Sunday, March 27, 2016

Boeing aims to finish 1st quarter 787 deliveries on a high note, 787-10 starts assembly

As the 1st quarter of 2015 wraps up on the 787 program, Boeing is making an effort to deliver 12 787s this month.  So far they've delivered 7 and the other 5 have had their customer acceptance flights.  The lack of any further customer flights this weekend indicates that customers are satisfied with their new airplanes and are ready to take delivery.  With the delivery of 5 more 787s in the next 4 days Boeing will have delivered 29 787s in the first quarter.

Back in November 2015, I projected that Boeing would deliver 34 787s in the first quarter.  10 in January, 12 in February and 12 in March.  Boeing fell short by 3 in January and 2 in February, and should meet the 12 projected for March barring any unforeseen issues.

For April (and I know this is a familiar story), I am projecting 14 787 deliveries with 11 787-9 and 3 787-8 being handed over.  This number includes the 2 787-9 for British Airways that is delayed because of issues at seat manufacturer Zodiac.  It is possible that those two may not deliver in April.  It should be noted that Boeing would have had 31 787 deliveries in the first quarter had it not been for the issues with Zodiac which delayed the delivery of the 2 787-9 to British Airways.   Also in April, Qatar's penultimate 787-8 should be delivered as well as the first 787-9 ordered by Air France-KLM which is going to KLM.  All of the 787s that are projected to be delivered next month are all out of the factory and on the flightlines or paint hangars with half of the airframes having already had their first flight.

On March 15th Boeing started major assembly (not final assembly) on the first 787-10.  Kawasaki Heavy start installing circular frames to the mid-forward section of the first -10.  Boeing says that the -10 is 95% common with the -9 thus making the aircraft a very low risk stretch.  Final assembly should start around November or December in Charleston.

Here's Boeing's press release:

Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner Begins Major Assembly
 Steady progress as first production fuselage section begins weeks early
 EVERETT, Wash.March 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Major assembly of the first Boeing (NYSE: BA) 787-10 Dreamliner is underway, the latest major milestone in the development of the newest member of the super-efficient 787 family. Boeing partner Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. began installing the circular frames into the midforward section of the fuselage on March 14, a full two weeks ahead of schedule.
"Beginning major assembly early underscores the commitment, discipline and performance of the entire Boeing and partner team worldwide," said Ken Sanger, vice president of 787 Airplane Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We are taking all the right steps to ensure we integrate the 787-10 into the production system smoothly."
As a straightforward stretch of the 787-9, which entered service in 2014, Boeing designed the 787-10 for both superior efficiency and maximum commonality. Ninety-five percent of the design and build of the 787-10 and 787-9 will be identical, reducing complexity, cost and risk across the entire production system while providing operational benefits to customers.
The 787-10, which will undergo final assembly at Boeing South Carolina in North Charleston, will set a new benchmark in efficiency when deliveries begin in 2018. With a robust range capability covering more than 90 percent of the world's twin-aisle routes, the 787-10 will deliver 25 percent better fuel use and emissions than the airplanes it will replace and at least 10 percent better than anything being offered by the competition in the future.
To date, the 787-10 has won 153 orders from nine leading customers around the world, accounting for 13 percent of all 787 orders.

787 Full Production Table


greg smith said...

Nice to see damaged virgin 787 finally delivered

1coolguy1 said...

RE: Missing the delivery schedule: This is a reflection of the holiday shutdown period in December and the slow ramp up afterward at the Lazy B.
Remarkable, since this is an annual event, Boeing management didn't anticipate and prepare better.

Pete Templin said...

I've noticed several frames move from Final Assembly to Pre-Flight Prep as they transition from C 88-30 Pos 5 to C 88-30 Pos 6. What constitutes the stage transition? I'd always presumed that it meant factory rollout, but apparently that's not the case.

On the same vein, what's the general plan with assembly positions in Charleston? It seems like they drifted into using all 7 for a while (1A/1B/2->6), adding time to the Final Assembly phase without impacting the rate per se. Are they hoping to get it back to Pos 4 to match Everett?