Yesterday Boeing released its 1s quarter earnings which topped analyst expectations. The 787 deliveries has contributed significantly to the improved bottom line and Boeing was more than happy to share the progress on the 787 program.
Boeing noted that they hit the 10/month production rate fully during the quarter but also have completed the preliminary design review on the 787-10. Boeing will now proceed with the detail design of the 787-10 which is expected to enter production around 2016.
The production rate has stabilized at both Charleston and Everett which will also help them stabilize the delivery rate. Boeing did note that there will be continued variance in the delivery rate as they are there are 18 customers receiving their first 787 this year and typically those customers have different requirements and testing that need to be done as well as differences in financing the final payment. They did reiterate that they will deliver 110 787s this year. So far through today (April 24, 2014) they have delivered 21 787s. I believe they can deliver at least 2 more, possibly 3 this month for a total of 23 to 24 for the year and 5 to 6 for the month of April. Obviously they will need to pick it up in the later months going forward. The lack of deliveries to Air Canada, I believe, hurt their April delivery number which could have added at least 2 more to that monthly total. IT is rumored that the delays are attributable to issues with the IFE though it is not confirmed.
As mentioned earlier, Boeing said that the production system has stabilized. The two issues that have also contributed to slower deliveries was the wing issue by Mitsubishi and the increase in travelled work on the mid body fuselage. With regards to the former, Boeing said that there are only 3 more aircraft that need to be inspected and fixed thus that issue is largely behind them. On the later, there has been a great improvement in the reduction of the number of open jobs. Sources have confirmed this to me to be true but that there is still some improvement needed with regards to the travelled work. It does appear that there are fewer aircraft going to the EMC and are actually going to the ramp to finish off the minor jobs still opened and then proceeding to the paint hangar.
The 787-9 testing is also going really well and Boeing is still maintaining first delivery in the middle of the year. The 6th 787-9 to be built just rolled out of final assembly. This is ZB167 that will be delivered to United Airlines in July. This aircraft will participate in the flight testing program as well and I anticipate that it should start flying around the middle of next month. It will undertake F&R/ETOPs testing with the GE GEnx-1B engines. Boeing also said that unit cost for the 787-9 have improved 30% between the first and 6th 787-9 which is tremendous. It should continue to drop as more aircraft are introduced into the production system and the assembly has stabilized. However Boeing is expecting that most of the production over the next couple of years will be 787-8 vs. 787-9.
Lastly, dispatch reliability is continuing to trend above 98% but Boeing still is not satisfied and will be looking to get that above 99% which is not expected to happen until later this summer when improved software is introduced to the 787 fleet.
Full 787 List
Current 787 Production List
Delivered 787 List
787 Monthly Delivery Tracking
787 Customer Delivery
787-9 Flight Test Hours
Current 787 Operators
All Things 787: Projected 787 Deliveries