HOTR: Boeing resumes 787 deliveries after long hiatus

By the Leeham News Team

Aug. 10, 2022, © Leeham News: Deliveries of the Boeing 787 are slated to resume today after a pause of nearly two years. American Airlines is set to receive a 787-8. The Federal Aviation Administration announced Monday that it approved Boeing’s plans to fix a production flaw that resulted in a paper-thin gap where certain sections of the fuselage are mated.

Rework of up to 120 787s in inventory has been underway for some time, both in Charleston (SC), where the airplane is assembled and in Everett (WA), where the former Line 1 Final Assembly Line was located. Plane spotters occasionally noted 787s being flown into Everett from stored locations.

Some estimates indicate that the 120 airplanes were sold for an average of $129m each. (The split between the 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10 is not detailed.) This places the inventory value at an estimated $15.5bn. But don’t assume this is the amount of cash that will be coming to Boeing as inventory is cleared into 2024. About 40% of the sales price is typically paid via deposits and progress payments by the time of delivery. This means that Boeing may look for an estimated $9bn in cash.

However, customer compensation for the delivery delays could reduce this some. Boeing prefers to compensate customers via discounts on future airplanes or via services and parts. How much—or how little—cash compensation is provided is known only to Boeing.

During the fourth quarter last year, Boeing took a forward loss on the 787 program of $3.46bn.

Embraer and the KC-390

Embraer revealed that the Brazilian Air Force wants to cut its order for the KC-390 by from 22 to 21 or as few as 15. When Embraer launched the program, the air force signed up for 28 aircraft.

The order reduction has put pressure on Embraer’s financials on top of the inability to sell the E175-E2 into its only viable market, the USA. Labor union Scope Clauses have a cap on the weight of the aircraft operated by regional partners of major airlines. The E175-E2 weight exceeds this limitation.

Press reports indicate that Israel has, so far, been turned down by Boeing to make early delivery slots available for the KC-46A refueling tanker. Slots are dedicated to the US Air Force. According to market sources, Israel has asked Hungary and Portugal to release their delivery positions for two and five KC-390s, respectively. Deliveries to both begin next year. Embraer declined comment.

But market sources also indicate that Boeing is preparing to boost the production rate of the 767, on which the KC-46A is based, to 4/mo. This would open slots not otherwise available to Israel.

 

128 Comments on “HOTR: Boeing resumes 787 deliveries after long hiatus

  1. Regarding the 787, are there any indications/rumors regarding the average rework costs per frame?
    Such costs will further erode the figure of $9B quoted above.

    • Has the FAA decided how the +1000 aircrafts already produced with these snags shall be fixed at aircraft heavy checks or will FAA just set a new life limit onto the structures?

      • There are not 1000 preciously built aircraft involved. There is a known start vehixle line number where a proceds update/change was made that had an inintended xonsequence…..

          • Bryce…. You are quoting a story 9 months old. This has been a somewhat fluid issue. However, absent an alert service buletin or an AD note backtracking rework to any aircraft in front of the initial 8 that were grounded that started the investigation, I think you are working with old inaccurate data.

          • @Pnwgeek
            Feel free to provide a link indicating that the situation described in the Seattle Times article has been superseded by new developments.

            Just because a source is 9 months old doesn’t mean that it has become stale in the meantime.

          • Bryce

            Feel free to provide a link indicating that the situation described in the Seattle Times article has been backed up by an alert service bulletin or an Airworthiness Directive addressing aircraft built prior to the production process change identified as the initiating event in the failure sequence, and I will entertain your position. Absent these mandatory action paths for prior aircraft, its pretty obvious that the previous worrys about the rest of the fleet have evaporated………

            As I said, the initial reports were made before the RCA on failure sequence was identified. The RCA clearly identified the manufacturing process update that was problematic and the specific line numbers involved. The RCA did not identify the need to issue an AD or an Alert service bulletin, and even you should agree that if there are no instructions to the fleet to take action, the initial reporting wasnt spot on. The initial news report indicated that the problem WAS THOUGHT TO INVOLVE the entire fleet, it didnt say it had in fact involved the entire fleet. The initial thoughts were clarified as the RCA was developed and the fleet was shown to be unaffected.

            Please feel free to provide links that show the rework necessary for the existing fleet built prior to the initiating event identified in the RCA…..

          • @pnwgeek

            “…and I will entertain your position.”

            You can entertain whatever position you want.
            For the time being, in view of the scarce details emerging from the FAA, I — together with many others — will entertain the position that the Seattle Times numbers hold sway.

          • Bryce.
            Have you clued in to the fact that the reason there are scarce details is in fact because there arent any to be had. Its patently obvious that since there are no AD notes or service bulletins on this subject, that the fleet prior to the initiating event is/was unaffected.
            Even you must see the lack of intellectual honesty in your denial Of the fact that the story was quite fluid and changed back and forth quite a bit as the RCA was developed.

            As to the contaminated wing skins and titanium issues you mention, both were vendor nonconformances. The wing skin tools had a seperator film applied to the skin oml tool surface. This was an unapproved release agent. The C/A was to go back to the lamination spec and use the correct release agent. Parts made ended up needing to have the small remnants of the film cleaned off the exterior part surface. The assenbky bonded side of the part was not affected meaning there was no internal entrapment of nonapproved material. The Titaniun issues you mention were an industry wide problem caused by an Italian subcontractor that affected virtually anybody using titaniun shims and fillers…….. Neither was of BAs doing, and both were remedied with little fanfare………

          • @Pnwgeek

            “Its patently obvious that since there are no AD notes or service bulletins on this subject, that the fleet prior to the initiating event is/was unaffected.”

            You forgot to use the word “yet”.

            If the sheet were indeed as clean as you’re intimating, Boeing would have trumpeted that long ago…

          • Pnwgeek

            I agree with what you posted, what I am not sure of is the remedy for those 787 made that had one of the non conforming (shim) aspects.

            I think this will be an AD that Boeing either does or pays to have done at the heavy check.

            At this point it was deemed not a flight safety issue though it clearly was a non conforming mfg of the aircraft per the production certification .

            I followed the off spec titanium parts (from Italy) but not if they had to remove them or remove them at some point.

          • Who said there’s no AD?? Look up @FG, there’s a write-up about an AD requiring 787 inspections for possible cracks.

          • “However, absent an alert service buletin or an AD note backtracking rework to any aircraft in front of the initial 8 that were grounded that started the investigation …”

            The AD required US airlines to inspect almost 100 787.

            https://seekingalpha.com/news/3776946-faa-issues-two-airworthiness-directives-requiring-boeing-787-inspections

            Summary:
            ‘The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports that shimming requirements were not met during the assembly of certain structural joints, which can result in reduced fatigue thresholds of the affected structural joints. This AD requires repetitive inspections for cracking of certain areas of the front spar pickle fork and front spar outer chord and repair of any cracking found. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

        • “There is a known start vehixle line number where a proceds update/change was made that had an inintended xonsequence…..”

          That’s only *one of the many* defects identified.

          • It’s fasionable in some circles to pretend that the wing contamination issues, sub-spec titanium parts, and tolerance problems with the front bulkhead and doors…have all just magically evaporated in the past year.

          • Let’s be clear, the Air Current article was written back when BA identified the initial structural defects, there were many more once the Pandora’s box was opened.

      • @Claes
        Good question.
        @Bill7 posed a related question in the “Pontifications” article below: when (if at all) are we going to get more details of the approved fixes?
        Apart from the shimming issues, there are also issues with contaminated wings and out-of-spec titanium parts.

        • @Bryce think the FAA is busy and forced to prioritize. There should have been a solution to 737NG inlet/fan cowl reinforcements around last New Year to avoid high speed climb blade out nacelle disintegration but not issued yet. The FAA most likely can wait for Boeing analysis and reports on how to repair the in-service fleet that does not need to meet blueprint dimensions (like new production) just continue in service dimensions and those must be derived in a logical way if not in the SRM yet.

    • Bryce…. The talk is something like 3000 hrs of rework and 75K in shims and sealant per bird. At a $200/hr burdened wrap rate easily under 1 mil a copy

      • @sPnwgeek….still waiting for that link as well….
        Oh well..
        Silence is golden….
        Perhaps a rehash of a 9 month old Seattle Times article will have to do..

        • TC
          John Ostrower reported that the fleet meets limit load and that the analysis was ongoing to see if fleet action was required. Its buried in his article here

          https://theaircurrent.com/aviation-safety/boeing-pulls-eight-787s-from-service-over-structural-issue/

          The absence of a fleet directive today is probably an extension of the analysis mentioned. When the RCA results are combined and RTS instructions, it should close the door on fleet actions. In my time in the industry I cant remember an issue where the fleet was not addressed on the parent defect action

          • Odd that you’re willing to cite a 24-month-old article on this point, shortly after calling a 9-month-old article on a related subject “old inaccurate data”.

            The eight 787s that were pulled from service 2 years ago — to address an urgent airworthiness issue — do not determine the fate of the 1000 other 787s in service — which were cited as potentially suffering from latent quality issues.

          • Bryce,
            Just remember that there is no fleet directive of any kind, and with each passing day you and I will still disagree on what facts are there, but currently my position is favored, and with that have a great day…

          • Pnwgeek:

            I would say factual on your part and not favored. One is reality and the other can be opinion.

            But as I told them at work all to often and sadly true, you are attempting to bring logic into this. Some at work got it and some did not.

          • Looks like some commenters have problems with basic logic:
            absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

            It all has to do with the concept of “yet” 😏

            From the AI article below:
            “…the FAA still has to decide if it will require additional inspections of all 1.006 Dreamliners that have been delivered since the first one to ANA ten years ago”

      • In an earlier paper, you mentioned that the wing contamination issue is related to the skin.
        Where did you get this information?
        Skin removal and repair is a certainly a tough job. but it could be much more difficult (if doable)!
        Here below is the original report from the Seattle Times.(nov 19 2021)
        It says clearly that the composite wing integrity is not to specifications!
        And this issue seems to have evaporated!
        “CONTAMINATION OF COMPOSITE MATERIAL
        The internal FAA memo relates how, early this year, Boeing reported to the FAA that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan — which builds the jet’s carbon composite wings — had discovered contamination of the composite material during fabrication that could potentially weaken the bonding when two composite parts are bonded together with adhesives.
        For example, when a stiffening rod is bonded to the inside of the wing skin.
        In the fabrication process for composites, carbon fiber tape impregnated with epoxy resin is laid on a mold, then hardened in a high-pressure oven called an autoclave.
        Bags are placed around the composite material to create a vacuum, and a thin sheet may be placed between the composites and the mold to facilitate release when it comes out of the autoclave. The contamination occurred because some of the bagging and release materials contained polytetrafluoroethylene — commonly known by the brand name Teflon.
        The use of PTFE, which left a residue after removal, did not comply with Boeing’s manufacturing specifications.”

        • FF.

          EXACTLY WHAT I SAID.

          The vendor used an unapproved release film. The unapproved release film was placed on the wing skin tools OML surface. The wing skin was then layed up bagged and cooked. When the part was removed from the tool, small bits and pieces of the unapproved release film adhered to the OML surface of the part. If you were to bond to this surface you could get degraded properties as your article points out. BUT you dont bond anything to the wing skin OML surface. Its the OUTSIDE MOLD LINE. The OML skin surface is the surface on the outside of the completed wing that you paint. So a good cleaning for topcoat prep is all that is required to fix the issue…… Had the IML surfaces been involved, it could have been quite troublesome. All the warnings found in your article are possible bad things that can happen when you bond over teflon debris, but those surfaces are on the bag side of the layup for these parts, not on the tool face which in this case was the part OML. The reaaon for applying the unapproved release film was to aid the manufacturer in popping the part off the tool easily….. I hope that helps you understand why the problem seems to have vanished…..

          • Both IML and OML surfaces have contamination …

            -> “However, the memo includes a new update from late last month, in which Boeing told the FAA that the same contamination has now been found at other major suppliers and affects not only the wing but also the fuselage and tail. In addition, further tests of small pieces of the composites now indicated that the strength of the bond between contaminated parts in some cases was below the allowed design limits.

            -> “Bags are placed around the composite material to create a vacuum, and a thin sheet may be placed between the composites and the mold to facilitate release when it comes out of the autoclave. The contamination occurred because *some of the bagging and release materials* contained polytetrafluoroethylene — commonly known by the brand name Teflon. The use of PTFE, which left a residue after removal, did not comply with Boeing’s manufacturing specifications.

          • Pedro
            That would be new to me. The last reports I saw were that the oml of the wing skins at MHI were “dirty. They used a seperator film on the oml tool surface to aid in removal of the skin from its tool. The bag side at MHI was not involved. If your report is in fact true, the game has changed

          • “If your report is in fact true, the game has changed”

            Looks like someone is *very* behind the curve.

            More reading, less shouting.

    • Just gonna jump in here, for a sec Bryce, and throw in my 2 cents:

      I think BA rolled the re-work into the DPB, which was then written off – to the tune of $3.46 billion. If I’m not mistaken, they have said that there will be more losses coming, in the following quarters (a couple hundred million per quarter? IIRC) as the inventory gets worked through.

      IMO, the way things get shoved into the DPB only kicks the can down the road and at some point in time, they’ll have to do another house cleaning.

      After ASC 606 adjustments, BA is down to a backlog of 400 aircraft.

      https://www.boeing.com/commercial/#/orders-deliveries

      120 are produced. That leaves 280 to go.

      Side note:

      When the 737 Max went back into service, there was a huge hurrah – many thought that the inventory was going to be a gold mine. Now we are finding out that rework is costing the company enormously (leaving the 140 Chinese jets on the side, for now) and taking forever. Aircraft are not moving like hotcakes.

      I can’t help but wonder if the 787 re-work is going to happen along similar lines; long, arduous and costly.

      • Agreed on all points.
        I wouldn’t be surprised by a very anaemic trickle of 787 backlog clearance.

        $3.46B spread over 120 frames equals about $30M per frame. There goes more than a third of that ($9B) residual inventory cash value up in smoke…

      • In 2021 Q4 earnings call:
        “[2022] revenues could be impacted by 787 customer considerations and the delivery of 737 airplanes that were previously remarketed”

      • Just that the Max had very different issues, while the 87 rework is kinda straight foreward and as it seems pretty cheap.
        Labour, shims and glue, propably not the worst outcome.

        I do understand hate agains B, they have earned it. But the one or other takes it a bit to far with outdated articles.

        I`m pretty sure that B will have the 87 figured out, the plane wasn`t grounded as the Max was and didn`t have to go through anyway near as much.

        • How are “Labour, shims and glue” going to address the 787 wing contamination issues?
          Or its sub-spec titanium parts?
          Or all that door rework?

          ***

          Further, what “outdated articles” are you referring to?
          The 9-month-old Seattle Times article that cites *an FAA memo* detailing all the problems with the 787?

          Are you adhering to the impression/fantasy that the issues detailed in that memo have somehow “evaporated” in the intervening 9 months?

          • Sash:

            I am (taking one from Scott) pondering the MAX vs the 787.

            Clearly there are differences. But shared is not able to deliver.

            The 737 issue in my take was simple. One lousy bit of programming and the cascade of consequences (yes there is a whole plethora of why that occurred).

            Having worked with programmers and done some myself, I know its not simple but in reality for a good programmer, fixing it was not that complex.

            The simple fix was to cross link the AOA and you can always pick up the third Pitot and compare it to the two main display pitots. Fix how much authority the system had and in what flight conditions and you had a safe system (aircraft have been allowed to fly with worse bugs)

            After two crashes it was no longer simple and the long term correct was to do what they did on an in depth fix.

            Its the crashes that grounded it and then the in depth looks and one other fix that resulted (add in the grounding mess)

            The 787 could have crashed with both of the fit issues present. Boeing has been amazingly lucky on the 787 with a number of times it could have crashed (if the Ethiopian aircraft had done its crash located in the air or battery fire in the air or that panel had gone up in smoke in the wrong place)

            Net affect was the 787 was grounded from deliveries.

            We have some data presented on cost to fix, but impact costs and the write off etc for total affect is high.

            Offsetting that is that delayed deliveries were a benefit until suddenly they were not (and stay tuned about pilot shortages)

            Stepping it all back to burn and pillage management and opening Charleston and all the failures that has delivered, ergh.

            Everett and Renton at least had a culture of safety, Charleston has to learn it.

            We have at least 4 programs that are a mess and a CEO who says he had nothign to do with any of it despite him being there for all of it.
            Phew

        • “I`m pretty sure that B will have the 87 figured out, the plane wasn`t grounded as the Max was and didn`t have to go through anyway near as much”

          Nevertheless it took BA almost two years to dot the i’s and cross the t’s.

          Is there any new engine for 87?
          Who would spend the money for revised 87s without substantially better fuel performance??

  2. Great to see and on the timeline I saw coming a month or so ago.

    Well done Boeing Charleston for pulling the stones out of the Calhoun fire.

    Great to get this fine aircart into production that so many dissed so seriously when it was clear it was close to getting its wings back.

    As the techs gain experience the 120 built will get faster and Everett will play a bit role, it will be interesting to see how big a role in the numbers split.

    Charleston would be best off working on serial production and Everett doing the fixes. Probably most will be delivered at Charleston but Everett still has the facility to do the delivery and may do so if its convenient for the buyer.

    American has some -8s on the order still which is most interesting.

    It will be fun to see how fast Charleston ramps up to new and how quickly the backlog on the ground gets moved out.

    Go Boeing!

  3. The USAF owns he Boeing slots on the KC-46A. Only if they approved could Boeing slot in a KC-46A for Israel.

    The USAF field unit look to be delighted with the capabilities the KC-46A has over the KC-135R. Keeping in mind the KC-46A has the latest and greatest in modern cockpits form the 767F variant lacks (still the old steam gauges with add ons for current ATC)

    As well its the command post and network ability on the front lines even if it can’t fuel the F-35A. Get the boom fix (USAF job) and it picks up A-10.

    Better yet fighters should all be basket and drogue systems as they don’t need the huge fuel transfer that large aircraft need.

    • given that you can refuel multiple hose and drogue aircraft at a time, it would be interesting to see the throughput metrics for “time to refuel a 4-ship” of fighters between a 2 drogue and a 1 boom system.

      my suspicion is that for fighters you could refuel more in less time even though the fuel flow rate is a lot lower on hose and drogue just due to the lower process overheads of hose and drogue.

      AF fighters are boom oriented at least partly because the KC-135 and KC-10 were not capable of doing both boom and drogue on the same mission and since a tanker might refuel many different types and classes of aircraft in a given mission it made sense to standardize.

      with the KC-46 coming along, it opens the door to hose and drogue fighters for the AF.

      • bilbo:

        I am guessing the Phantom (F-105?) was or were the first fighters that used Air to Air refueling. As you note all the USAF was boom and maybe they carried on.

        As that was evolving it may also be that they disdained what the USN was doing. Bad enough they had to buy the Phantom as it was better than anything they had!

        Also as you note, multi fueling possible with drogues and no reason the KC-135 could not have had two. USN had less heavy tankers (when they had their own) and also made good sense.

        RAF went no boom and while it made sense for them as far as interoperable with the US, definitely a restriction on flexible.

        High fuel flow makes sense for a bomber or a freighter but not for fighters and the noted one drogue on the KC-135.

        Have to see on the next Gen Fighter what the USAF does of course. I suspect boom though, the USAF is not noted for bright mines at the top.

        • It should be noted Boeing has Japan orders to fill still. Japan of course is going to want those ASAP and the USAF (and the administration) is going to see those KC-46A deliveries into an area that benefits both Japan and the US.

          And if Boeing wins other orders that all plays into the delivery as well as who gets what when. USAF will of course have a large say in it due to its needs and the program behind schedule though that may turn out to be a benefit with the KC-Y program following on the heels of the last KC-X deliveries

        • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerial_refueling

          ‘The first use of aerial refueling in combat took place during the Korean War, involving F-84 fighter-bombers flying missions from Japanese airfields, due to Chinese-North Korean forces overrunning many of the bases for jet aircraft in South Korea, refueling from converted B-29s using the drogue-and-probe in-flight refueling system with the probe located in one of the F-84’s wing-tip fuel tanks.’

  4. Transworld. Respectfuly, no. BA creates slots for aircraft on offer. The 767 line is building for basically 3 customers off the current assembly tools. FDX, UPS and USAF aircraft come off the same tools. BA controls the rate, and the number of slots on offer. If there is a valid export license in place for the IAF, BA is free to manipulate the firing order to deliver in any order they wish as long as the customers contract delivery dates hold. This means that IAF tankers could be built with a rate break to provide slots in the near term……… The IAF is hurting for booms and I expect magic to happen and I suspect the 390 is seriously in play.

    • Pnegeek:

      No question that if Boeing made surplus 767 they could do what they want. Keep in mind the 2C is not a standard 767 though.

      And Boeing does have a firm contract with the USAF. There we will diverge as I believe the USAF has full say on release of a slot. Ergo, for Japan they did (6 reportedly).

      Boeing can’t easily change the 2C builds or ramp up the 767 fast, it takes time.

      And there is the equipment on the KC-46A that is government furnished.

      Boeing is behind on its deliveries to the USAF and the USAF wants to retire some KC-135Rs and the KC-10. Any delivery slot to anyone else impacts that.

      So yes, I continue to believe the USAF controls those slots and will release them to some and as the US has political issues to deal with, not Israel.

      As Boeing is bidding on various countries, I believe they get the USAF buy in in advance.

      And the KC-Y project from what I read looks to have some equipment changes to it so the sooner Boeing gets the KC-X delivered they can start working on the KC-Y (contract extension from X to Y).

  5. From the Seattle Times artice linked above by Bryce:

    > ..However, complicating the process, the FAA memo states that Boeing doesn’t have the detailed configuration data on each plane to know which may have the defects.. <

    I find reading older articles very useful, for comparison's sake.

    • Yes.
      And — as you and @Claes posted — the public is now waiting for (extensive) details of the fixes approved by the FAA, including in relation to 787s already delivered.

  6. Great!….Now Calhoun can resume the dividends and stock buybacks.
    This is great news for shareholders….can’t see how it makes any difference to anyone else.

    • BA stock is only up 3.3% today (so far).
      Shareholders will probably want to see at what *rate* 787s now get delivered.

    • Absolutely agreed!
      It is unfortunate that that is the focus of all major US corporations today.
      What about focusing on delivering a quality product to your customers? And, taking care of your excellent staff that builds that quality product? It has been proven in industrial history that if you focus on those 2 aspects, the “shareholder value” part of the equation will take care of itself. [see Dr. E. Deming…. developer of the Toyota production system, of which no US companies could figure out how to incorporate into their corporate structure]

  7. Interesting article on AirInsight, which chimes with some comments above.
    Of particular note:

    (1)
    “If reports are correct, the FAA still has to decide if it will require additional inspections of all 1.006 Dreamliners that have been delivered since the first one to ANA ten years ago. This would be a huge effort that will keep airlines, MRO companies, and Boeing busy for many years to come, either with dedicated checks or those included in regular service programs.”

    (2)
    “AirInsight asked Boeing to specify what lessons have been learned and what changes made to the production of the Dreamliner, but the airframer is unwilling to share these (very technical) details with outsiders.”

    https://airinsight.com/hurray-boeing-787-deliveries-are-going-again/

    • That’s the kind of article i’m currently looking for; with some well-posed questions, even if few answers. Thanks.

      • It is to be hoped that LNA will soon do a follow-up article, in which specific attention is paid to these remaining questions…

        • As long as Boeing meets the specification of its production certification then the details don’t matter.

          FAA is fully hands on and is not going to be hands off for a long time.

          Clearly FAA has put Boeing through the ringer and rightfully so.

          I gather there is now a tax on share buy back, interesting as you can increase that and get revenue (70 billion if I follow it right) and turn it both into a money maker for the US and a way to throttle the practice.

          In any case Boeing needs profits to do dividends or buy back as well as retire debt and put money into future. It will be interesting to see what happens the next few years. 777X has major issues and Calhoun may well be gone and we have to see what future is management wise.

          • “As long as Boeing meets the specification of its production certification then the details don’t matter.”

            Since other regulators also have to take a decision on these issues, the details certainly do matter. We saw with the MAX that the EASA went further than the FAA as regards re-cert requirements.

        • -> “In Boeing’s latest update on unfilled gross orders from August 9, there are 473 Dreamliners still to be delivered, although this number includes ‘questionable’ orders that might not materialize. Therefore, Boeing uses 400 in its backlog.”

        • In a previous article from AirInsight:
          -> There are 110 787s in inventory and *all need rework on the door surrounds*. It is this that is taking longer to complete as the rework on each individual aircraft needs to be analyzed and approved by the FAA.

  8. Quoting from Calhoun’s Jan. 2021 internal memo (see link):

    “Many of our stakeholders are rightly disappointed in us, and it’s our job to repair these vital relationships. We’ll do so through a recommitment to transparency and by meeting and exceeding their expectations. We will listen, seek feedback, and respond — appropriately, urgently and respectfully.”

    *****

    Thank you, Dave.
    Now, stick to your word and provide us with “transparency” and “feedback” with regard to the details of the 787 fixes. You can start by answering the AirInsight inquiries cited above.

    https://www.boeing.com/features/2020/01/president-and-ceo-david-calhouns-email-to-employees.page

  9. Good to see Boeing finally get the 787 structure problems behind them. I know a few stress engineers probably lost a few years on their life spans with the load calculations. Time to close this chapter.

    I’ve mentioned multiple times before, we’re not going to see the details on what the specifics for the defect and the engineering repair disposition’s are. If any of you have worked aerospace manufacturing MRB and quality, you’d understand it, but most don’t have the intelligence to understand, including the media.

    The existing world fleet was determined to be ‘use as is’ and implement reduced inspection intervals for condition. I’m sure Boeing has guaranteed warranty for any repairs, if required.

    They’ll be more problems in the future. Time to move on.

    • Airdoc:

      I think that the lessons learned need to be fully retained and kept.

      Yes the issue will move to the rear, but never forget how it got to be an issue so its not repeated.

      Agreed, future issues will arise though hopefully all the failures on the 787 are done and it can move onto a peaceful mfg future.

      Good news is Boeing can focus on the 777X fully now and clean that up as well as new aircraft (hopefully)

      One of the problems I had at work was the management would pat themselves on the back for what was done right (and embellish it so it was pat on the back) and not even entertain a post review as to what was done wrong.

      If I did something right, well that was my job. If I did something wrong I needed to learn and retain that so I did not repeat it.

  10. Very good to see Boeing getting this resolved with the FAA, so that they can move on to deliveries. I would anticipate that they will try to deliver as many of those 120 build airframes by the end of the year. If 75-80 of them only need a ‘minor inspection’ to get to the delivery point (according to another blog I read earlier today), I would think those would be the priority. It will be interesting to see how many they can actually deliver by year end. This will be all about trying to capture as much cash flow as they can by year-end.

    Between this news, and the resumption of 737 deliveries, Boeing may end the year on a somewhat positive note.

    • GS in PDX:

      Agreed, Boeing should know what aircraft had what issues and the teams should have a good idea on fix or a check to confirm to the FAA it is not an issue.

      Keeping in mind Everett is heavily involved with very experience 787 builders (I would send the worst to Everett and let Charleston get on with new build!)

      Now to fix the 777X and continue to get new aircraft into production. Hoping this does not fall back to dividends (before its justified) and stock buy backs never, granted that is foolish).

      • “Boeing should know what aircraft had what issues and the teams should have a good idea on fix or a check to confirm to the FAA it is not an issue.”

        Wishful Thinking.
        From the Seattle Times article cited above:

        “However, complicating the process, the FAA memo states that Boeing doesn’t have the detailed configuration data on each plane to know which may have the defects.”

        • “Boeing should know what aircraft had what issues and the teams should have a good idea on fix or a check to confirm to the FAA it is not an issue.”

          May be in a perfect world, but it’s perfectly clear, at least to most here, BA was far from perfect.

  11. ” Deliveries of the Boeing 787 are slated to resume today after a pause of nearly two years.”

    The last 787, a 9 series, was delivered to Turkish Airlines around June 17th 2021.

    2021 was 1 year back not 2 . Seems to be a typo that definitely needs correction

    • Always happy to help:

      “After production problems that have been plaguing it for nearly two years, Boeing finally delivered a 787 on Wednesday. But will this last?

      It really was a long time coming. Officially, this delivery is the first one for a 787 since May 2021. But as we’ve already seen, this is quite misleading. The manufacturer had only delivered a handful of these widebodies between March and May that year. Boeing hadn’t delivered a 787 between September 2020 and March 2021..”

      https://mentourpilot.com/finally-boeing-delivered-first-787-in-15-months/

      As the author of the above piece asks: “But will this last?”

      • Back in July from Bloomberg:
        -> When a challenging issue flares in a Boeing factory, Calhoun doesn’t jet in to quiz workers, as Muilenburg often did. Calhoun also resisted suggestions to hold daily reviews *when tiny structural flaws kept cropping up* around the frames of the company’s marquee 787 Dreamliners, said three people familiar with the matter. *Eventually, regulators halted deliveries of the jets as more of the so-called non-conformities were found*.

        • Why should he bother?
          As long as he gets his salary and benefits, why shouldn’t he just stay in his office and read golfing magazines?

  12. My recent favorite headline was the “analyst” who claimed that
    resumption of 787 deliveries means a $17,000,000,000 “windfall” for Boeing..

    Here- pull the other one. 😉

    • That is an awful lot of 0’s, and not very likely!
      If one assumes that —
      * 120 airframes sitting to be delivered
      * ave sale price of $125m ea (discounted)
      * 40% paid in deposit for airframe already ($50m)
      * remaining 60% to be collected = $75m
      * $75m x 120 frames = $9b

      • Then there are interest costs that have been- and will continue to be, for some time- paid on that stranded inventory; rework co$ts; compensation to airlines for delays..

        • “They are going to deliver four airplanes and it will all come to a screeching halt again” said one Boeing staffer directly familiar with the upcoming tempo of 787 deliveries”

          So more like 300 million if we are very generous….

          • Don’t forget to subtract $30M rework costs per frame (see Frank’s post above).
            $300M then becomes $180M — which is about equal to one month’s loan interest repayment.

  13. Interestingly, the 787 delivered to AA yesterday was a relatively new build: LN1099, at just 1.2 years old.
    There are at least 6 older AA frames in the inventory — so it looks like BA may be starting with the “easy ones” and leaving the more problematic reworks for later.
    In inventory, there are 5 AA frames that are *younger* than yesterday’s delivery — they’ll probably be next up for delivery.

    This would appear to chime with the Ostrower remark cited above: we’ll get four deliveries from inventory, followed by another long wait.

    https://www.planespotters.net/production-list/Boeing/787?p=23

  14. As much as i belive Boeing to be over the hill with this 87 issue, the question is how many other nails they have in the coffin.
    Or was that really the last one?
    After all?

    Honestly it`s a wonder that the 87 doesn`t feature a hull loss yet, with all these issues.

    Next is Boeing has some sales pressure, on both the B787 and 777x. And WB sales are slow at the moment.
    With a backlog of about 480 and 120 of those already build, Boeing will not get back to a rate of 10 so soon.
    And they have delivered 158 in 2019, about 10 a month for about 5 years.

    Boeing will need to bring an update to boost sales.

    • “Boeing will need to bring an update to boost sales.”

      Can you clarify the meaning of this statement? Thanks.

      • I suspect that he/she means a new plane — at least, that’s how I interpreted it.
        The fact that BA doesn’t have the money for a new plane program doesn’t appear to represent an impediment to this proposed action plan…

      • The B787 overall was still a financial loss.
        If they build the whole block of 1500, the company lost money.

        They have to update the B787 at some point. One might forget, that the program is from 04, flying since 09, so coming to 15 years soon.

        Speculation about HGW versions of the -9 and -10 have been around already, especially the -10 with HGW should deliver favorable economics.
        The -10 lacks abilities, mostly range.

        So an update is smth they could do, and it wouldn`t break the bank.

        Another 500 sales and besides all the drama, Boeing should have manage to finally earn some money for a overall profit.
        The 87 fueselage is the best they have.

        • Sash:

          Good point on a loss, at this point it reducing how much of a loss (like the A380 for a different train of events and reasons)

          I am less sanguine that the 787 needs an update (a bit slippery on the term and maybe selective).

          The 787 is more advanced overall than the A350. Its got a much more electric architecture. Wings do not have a winglet (hallelujah the Leahy sharklet thing has died!)

          IGW variations yes but I don’t call that an update as much as logical chanes withing the models.

          NEO yes but right now there is no engine out there that is better than the GenX (for that thrust class needed).

          The Trents are just a hashed over RB211 (reminds me of the 737, its gone on and on and on and come out worse against GE and or the GPW production ). The A350 does not even have common engines.

          Don’t get me wrong, the A350 is a beautifully done aircraft, but its really a frame and panel type copy of an aluminum hull with the standard bleed air and hydraulics.

          Frankly Airbus was desperate on the A350 and grabbed what they could composite wise. It turns out its as good as the Boeing approach or spun fuselages. It not only worked the executed very well.

          I doubt we will ever know which is better (if either) as there will likely never be a one on one match. Cost wise it seems to be a coin flip between spun automation and hand build.

          Boeing still has a wing advantage (at least in the tip) with the raked winglet.

          • “Boeing still has a wing advantage…”

            …if you choose to ignore the 787 wing contamination issue…

            *****

            When comparing the 787 and A350, don’t forget that the nominal 787 program will never generate a cent of profit for BA — so much for “innovative” designs. It also has the distinction of having generated two groundings — quite an achievement.

          • I don`t see that at all. No way that the 87 is more modern or advanced than the 350.

            I agree the 87 was a big step for Boeing, but back in the days they had fallen back in tech.
            FBW was brought into the mass market by Airbus, the A380 seemed to be an excellent piece of engineering, and all the last Boeing designs have been quiet conservative approches. The B777 didn`t feature disruptive tech, same with the NG and before the 67/57.

            Boeing didn`t have much competencies and knowledge about composites, that`s why most of that is coming from Japan.
            The fuselage design choice is a intresting one, but i heared rumors that Boeing wouldn`t go down that road again with the carbon fibre tons.
            It`s very unhandy and a difficult process.
            Airbus went down a different road with the panel approach, that`s a design choice.

            Bleed air is another discussion, of course that was analyzed by Airbus and they decided against it. Honestly i don`t see too much sense to fly electric compressors around to pressure air, when i already have a gigantic compressor on the wing.

            If you ask me, A350 and B787 a very much on the same level tech wise, as you would expect for the same generation of airplane.
            The difference, and that`s Airbus downfall, is their limitation to RR powerplants.
            GE makes the better WB engines these days, the GE90 was a huge sucess and Airbus never had acess to it. The GEnx basically killed the A380 (in combination with the poor design choices) and has a clear lead over the Trent 1000.
            And if you ask me, the A350 is limited by it`s Trent XWB engines.
            I`m pretty sure the GE9X will beat the Trent XWB.

            Funny thing with the wing, as Airbus is known to build excellent wings, i doubt that Boeing has an advantage there. Especially if i look at the 87 and 350 wing, they look so similar.

          • Anecdote from a pilot I know of who currently flies the 787 when asked which aircraft he’d most want to fly … “the A350, it has everything you need & nothing that you don’t”.

            He’s an ex fighter pilot, flown some quite exotic types, Tornado, F-4, Mirage 2000 amongst them.

            @TW “Wings do not have a winglet” why did they put them on the MAX?

    • Sash:

      Boeing is looking at rate 5 for the 787. Have to guess the 777X will be rate 2 or 3 once its moving again.

      I don’t ever see them at rate 10 for the 787. Rate 14 was a desperate attempt at grabbing revenue and may well have been what led to the shim and quality control debacles.

      The 777 in its heyday got to (rate 7?) – for a wide body I don’t see that ever being exceeded.

      Boeing can now claim how much revenue the 787 will bring in as it is all in Charleston and ignore the excess mfg capacity they created by creating Charleston and leaving Everett down to two programs.

      Yes they could have figured out a way to get the -10 bits to Everett, they simply did not want to. If you can train fuselages from Kansas to Renton……………..

      Airbus is doing the same thing trying to go to rate 70 on the A320/321. With the economic downturn? Hmmmm

      Granted they are cooking the books and are not at their claimed rate for deliveries (37 a month)

        • Scot:

          Thank you, I think I missed that before. I should have learned how to do spread sheets before I quit work!

          Rate 8.3 would have been too high unless you believe in Unicorns and such. Too many said it was not a bubble when at least some of us have seen the bubbles and they never last.

          Or as my investment guy says, things go up and things go down. History does not lie.

          • They produced about 100 B777s from 2011 – 2016 or so.

            The plan for the 87 was to go to 12 and 14. Now with only one plant that`s propably not happening, but I guess they can reach 100 B787s in Charlston if they want to.
            With 120 already build, that would leave about 3-4 years backlog.

            For the B777x, it depends mainly on Emirates, Qatar and SIA how fast they want their 9x. With their A35Ks cancelled, Qatar might persue a quicker delivery.

          • Sash:

            I believe Charleston can in theory go rate 10 but it always gets back to the issue should you? Its been a repeat with Boeing that higher rate breaks down on quality control issues (NG?)

            Everett has major available space now (well once the 120 787 are fixed) but long term viability is important for the 777X.

            Do you gain anything with a production blip and its cost just to throttle back?

            And clearly there is a lot to loose if it goes South (the 777 did fine as far as I know but it was a blip)

            Airbus claims a much higher production rate for the A320 series than they are acualy delivering.

          • @Trans

            10 a month and the backlog is done in 28 months….2 years

          • @Frank

            The only way plausible is to cancel the 777x and gives out the 87 as compensation. 🤔

          • High rate in Charlston and quality don`t go together unless there`s the word “poor” between.

            Last viable number i got was 6 in Charlston but that got extended and is propably now more in the direction of 8 with 10 propably possible.
            That would be more or less 100 a year.

            The -9 and -10 are selling well overall, but with 1500 on order, 120 in stock, i don`t see too many orders overall.

            That`s why i say, Boeing needs WB sales, not only for the B777x, also for the 87.

  15. I see no area at all in which Airbus are “trying to do the same thing” as Boeing.

  16. We haven’t heard a convincing answer to the laminate contamination problem.
    As I can’t see how they can even get to all the affected joints (never mind fix them),here’s my guess about the likely solution , “following a careful reevaluation of the expected loads”……..

    • “..here’s my guess about the likely solution , “following a careful reevaluation of the expected loads”……..”

      Bingo: “Should be / Could be / Might be fine.”

      • Yes…until a wing snaps in a nasty bout of turbulence.
        Do you remember that BA whistleblower saying that he wouldn’t allow his family to fly on a 787? And the Al Jazeera documentary about the shoddy quality of the 787? At the time, it was billed as “sensationalism”…but look at the situation now….

  17. @Pedro
    Per @Claes’ comment above, I suspect that we’ll be seeing other, broader ADs than the one you quote. @Claes points out that the FAA is overburdened (as a result of having to spoonfeed/babysit BA), and — consequently — has to prioritize tasks. Nominally, the RTS of the 787 was deemed to be more urgent than the issues with the in-service fleet; now that the former has reached this week’s milestone, there may/should be more time for the latter.
    As @Grubbie comments, it will be particularly interesting to hear what cake the FAA has baked with regard to the contaminated wings issue…

  18. More bad news for BA:

    “Retirement Deadline Could Accelerate Retirement For Experienced Boeing Engineers – The Seattle Times | Avionics Forum”

    “Boeing could see hundreds of veteran engineers retiring this fall ahead of a pension adjustment that will dramatically cut payouts to those who choose to take the money in a single lump sum.”

    ““The fact that you could lose $200,000 or $300,000 can really shock you,” Kempf said. “Some people might not believe it, but it’s really happening.”

    ““Our people have to make a decision, go or not go,” he added. “If you want the flat rate, 2022 is the time.””

    https://avionicsforum.com/pension-deadline-could-speed-retirement-of-experienced-boeing-engineers/

  19. Reuters:

    -> AerCap Chief Executive Aengus Kelly said deliveries from both Airbus and rival planemaker Boeing were also being held back by the need to divert scarce engines to their existing fleet to be used as spares.

    Scott: Is it because more planes are flying again? Or reliability issue(s)??

    • @Pedro: Probably both. More airplanes flying but LEAP and GTF don’t have anywhere near the same on-wing time as the CFM56 and V2500.

        • I don’t have the resources but it would be a good one to have a spreadsheet that has the CFM fleet and its hours historically and current vs the two LEAP fleets and the GTF fleet.

          A220 should play in but I don’t know if that should not be a separate group as its a same form but different engine.

          The CFM set the standard to beat that is for sure.

          My experience with advance tech was you paid higher costs. If it was more efficient, it also came with higher setup costs and you needed a factory trained tech (in our case from stateside) to deal with it.

          If we could not tune it (or the tech could not) then often it just reverted to the less economical ops modes.

          In one case we had 4 Hot Water Boilers not our standard 2. Even after the tech was brought in they never worked optimally.

          Ergo, less time on wing, costlier maint and rebuild?

  20. > Airbus claims a much higher production rate for the A320 series than they are acualy delivering. <

    Is that assertion supportable by facts?

    • Airbus has the will — and the cash — to keep producing airframes, despite the current shortage of engines; these engine-less “gliders” are then parked until engines arrive.
      That commenter appears to be confusing/convoluting the concepts of “production” and “delivery”.

      • That quoted phrasing seemed obscure, which is why I asked the question; I’m also unsure
        of its relevance to the topic at hand.

    • Airbus claims a *much* higher production rate for the A320 series than they are acualy delivering

      Has that commentator define how much is *much higher*?? 🙄

      Those who are familiar with the industry should know: deliveries are back-end loaded, without a year of exception. But I understand some here may need a spreadsheet or two to help amnesia.

  21. I wonder if the Next Boeing Airplane (or whatever it’s called this week) will be primarily electric, as with the 787, or if they will revert to using bleed air again. Assuming an NBA happens at some point, of course. As with composite fuselages, I’m not sure the former is a net advance.

  22. -> ” … corrosion has [been] found on certain delayed Max deliveries”

    🙄

    • That might explain why the inventory clearance is proceeding at a snail’s pace…

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