Tuesday, March 10, 2015

787 production and delivery update, March 10, 2015


Boeing's 787 production continues at the 10/month pace so far in March but according to sources it appears that Boeing will start final assembly on 11 aircraft this month including 5 on the main Everett line.  Boeing is planning, later this year, to reduce 787 production on the surge assembly line (in 40-24) by 2 airplanes and allocate one each to the main lines in Everett and North Charleston.  This should take place around October.

Just recently Boeing started final assembly on the first 787-9 for Vietnam Airlines which should be delivered around May.  Another interesting development was a reallocation of 787-8 L/N 339. Initially this aircraft was going to go to Air India as ZA251 and would have been the carrier's 22nd 787-8.  This aircraft has been reallocated to American Airlines as ZA827 and will be the airlines' 11th 787 when it's delivered around September.  Thus American will take 13 not 12 787s while Air India will take 3 not 4 787s this year.  This reallocation lends strong evidence that Boeing and Air India maybe close to an agreement whereby Air India will take their remaining 787 orders (6 in total) as 787-9s.  A formal announcement has yet to be made but it appears to be close.  Air India does have financing in place for the remaining two deliveries.  One is to occur this month and the last will occur in June.

Flight Testing and Deliveries

Production flight testing seems to have slowed down during the month.  While 10 airplanes have been in various stages of flight testing Boeing does appear to be aiming for a large number of deliveries this month.  Boeing has already delivered 2 787s to Scoot and Virgin Atlantic but looks to try and deliver 13 more 787s this month for a total of 15.  I think a more realistic number will be 12 more deliveries by the end of March.  To complicate matters, I'm still wondering at the slow pace of deliveries to American Airlines.  The carriers' 3rd 787 made a trip to Victorville, Ca., a trip that the airlines' first 2 787s didn't conduct.  I can only speculate the reason but in the past Boeing has sent aircraft down to Victorville for 1) storage, 2) IFE/Seat/BFE installation, or 3) flight testing.  I think we can rule out 3 which leave only the first two.  I have no indication which one it is.  Additionally, there are three other 787s for American Airlines sitting on the tarmac at Everett though two are recent roll outs and have yet to be painted the third is painted and has been outside for quite sometime yet no B-1 flight has been conducted.

The 787 program is nearing 250 (249 delivered thus far) deliveries and should have delivered 25% of the total current 787 orders by the end of April.

Lastly, there has been a lot of questions (and confusion of costs related to the 787 program, namely deferred production costs and carry-loss forward and how it relates to the break even on the program. Vero Venia put together this great post describing it in great detail and I recommend the read.

787 Full Production Table
787 Build Location By Operator 
787 Build Location By Customer


tommy said...

Interesting. American Airlines converted 5 -9s to -8s in January. I wonder if they are taking several -8 production slots that Air India is giving up.

Ln 14 is due in a week and a half, any update on its status?

Thanks for the info!

johnv777 said...

according to Woody's Aeroimages, American's 3rd 787 went to Victorville for short term storage since American already has 2 frames for crew training, and will not start scheduled flights until May.

Jet.Fuel.773-er said...

Uresh, do you have any idea why Everett is receiving frequent flights from Japan via the Antonov? I was under the impression that the Dreamlifter was doing those runs.

Uresh said...

I don't know what the Antonov is carrying. I'm pretty sure that it's not 787 parts. Probably parts for the other aircraft programs at Everett

Anonymous said...


The Antonov was used to carry 747 fuselage panels made by suppliers, as reported here (just one example - it could certainly transport lots of other stuff):


Jet.Fuel.773-er said...

Oh okay thanks. I read this article yesterday and was wondering if or what impact it would have on the 787 ramp up.http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0M90D420150313?irpc=932

johnv777 said...

According to Woody's Aeroimages, the Antonov's are bring in engines. His quote:
"Engine Delays are definitely true. Boeing/GE are bringing several AN124's in a week with engines and parts complementing the LCF's. You will see 2 AN124's on the taxiway as of today. One arrived from NGO, the other from AFW, with a another arriving at KSEA with engines today."

Anonymous said...


It's no secret that Boeing plans to increase production of 787s to 12 per month in 2016 and to 14 per month by the end of the decade. Several large Japanese heavies like Kawasaki are responsible for making large fuselage barrel sections of the 787, so they certainly have to ramp up before final assembly at Boeing can ramp up. The most interesting thing disclosed by the article is that they said their expansion had gone "beyond the 14" required/planned by Boeing. It implies that Boeing may very well have that same idea in their own mind, but it's too early now to make a higher number a firm target. Kawasaki is step ahead of the game; kudos to them.