Speaking at the Farnborough Air Show, Pat Shanahan is indicating that the backlog of 787s at Everett will be gone sooner then everyone realizes. Boeing is making constant progress on the production front to such an extent that the backlog of 787s that are complete and ready to be delivered is growing. The situation has been likened to people waiting on line at the market waiting to check out with each person waiting their turn on line. The rate of 787s being released from production however, is exceeding the delivery rate though this should turn around sometime around the fall. Dominic Gates put together a piece on the 787 production rebound and plans for future production of the 787-9 and the 777X at Everett as well as the future of the EMC and the 787 surge line. It is expected that the surge line should be activated for production sometime this fall and allowing Boeing to go t o 5/month. Dominic also confirmed the ZA100 (LN 7, JA803A) should be delivered this month to ANA. This is the first 787 to enter final assembly back in June 2009. It has taken three years to deliver this airplane.
Other 787 News
During this pas week, Rolls Royce announced at the Farnborough 2012 air show that they will develop a new version of the Trent 1000 engine called Trent 1000-TEN (for Thrust, Efficiency and New technology). This engines is to have a 3% improvement in specific fuel consumption over the current package "B" Trent 1000 though I'm not sure how it compares to the the Package "C" engine which is currently undergoing testing in Derby, UK. The engine is to power the 787-8, 787-9 and the proposed 787-10 aircraft at a thrust of 76,000 lbs but can go as high as 78,0000. The idea of being able to power all three versions of the 787 is to provide for commonality for customers who order different versions of the aircraft. It'll be interesting to see if there is commonality across the older versions of the Trent 1000 family. The engine is expected to enter service in 2016 though a customer has yet to commit to the engine. Click here to read Rolls Royce's press release.
The Air India saga continues with no delivery date in sight unfortunately. Final approval could come tonight or it could come when hell freezes over, I'm betting on the later. Reuters put out an article describing how the Air India 787 order is in the limbo by being caught in the Government of India bureaucracy. Currently the Ministry of Civil Aviation is waiting for some sign off from some obscure other department and then some such committee can sign off on the compensation deal between Boeing and Air India. This can really mess with your head. Bottom line is that the 4 airplanes currently sitting on the Charleston flightline aren't going anywhere anytime soon.