Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Second 787-9 to start final assembly soon; 787 production contiues at Everett

Boeing is preparing to assemble the 2nd 787-9 flight test aircraft in Everett late this week. Already fuselage sections are arriving and being delivered to building 40-24. The second aircraft, ZB002 (LN 133, N789FT) should load into the first position around July 12th. So far the assembly of the 1st flight test aircraft seems to proceeding without a hitch and currently occupies the 3rd position in 40-24. This aircraft will have to go to 40-26 for some systems testing as well as to have its aqueous wash (washing out the fuel tanks) and may be put back into 40-24 for further systems testing as well as any final flight test equipment installation. I still expect it to make an appearance out on the flightline by the end of this month or very early in August after painting and I wouldn't discount the possibility of first flight by the end of August.

Meanwhile in 40-26, Boeing has resumed assembly of production 787-8s. Production was temporarily stopped in June so that Boeing can reconfigure the final assembly space and remove un-necessary like the MOATT. Boeing resumed 787 production on June 26 with loading of ZA563 (LN 127, N965AM) for Aeromexico (via ILFC).

Boeing has thus far delivered 2 787s to Chinese carriers this month and they have the potential to deliver up to 12 more 787s this month:

Air India - ZA242 and ZA243
ANA - ZA514
China Southern - ZA381
Ethiopian - ZA260
Hainan Airlines - ZA433, ZA434
Japan Airlines - ZA186
LOT Polish Airlines - ZA274
Qatar Airways - ZA466, ZA468
Thomson - ZA320

It is possible that ZA577 (for ILFC/Norwegian) may be able to deliver this month but it would still need some paint on the tail. Many of these airplanes would really need to conduct customer flights at this point though at least 5 still need to fly their B-1 flights.

Lastly, Brendan Kearney of the Charleston's Post and Courier had an interview with Willy Geary who is the director of operations at Boeing Charleston. He says that the Charleston assembly is still only putting out 1.5 airframes per month and they will not achieve 3/month until first quarter of 2014. If true then Everett is currently producing at 5.5/month (or one airplane loading every 5.5 days) and utilizing only one line (40-26) since 40-24 is exclusively for the 787-9 flight test airframe final assembly until at least early fall. Later on both the temporary surge line in 40-24 and the main assembly line on 40-26 will have to split the 8.5/month rate (when 787 production rate break to 10/month occur) until Charleston is ready to break rate and go to 3/month. It is not clear why Charleston is not at 2/month and why the delay to 3/month but this is clearly not a supplier issue. It now remains to be seen if the issues in Charleston will derail Boeing's efforts to hit 10/month by the end of this year.

Full 787 List

Current 787 Production List

Delivered 787 List

787 Monthly Delivery Tracking

787 Customer Delivery



Alumino said...

So far, airlines who have taken delivery of a 787 include:
-Air India
-Qatar Airways
-China Southern
-British Airways
-ILFC/Norwegian Air
-Hainan Airlines

1) Anyone know who is likely to be the next "new" customer? Qantas? Aeromexico?

2) Have any of the above airlines commented on their experience thus far with 787 operations, fuel economy, passenger satisfaction, etc? (I've seen lots of boilerplate press releases and motherhood statements... just wondering if anything more substantial has been put out.)


Andrew Boydston said...

Very important production capability issues for both production sites. To the winner go the spoils. The facility most capable will get the follow on work of -10,-9s.

Rob said...

Word starting to come out of a Fire on an Ethiopian 787 at Heathrow

Rob said...

There is word coming out of Heathrow of a fire on an Ethiopian 787. I hope the report is wrong.

Phil Garnatz said...

Ethiopian ET-ADP fire at Heathrow


Uresh said...

Just put up a new post on the fire.