Tuesday, January 25, 2011

787 Round Up

With Boeing's earnings call schedule for tomorrow, it is expected that there will be a lot of questions surrounding the 787 (schedule, certification, production and deliveries and on and on). Scott Hamilton has a nice update on his blog. One item he highlights is the ramp up to 10/months. He opines that Boeing will have trouble reaching that rate by the end of 2013 and feels that end of 2014 or into 2015 is more realistic.

Indeed it is looking that ramp up is going to be an issue. Boeing just started work on LN 32 (ZA235 for Air India) and LN 33 (ZA179 for JAL) won't be started until January 31st and LN 34 (ZA380, the first 787 for China Southern) will start final assembly on Feb. 14th. That's a 2/month production rate though I do expect that as the years wears on, this rate will increase (to what I don't know). You can read more of Scott Hamilton's post below:

Scott Hamilton: Odds and Ends: Big week for EADS, Boeing

In the same vein, Aviation Week reports Guy Norris and Mike Mecham wrote an extensive article regarding the 787 schedule. The main concerns remain what additional testing does the FAA require especially for ETOPs out of the box certification. The FAA has told Boeing that as it currently stands, the 787 won't get ETOPs certification until Boeing can prove the 787s reliability in light of the fire on ZA002 and the engine problems that Rolls Royce has encountered on the Trent 1000.

Aviation Week: Questions Remain About Boeing 787 Schedule

Boeing is trying to ramp up 787 test flights and currently has posted over 2600 of flight time over 850+ test flights. However, ZA003 and ZA006 have yet to resume test flights. It is unknown why they have not returned to test flights. Later this morning, ZA005 is schedule to make a test flight from Albuquerque, NM to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. We'll see if this flight actually does occur.

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