Saturday, July 14, 2012

Are 787 deliveries slowing down?

UPDATE: I got word that Qatar's first 787 will be delivered in August but it's still open as to when in August.  Given that at Everett there are only three 787s that have had their B-1 flight thus far (ANA, Qatar, & Ethiopian), I'm going to say that only one 787 will be delivered this month.  There hasn't been any word on other 787s that will have their B-1 flight but I expect that at least 2 more will take to the skies for the B-1 flight before the end of July in order to be delivered next month (ZA100 and ZA135).

There has been raised hopes and expectations that aviation geeks around the world would see an avalanche of 787 deliveries starting this summer.  However we've seen only a trickle and I am at a loss to explain it. The Everett ramp is getting full of 787s that have either finished change incorporation or are airframes that do not need to go through the EMC but just have a few hundred small jobs left to be done.  As successive airplanes come out of 40-26 the number of jobs that remain have fallen to less than 150 with ZA182 (LN 70) for JAL.  This aircraft has yet to appear on the Everett flightline though it has been more than 9 days per line move on July 3, about 12 days ago.  We may yet see ZA182 as early as tomorrow or Monday. 

In terms of getting these planes ready for delivery, while the monster jobs of change incorporation have been completed on those airplanes, there is still a long line for delivery as these planes must go through the step by step process of pre-flight ground test, Boeing flight tests, customer flight tests as well as customer inspections and quality control reviews.  It appears that there doesn't seem to be enough resources to tackle all this work for the 8-9 aircraft that are lined up ready for their turn.  Both ZA508 (LN 51, JA811A) and ZA100 (LN 7, JA803A) were expected to be delivered this month to ANA. It's looking like on ZA508 will make it and there is rumors of extra work needed to prepare ZA100 for flight.  This is the aircraft that needed the most rework as it was the first production standard 787 to enter final assembly.  It is not known when this airplane is to finally take to the air.

In the meanwhile the first 787 for LAN, ZA536 (LN 68, CC-BBA) is now on the 40-51 ramp after being painted and is presumably finishing up some assembly tasks.  There is some controversy about when it is to be delivered. with some reports saying delivery is in August but LAN is saying that they expect to take delivery of its first 787 late this year.  Right next to is a 787 for ANA registered JA813A.  This is registration that was assigned to ZA510 (LN 59) and previously I had it listed as in storage and not undergoing any change modification.  I doubt that this airplane could have prepared to quickly though it is possible that this airplane may certainly have had some work completed while outside the EMC and it engines attached. I'm trying to find out the true identity of this airplane beyond the registration.  There are some late build 787, notably ZA118 (LN 67, JA816A) and ZA119 (LN 69, JA817A) that have "gone missing."  I'm assuming that these airplanes, if one of them is not the ANA 787 that currently is sitting on the 40-51 ramp, are in the paint hangar.

Lastly, it is quite possible that ZA262 (LN 49, ET-AOQ) for Ethiopian and ZA461 (LN 58, A7-BCB) for Qatar Airways could be ready for delivery by the end of this month.  The former has conduct two Boeing test flights (including the ferry flight to Ft worth) and is currently being painted in Texas. I would expect this airplane back in Everett in about 7 to 8 days. It could could still conceivably conduct customer flights after its return to Everett before the end of the month.  ZA461 is more of a question mark as Boeing needs to complete some interior assembly tasks (may be related to the IFE System) prior to further Boeing and customer test flights.  Again it is entirely possible that his airplane could deliver by the end of this month.

Don't even ask me about Air India.


Michael Lowrey said...

JA815A did its initial engine run on Saturday, so should make its first flight in the next few days. I suppose there's some chance it could deliver this month.

Based upon flight line photos, the issue with LN 7 (ZA100, JA803A) seems to be on he right wing near the engine. Not sure if that's the only issue.

Clearly one of the unaccounted for late-build aircraft was at the fuel dock on Wednesday but not there on Thursday. Presumably she's now in for paint.

greg said...

When will the Air India planes deliver ;-?

Johanny said...

The ANA bird sitting on the 40-51 apron is seemingly a "long haul" configuration one. You can tell by the single window (toilet) followed by 2 blocked windows immediately aft of door 2L. The other ANA configurations (regional and domestic) have the first window blocked.

Anonymous said...

could they have perhaps slowed the line down slightly to get all the jobs completed on LN70 and then make the shift to outside considering there is starting to be another pile up out there? and also with the runway shut briefly and also that from 66 onwards its taken them awhile to complete the "few remaining jobs".

Just looking ahead I highly doubt they will get 4 delivered this month but the following few of 6,6 and 7!!! looks to be out of reach aswell they way things are, im not even thinking about air india either might as well forget about those for awhile

grahamj said...

I too am confused that there are not more deliveries or B-1 flights. Yet the production lines are pushing out planes on schedule