787 production is starting to get interesting as there will be another line move tonight at Everett. Boeing will push out ZA462 (LN62 for Qatar Airways) allowing the four positions to be occupied by airplanes 63, 64, 66 and 67. The later two are planes that should not have to go through any change incorporation and will go direct from the assembly line to the flight line at Everett. The main fuselage for airplane 67 should have been delivered last Friday night after Boeing had pushed out the first 787 to be built at Boeing Charleston. That 787, ZA237 (LN46) is on its way to finishing the 96 assembly tasks that are left before entering gauntlet testing and first flight which is projected to take place between May 18 and May 5th. Delivery to Air India should take place by June 30th. Also I got confirmation that ZA239 (LN 60) and ZA240 (LN65) are both for Air India and both are being assembled at Boeing Charleston.
In other production news, I got wind of Thomson Airways deliveries of their first 3 787s. The first airplane for Thomson will be ZA317 (LN92) which should start assembly late this year for delivery in January 2013. This will be followed by ZA318 in February 2013 and ZA319 in March 2013. The first and third airplanes will be based in Manchester while the second airplane will be based out of Gatwick all to support training and EIS of the company's 787. These airplanes will carry 291 passengers of which 47 will be premium seating in 38 inch pitch seating while there will be 244 in economy in 36 and 33 inch pitch seats.
As far as deliveries this month, I fully expect 1-2 787 for ANA and 2 airplanes for Air India.
LAstly, I came across some interesting analysis with regards to deliveries of the 747-8 and 787s this year. It is estimated that Boeing will have built, through the end of this year about 50 747-8 airplanes (F and I). Of those 50, 9 were delivered last year leaving 41 potentially to be delivered this year. Of those 41, 3 were for Atlas Air Cargo which they have stated that they will not take...that brings the number of deliverable aircraft to 38 for 2012. However this number includes test airplanes that have yet to under go refurbishment including 2 for Cathay Pacific Airways and the second 747-8F built which is for NCA. That brings the number down to 35 747-8 aircraft. If Boeing is projecting between 70 to 85 747s and 787s to be delivered by the end of this year that means that Boeing can be in a position to deliver between 35 and 50 787s. This is entirely possible as is starting to produce 787s that will go straight from the production line to the flight line and into testing.