Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Boeing posts higher than expected 787 deliveries for August; Roll Royce engine issues a concern

Testing Complete3
To be assembled in Everett168
To be assembled in Charleston118
Parts Arriving6
Undergoing final assembly10
Storage/Change Incorporation and Re-Work0
Change Incorporation and Re-Work5
Pre-Flight Prep7
Production Testing7
Non Customer Flight Tests1
Ready for Delivery4

Boeing beat my delivery expectations for the 787 in August by delivering 10 aircraft (four -8s and six -9s).  Given the usual summer slow down, this was a pleasant surprise.  To date there are now 455 787s in customer hands through the end of August (313 787-8 and 142 787-9).  For the year, Boeing has delivered 92 787s (24 787-8 and 68 787-9).  Notable deliveries in August is the first 787-8 (out of an order for 2) for Uzbekistan Airways and ZB368 (LN 396, G-ZBKG) a 787-9 that was delayed a number of months due to issues with seat maker Zodiac.

Production slowed in August which I believe was planned. Still Boeing started final assembly on 9 787s and rolled out another 9.  With the 10 deliveries the efficiency ratio was a decent 0.90.  Everett delivered 6 787s while rolling out 5 giving it an efficiency ratio of 0.71.  Charleston was efficiency ratio was not as good as it rolled out 4 while delivering only 3 aircraft.  That put the efficiency ratio at 1.33.

Boeing needs to deliver, on average, 11.25 787s per month over the next 4 months to reach 500 deliveries.  If they are able to do that, it is an accomplishment that took 5.25 years to achieve when program deliveries began in September 2011.  Boeing is also getting close to starting final assembly on the first 787-10.  In order to prepare for that, the company conducted work on the Charleston final assembly line in order to accommodate the largest member of the 787.  When the time comes to start final assembly of ZC001, Boeing will essentially have an empty building in 88-30 so that -10 activities doesn't not negatively impact production of the 787-8 and 787-9.  Everett will take up the production of those models while Charleston is building the three 787-10 test flight aircraft.

I anticipate that Boeing will resume the normal production schedule in September though I think that 787 production in Charleston will slow in the coming months as they prepare to introduce the 787-10 into the production system.  There will be a number of changes to the Charleston line in order to support -10 final assembly.

I am projecting that Boeing will deliver 13 787s in September.  Already 1 has been delivered and 9 more of these aircraft have had their B-1 flight. Of those nine, five have had their C-1 flight.  Notable deliveries should include two early build 787-8s for Ethiopian (ZD005, LN 13, ET-ATJ) and Air Austral (ZD001, LN 15, F-OLRB).  American Airlines will also get its first 787-9 this month as well (ZB446, LN 466, N820AL).

Switching gears, ANA announced that they are finding corrosion issues with the fan blades of the Trent 1000 engines on their Dreamliners prompting them to say that they are going to be replacing all 100 engines (or fan blades) that power their 787 fleet which is 51 strong after today's delivery.  It is unclear at this point if other operators of the Trent 1000 are affected but given the absence of of news from Trent users other than ANA (so far) it seems that this problem is contained to ANA and the way they operate their 787s. However given that ANA was the first adopter of the Trent-1000 there may be more incidence of fan blade corrosion that will be revealed over time by other airlines.  The issue hasn't stopped Boeing And Rolls Royce from building, flying and delivering Trent powered 787s for now.  Rolls Royce is undoubtedly working on a fix but how long it would take to develop test, certify and mass produce the fix is unknown.

787 Full Production Table


greg smith said...

Be nice to see Qatar commit to the 787-9 for their new order soon...

John E said...

Uresh, regarding the assembly line changes at Charleston for the -10, do you know if they're reconfiguring so that they can have two separate assembly lines? I believe the building was built to handle them. Just curious..

Uresh said...

Nope, just doing work to support final assembly. For now they're keeping one line.

mrumprecht said...

Hey Uresh

That Hainan that just got delivered says its the 47th AerCap but isnt it an ALC frame. Its been bothering my OCD.

Uresh said...

Yes, my bad.