Thursday, April 24, 2014

Boeing details 787 progress during 1st quarter earnings call

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



1coolguy1 said...

"Unit cost have decreased 30% from #1 to #6" - the operative question here is, in dollars, what does this mean?
If the first unit was @ $300m, then the 6th unit was @ $200m:
As I understand, it will be YEARS before Boeing achieves positive cash flow on each 787 produced.
Is there any information on these actual roll-out costs on these 787-9 units?

larmeyers said...

Nice to see early-build LN28 ZA232 Air India flew a B1 today. Only one remaining of the "20's" after this. Uresh do you know (or anyone) if LN 11 TransAero which shows as in the EMC is actively getting work done? thanks!

Richiebogie said...

I am also interested in all the changes required on these early builds. I know there were electrical bay issues and lithium battery changes and new exhaust system. Were there also fastener changes?

Richiebogie said...

I just found this article on the terrible teens:

TurtleLuv said...

It seems like absolutely nobody wants to touch lines 10-19 with a 500 nautical mile pole. A number of second and third tier airlines have now looked at, or even initially ordered, but then passed on these planes. Boeing has real operating data on them (lines 7-9 have been running mid-long haul and regional for ANA and are in the same manufacturing block i.e same weight same performance) but that doesn't seem to be helping. With no work being done on them currently and the large amount of change that needs to be done, as well as the distractions with the manufacturing issues and 787-9 entry into service, the earliest these birds will fly is mid to late 2015. Keep in mind these frames rolled out around 2009, so they'll be six years old! I'm starting to wonder if they'll ever even fly at all. 10+ months of expensive heavy rework on 10 overweight, old, and under performing frames, when they're currently rolling out 10 up to spec high performance brand new frames a month... is it cheaper just to scrap 10-19 and skip all the headache, especially when nobody wants them anyway? Would be sad though.

Vaibhav Andleigh said...

For the folks discussing whether Boeing should try again with a 787-3 for the medium range market (~4500 nm), this article analyzes the market/technology feasibility of addressing this market with 737-8/900, 737MAX, A320/321 ceo/neo, Boeing NSA as compared to a new small twin-aisle. E.g., based on seat count, range, engine tech, load/unload time, fuel, cargo