Wednesday, October 10, 2012

787 Production Rate Steadily Increasing

The 787 production rate is steadily increasing as Boeing looks to load a new 787 into the assembly tooling in the two assembly bays at Everett once every 7 days (at least for the next one month).  ZA272 (LN 86, SP-LRC) for Polish LOT is due to load into position 1 in 40-26 on Oct. 11.  One week later on Oct. 18, ZA273 (LN 87, SP-LRD) also for LOT will load in position 1 in 40-24.  Finally on Oct. 25 ZA274 (LN 88, SP-LRE) will load in position 1 in 40-26. This rate (excluding Charleston built 787s) is about 4 per month.  Charleston looks to be running at about 0.66 airplanes every month (2 airplanes every 3 months) though it is expected that they will hit one per month shortly.  Given these rates, Boeing is very close, if not already there, at producing 787s at a rate of 5/month.

The issues facing them is now clearing the backlog both at Everett and Charleston. Between the two delivery centers there are 16 787s that are ready for pre-flight or are into their test flight activities.  Boeing has already delivered 3 787s this month but tentatively have 9 more deliveries scheduled between Oct. 18 and Oct. 26th. It is possible for these 9 aircraft to be delivered but it is all dependent on both factors that are within Boeing's control (technical issues, allocation of resources needed to prepare and test fly the assembled 787s) as well as factor's out of Boeing's control (dealing with mercurial customers such as Air India, Qatar Airways and the country of China).  Several handovers should be a no brainer: Ethiopian Airlines (2), United Airlines (1), ANA (1) and LAN (1).  That is 5 airplanes right there.  The ones that are questionable are Qatar Airways (2), Air India (1) and Hainan Airlines (1), and China Southern (1). With the Chinese carriers, the issue is the certification from CAAC (China's Civil Aviation Authority).  It is unknown what the issues despite FAA and EASA certification.  CAAC has to certify the 787 for use by Chinese carriers.

Lastly, Boeing has pulled out two 787s from 40-26.  ZA271 (LN 78 (SP-LRB) for Polish LOT went to the paint hangar at Everett and ZA432 (LN 79, B-2730) for Hainan Airlines was pulled out to the 40-51 ramp area. Given the extended time that these two airplanes spent in final assembly I expect that there are very few to no assembly tasks remaining on these frames.  Additionally ZA511 (LN 63, JA816A) for ANA conducted taxi runs but could not perform its first flight due to weather consideration as Boeing has stringent weather requirements for B-1 flights.








10 comments:

Jonas Don said...

I especially like the 787 Flight Test Hours : 787 Monthly Delivery Tracking spreadsheet.

Joostdg said...

Thanks again Uresh for an other great update!

entrophian said...

Ok I know it is not an exact meassure of thing but, LN 34,55,59 and 62 have engines installed. Does this mean these frames are close to finishing at EMC?

16 frames in preflight/flight testing.. At what point will they have to slow the FAL?

Uresh said...

They're not going to slow down the line. They're at 5/month and if anything they'll be looking to increase to 7 next Spring.

entrophian said...

Yes true that they increase production, but will they have space for all the frames? 16 frames and more coming off FAL and out of EMC, maybe they can slow EMC a bit?

Uresh said...

The ydon't need to do either. Deliveries are outpacing airplanes coming off the line last month and will do so for this month. so why would they want to slow down???

Rob said...

Uresh, do you have a feel for how long it is from when a plane comes off the line until its first flight? And then how long from first flight until they are ready for delivery?
Any idea how this compares to the more mature 777 or 767 programs?

Thanks, yo do a great job with this blog!

Uresh said...

Don't know because it is a very fluid situation between getting airplanes ready for delivery from the final assembly line, EMC as well as dealing with mercurial customers that we have seen in the past few months. Once deliveries from EMC have been mostly completed then I think we'll see. Delivery times are affected not just by Boeing's resources some of which are focused on EMC planes but also customer driven deliveries. I.E. LOTs first 787 is already out but they're not ready to take delivery till middle of next month.

TurtleLuv said...

I think only LAN and Ethiopian can be expected to deliver this month. None of the other frames you mention as certainties have flown yet, and it usually takes more than the 21 days left in October from a B1 to delivery. Maybe the other two that have flown for AI and Qatar will make it 7 deliveries for the month, but my money is on 5. :(

Dave C said...

Uresh,
VT-AND has been grounded due to a broken cargo door, don't think air India will be too happy!

Dave