work on the 787-9 as being ahead of plan at this stage. The 787-9 will go into production in 2013 on the surge line, where change incorporation is being done today on earlier airplanes. First delivery for the 787-9 is planned for early 2014. At this stage, Boeing also sounds optimistic about the 787-10. We have seen the 787-10 as a natural derivative, given the size of the wing.

But, success involves getting weight down sufficiently on the 787-9. Boeing appears optimistic on this
point, but we will wait to see progress. We are conservatively assuming first 787-9 delivery in late 2014. Although Boeing does not intend to announce a 787-10 launch until it is farther along on the 787-8, it appears that a launch is all but certain at this stage.

Bernstein also expects Boeing to deliver 595 aircraft this year vs 581 for Airbus, returning Boeing to the top spot as the world’s #1 airplane maker. With the 787 and 747-8 now being delivered, Bernstein forecasts Boeing will remain #1 through 2016, the outside of Bernstein’s current forecast.

20 Comments on “787 surge line delayed by rework; 787-9 to use this line in 2013; 787-10 launch all but certain

  1. Hello Scot

    2 extracts

    ” First delivery for the 787-9 is planned for early 2014″

    and later

    ” We are conservatively assuming first 787-9 delivery in late 2014″

    Is there a typo somewhere ? or 787-9 is now scheduled for Q3-Q4 2014 ? from Q2 2014 recently announced by ANZ


    • We think the Boeing “plan” is early 2014. Bernstein’s “conservative” estimate is late 2014. Who the heck knows what is correct.

  2. Is there any known schedule or approach to the rework of the 65 completed planes that require varying degrees of change incorporation. It has been stated that planes 40-65 require much less rework than the earlier models. Is there any estimate as to how many of these will be deliverable this year.

    There must be some plan to work this stream of planes into a delivery schedule . Apparently, the Everett surge line is where sme of this work is being done so there must be an approach and some expected timeline.

  3. 737s at 35 a month is 420 aircraft. 777s at 7 a month is 84. 747s at 2 a month is 24. 767s at 2 a month is 24. If my arithmetic is correct that is 552 deliveries. So Bernstein is expecting 43 787s delivered in 2012, or 5 a month from June through December.

    • How many of the 787’s will be “clean” from the production line and how many will be reworked?

      • At the current rate of 3.5 planes per month (and rising to 5 later this year), it appears roughly half of the 43 will be “clean” ones.

      • If LN66 is accepted as the first clean airplane, then 2/3 of 2012 production will leave the FAL clean (LN66 to LN9x). That’s about 30 clean plus about 15 from rework for a total of about 45, give or take a few. As the later-built airframes have ben reworked first, it is fair to assume that the number of airframes going through rework year over year will rather decrease than increase, so it would take another three years to burn through remaining rework.

  4. May I speculate on why the surge line is used for rework.. I think the supply chain is not up to speed supplying Everett original FAL and Charleston+a surge line in Everett.

    And there might be value in finishing the later builds more than accelerating FAL?

    Cut me down if you like.

    • en59swe, Am not qualified to comment on that but wondered if using the surge line actually facilitated the rework operation. Is the setup such that like a production line, there are stations where certain work is done and there is some progression towards completion.

      I know very little about production but remain puzzled about the rework process and what Boeing is doing to systematically get these planes ready for delivery. Since some of the 65 through 45 planes require less rework, I would assume they are trying to push them through.

      Waiting for someone to step in and provide some better understanding

      • The rework would have its own logistical network. They want all those certified parts to arrive at the right time, down time is useless when trying to up the speed of delivery. I guess they try to group aircraft that would need the same parts changed to make logistics easier?

    • Agree, I think the term ‘surge line’ was a red herring. My take on this is that the 787-9 is so dissimilar in final assembly that it doesn’t mix very well with -8s so that a second FAL is needed in Everett, at least until the design changes of the 787-9 have been incorporated into the -8 – if and when that’s going to happen isn’t clear either.

      As to the delivery date: If first flight is scheduled for August/September 2013 (Boeing) and flight test is planned to take 9 months (Boeing) then first delivery in “the first quarter of 2014 or a little later” (Boeing) rather means end of second quarter. There shouldn’t be too many, if any, significant findings this time. I do not see any indications for further delays. Where are we in terms of design releases?

  5. If they can work through the 30-65 before new year That will be a few more frames added to the 2012 delivered. Add the 8 that has been deliverd so far 2012 and the re work free frames from now to new year. 2012 will end as a decent year for the much delayed 787.

    They seem to have about 7 frames that could be delivered very soon on flight line, it seems customers are the hold up more than Boeing in some of these cases. That would make 15 frames by the end of june IF they all get delivered in june. ANA has 4 and AI has 3 ready. Maybe july will be the month when the flood gates open?

  6. I am afraid B787 early production planes till 39 will end in the scrape yard if no actual work is devoted to fix them as soon as possible. Currently KPAE field is quite loaded with planes here and there, I wonder where Boeing going to park the newly produced planes once production rate achieve 5 instead of 3.5

    • They will deliver the future produced frames in about a month after roll out of the factory and at the same time they will clear inventory from the reworked frames. All current deliverable frames are from those 65 with rework needed. They have delivered 11 so far, add the 9 they have ready now they will clear more space soon. They just turned from adding frames to the field, the number of frames at Everett should be some 20-30 less in 6 months. Your post is about 6 months too late 🙂

  7. I’m trying to het a grip on 787 delivery realities. How many 787s have been put into service since the first one last September? If we double that for the next 6 months, where does that bring us?

    • Have you been at “all things 787”? He lists delivered frames, non reworked frames, frames in rework and ready to deliver and the ones currently in FAL, with some of the future assemblies as well.

      A very nice place if you want to get a closer idea about the 787 mess.

      • thnx. It seems 11-12 delivered so far. 22-24 extra during the rest of the year would result in 30-32 total in 2012. Is that a reasonable expectation?

    • From LN66 and on they will go past rework, that will be LN66,67 and 68 for june.
      Currently ready to deliver, about 7-9 frames all from rework.

      With FAL+rework, say 5 frames a month starting in june. I really cant say any numbers, I guess 11up to now+11(current pre delivery)+18 without rework(LN68+) and 12 from rework.
      At years end total deliveries should be about 52(41 this year). 2013 should start with 5 a month rework free + 1-2 reworked frames? At least about 60-70 frames.

      Anyone else get disoriented by his color coding? Delivered should be blue, pre delivery green, in rework yellow and stored can be red.

      I think Airbus chose wisely not to build any frames before everything is ok with the test frames.

  8. keesje :thnx. It seems 11-12 delivered so far. 22-24 extra during the rest of the year would result in 30-32 total in 2012. Is that a reasonable expectation?

    For greater clarity: There are three categories of delivery 1. Delivered to date ( requiring change incorporation) 2. “Clean” production (with no need for change incorporation) 3.Anticipated/subsequent Reworked frames from 1- 65 production line excluding those delivered to date

    Trying to establish how many reworked frames currently at Paine Field are anticipated to be delivered

    • It seems like there is some sort of FAA issue with the ANA frames, a software update delaying delivery, B currently has about 4 deliverable ANA frames, 2 have been ready since early may. Its stuff like this that kills the 787, delivery means confidence. AI is another matter, 3 frames wait to be picked up, its up to GOI to decide.

      LN 7 the first customer built frame is in paint, for ANA, should fly away in july,LN66 and 67 as well. I think ANA will take 3 this month and maybe 4 next month, 2 fresh with no rework.

      Qatar will get their before the airshow or we will hear about it for sure 🙂

      All in all it seems like they currently have about 11 frames that will deliver in june and july. As many as total delivered so far..Things seem to pick up soon.

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