Boeing pushes 787 delivery to early 2011

As expected, Boeing announced that it will delay delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner to launch customer All Nippon Airways to the middle of first quarter 2011. Cause is supplier workmanship issues and, more recently, Rolls-Royce engine availability problems.

After several months spent addressing manufacturing flaws in some parts of the 787 Dreamliner, The Boeing Co. (Seattle, Wash., USA) not surprisingly reported on Aug. 27 that it now expects delivery of the first 787 in the middle of the first quarter 2011. The plane, already more than two years behind schedule, made its first flight in December 2009 and was supposed to be delivered to its first customer in fourth quarter 2010.

The delivery date revision follows an assessment of the availability of an engine needed for the final phases of flight test this fall. While Boeing works closely with Rolls-Royce to expedite engine availability, flight testing across the test fleet continues as planned. The engine in question is the Trent 1000, supplied by Rolls-Royce and one of two engines offered by Boeing for the 787. The Trent 1000 is the engine ordered by launch customer All Nippon Airways (ANA) and has been delayed for unspecified reasons. A Trent 1000 engine did suffer a failure earlier this month during testing at Rolls-Royce's test facility in Derby, U.K. Rolls-Royce reported that the failure would not impact its engine program and Boeing has not commented on the incident. 

Boeing said last month that the cumulative impact of a series of issues, including supplier workmanship issues related to the horizontal stabilizer and instrumentation delays, could push first delivery of the 787 a few weeks into 2011. The delay in engine availability has extended that estimate to mid-first quarter 2011.