Flightblogger broke news this morning that Boeing has initiated a 3 week halt to part deliveries into Everett. The halt started a week ago when LN 31 (ZA117) did not load into the final assembly tool on Dec. 1st as expected. According to my sources, this airplane is now expected to start final assembly on Dec. 23rd...about two and a half weeks from now. Parts for this airplane have arrived though Boeing is halting parts so that they can minimize "adverse effects" to the final assembly line. It's unknown what the adverse effects may be.
This news comes on top of Spirit Aerosystems announcing that they were temporarily halting production of the 787 forward fuselage sections and reassigning those workers to help with 737 overtime production. Spirit currently has 50 forward fuselage sections either delivered or in the production process in Wichita. It is probably unrelated to the current production halt as Boeing is telling it's suppliers to continue their production and delivery schedules. Flightblogger reported that the main fuselage section for ZA117 has not arrived into Everett leading me to believe that Boeing Charleston might be the source of the current production delay.
This is the 4th production halt this year as Boeing is still attempting to ramp up production of the 787. This only adds to the problems the program is facing in the midst of the power panel fire on ZA002 and the subsequent need to initiate re-design of hardware and software in the 787. It is still unknown when the 787 will return to test flight though I think it'll happen between the first and second week of January.
You can read Flightblogger's post:
Flightblogger: Breaking: Boeing halts 787 part deliveries for another three weeks