So now that we're coming to half way through the year I thought to do a brief review and then look forward to the second half of the 787 ball game.
Deliveries in the first half were shaky. We got word of the incorrectly installed shims on the horizontal tailplane (HTP) on many of the aircraft that were built and in service. This slowed down deliveries as it wasn't a hard problem to solve but more of a question of access to the areas of the aircraft that needed correction. As a consequence we've only seen 11 deliveries (what will be 11 deliveries by June 30th). There weren't any deliveries in February and May. The former probably due to the shim issue and the later due to issues with Air India. It was expected that Air India would have taken two 787s in May. It is now looking more like a July delivery though if the GoI approves the agreement between Boeing and Air India. ANA will be taking delivery of one 787, ZA509 (LN 56, JA812A), on June 28th and should fly away on June 29th. When this airplane is delivered Boeing would have turned over 11 787s so far this year. There is a slight chance that if the GoI approves the deal between Air India and Boeing on June 28th then Boeing could possibly deliver 2 or possibly all 3 787s that are currently ready for the carrier.
As we got into late spring early summer Boeing was now sending complete aircraft that had went through the full change incorporation process and were ready for pre-flight. These airplanes were augmented on the flightline by the first airplanes that go straight from the assembly line to the flightline (ok so maybe a slight detour to get a few minor jobs done). This is a major accomplishment for Boeing as now they have more certainty in the supply chain and their production system. ZA135 (LN 66) still had a about 300 small jobs to be completed but as Boeing get further into regular production, the number of these jobs will shrink.
So in short by the end of June Boeing will have delivered 11 787 so far in 2012 and they will have 10 more that are ready for delivery in July and into August. This number also includes the three for Air India that are ready to be delivered so Boeing really has 7 to work on as far as delivery preparations are concerned.
Can Boeing deliver 10 next month? It sure is possible but they will need to devote a lot of resources to get those planes ready, especially those coming off the assembly line. Currently ZA 135 (LN 66) just made its way into the paint hangar today while ZA100 (LN 7, JA803A) is now on the flightline ready for ground and flight tests. They still have to deal with the other aircraft that are coming off the assembly line, currently 1 787 every 9 days, the next line move is July 3. Boeing should push out 4 787s from 40-26 to the flightline during the month of July but I don't think they'll deliver in July due to the backlog of airplanes that are currently have to go through pre-flight.
The next 6 months ahead is full of promise with deliveries to a lot different customers but also challenges when Boeing attempts to ramp to 5/month which I anticipate should occur around October. Beyond ANA and JAL, Boeing should deliver to Air India (fingers crossed), Qatar Airways, Ethiopian, LAN, United, LOT Polish Airlines, Hainan and China Southern. I'm still maintaining my view that Boeing will deliver 21 airframes straight from the assembly line (no change incorporation) in addition to the 11 that were delivered in the first half of this year. That is 32 airplanes. Add to that at least 4 787s (I think they do have the capability to deliver 5-6) from Charleston and yo are now at 36. There are currently 6 more that are in various stages of pre-flight (doesn't include LN66 and above or anything built in Charleston) or ready for delivery. Now we are at 42. Assuming 1.5 787s per month delivered from the inventory that is stored around Everett (that is 9, then we can realistically see 51 deliveries this year. This does not even factor in other production positives like activation of the surge line or the increase to 5/month. The final total could be substantially higher than 51 787s with these conditions factored in. Again this is all assuming that production continues without a hitch and that Boeing continues to drive down the assembled 787 inventory.