Friday, October 28, 2011

Future 787 Deliveries, an opinion

Now that 787 deliveries have started, many are wondering what 787 deliveries will look like going forward. I've put together a quick spreadsheet in Google Docs to estimate the number of deliveries Boeing can possibly make from now to the end of 2012. I'm taking into account the current inventory of 787s that Boeing has assembled but still has to finish change incorporation, 787s that have yet to finish final assembly and also go through change incorporation, and finally 787s that have yet to be assembled but would not have to go through the change incorporation process.

In deriving this delivery curve I've had to make a few assumptions.
  • 1) Assume that airplanes 7 to 60 will undergo some type of change incorporation/re-work. Boeing has said that they expect that all changes that have flowed up the supply chain would have been incorporated by airplane 60.
  • 2) The more recently completed 787s will not have to go through as much change incorporation/re-work compared to the earlier completed aircraft.
  • 3) Boeing cannot put too much resources to completing all the aircraft that need work thus the very long timeline to liquidate the inventory backlog.
  • 4) Production rate is assumed as follows: 2.5/month from November 2011 to June 2012, 3/month from July, 2012 to August, 2012, 3.5/month from September, 2012 to October, 2012, and 4/month from November 2012 to December 2012.
  • 5) All 787 that are assembled starting in March 2012 are assumed to be ready for delivery after painting and pre-acceptance test flights by Boeing and the customer. It is assumed that these newly assembled aircraft would not need any change incorporation or re-work after leaving the factory.
Analysis of results

Currently Boeing has 35 airplanes which have completed the majority of final assembly and are in various stages of re-work and storage around Everett. There are two more 787s in San Antonio that are undergoing change incorporation and four more airplanes that are being assembled. This is a total of 41 airplanes in Everett. I expect no 787 deliveries in November (though that could change) but 6 deliveries in December including 5 to ANA which I expect to be a mix of early and late build aircraft as well as the first GEnx powered 787.

After that the deliveries would start out in 2012 at 3/month slowly rising to 8 per month in April and staying steady for about 5 months. This is basically the time that Boeing is flushing the inventory pipeline but also delivering newly built 787s fresh out of the final assembly hall. This number starts to decrease and taper off to a point that all aircraft that are delivered are ones that are coming off the assembly line. Given that I expect Boeing to go through the inventory within one year (52 airplanes), I projecting that Boeing can deliver 83 787s between now and Dec. 31st, 2012. Undoubtedly, Boeing has probably done a more detailed analysis than I have but this is something which I hope can provoke a discussion.


Jim said...

Interesting chart. I do wish that they'd put more resources into getting the reworks finished and out of the way, under the assumption that the ramp up in production could come sooner.

johnv777 said...

Nice analysis. I am suprised that the rework will take so long to complete. This would indicate that the rework completed to date has not been progressing very quickly. Also, the 2 aircraft in San Antonio have been there for many months. Any idea on their status, or why it is taking so long to complete the work?
Thanks again

Uresh said...

Thanks for the comments. I'm being conserrvative in my analysis though some may say that I'm not being conservative enough especially with LN 7 - LN 19. The biggest factors are 1) They type of work being done, some work is very invaisive and time consuming, it would require removal of parts (not disassembly of the aircraft fuselage though) to gain access and to perform the required changes. Some tasks are straight forward. 2) the availability of resources to complete the work. Boeing has only so many people to work on the 787 in final asembly as well as those that need re-work. They're trying to balance the re-work airplanes between those that need exensive re-work done (LN 7 - LN 19) and those that need little to be prepared for delivery (LN 46 - LN 60).

Gianfranco said...

Hello Uresh, Nice analysis indeed, but seems too optimistic for me ! As mentioned above, 1st airplane in San Antonio has been there since March ! (we are in NOVEMBER !)Since certification, only 2 airplanes delivered.....0 delivery in november...Airplanes out of factory today are planned to be delivered next summer....GE certification not even completed....etc....etc....
All this to say that I think it's still a beautiful mess among re-working, assembly chain, etc...
I can't believe that they're able to deliver 83 airplanes next year...
Of course, I'm hoping I'm wrong !
We'll see.... and thanks again for all your precious informations.

ET_Pilot777 said...

Very informative Uresh. Keep up the great work.


TalonSix2000 said...

Thanks for the information and great analysis. I am wondering how Boeing will deliver 2 Late Build planes(LN40 - LN45)in December, when non of them have their engines hung yet?


Uresh said...

Actually I'll have more on that in a bit but they won't be able to deliver 2 late builds next month.