Thursday, December 23, 2010

Boeing expected to announce resumption of test flights.

UPDATE 2: Flightblogger says that ZA004 will fly today from Everett as part of the return to test flights.

UPDATE: Bloomberg is also reporting that Boeing will resume 787 test flights but they will only be company test flights only and not counted towards FAA certification purposes.

Various sources have confirmed that Boeing is finalizing plans to announce a resumption of test flights with this announcement possibly coming after the market close today, Dec. 23rd. Boeing is not expected to announce a new delivery schedule however and various industry sources have told me that this announcement could come sometime around the release of Boeing's 2010 earning release in late January. The return to test flights can resume as early as today.

While the resumption of test flights is a major step forward for the 787 it is still disconcerting that Boeing doesn't have a delivery schedule ready. This points to the other issues that have plagued the program, namely the amount of unfinished work that has to be completed on the assembled jets and the ones that have yet to be assembled. According to Dominic Gates this amounts to about 140,000 individual jobs spread across the aircraft that have been produced (24 airplanes). Some would take a few hours while others would take a few weeks. Boeing, I believe, is trying to get its arms around the scope of work that has to be completed, what it will take, how long it will take and the investment needed to finish these airplanes.

Looks like I only got half a present I wanted for Xmas...

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