Sunday, April 23, 2017

787 April 2017 Mid Month Review


Number
Testing Complete3
To be assembled in Everett183
To be assembled in Charleston140
Parts Arriving6
Undergoing final assembly6
Storage1
Storage/Change Incorporation and Re-Work0
Change Incorporation and Re-Work1
Pre-Flight Prep10
Production Testing5
Non Customer Flight Tests2
Ready for Delivery2
Donation3
Delivered540
TOTAL902


Well most of the way through April Boeing has delivered 8 Dreamliners on their way to delivering 10 787s this month.  An early build 787 for Ethiopian has been pushed out though the delivery date for ZD008, (LN 18, ET-ATI) seems somewhat in flux.  I've heard that delivery can happen in May though I've also heard that delivery won't occur until "after June"  For now I'm listing as stored until there is more definite clarity to delivery.  In the meantime Boeing will deliver 2 more 787 before the end of the month for a total of 10 deliveries.

Production totals for April look to be 11 787s completed and rolled out from the two 787 factories with another 10 or 11 aircraft starting final assembly.  Note that 3 of these 787s were built in Everett and had started final assembly and rolled out within the month of April.

Boeing has gotten the 787-10 flight testing off to a good start.  It appears that they're only flying the aircraft on the weekdays thus far and I'm uncertain that this is going to change.  It may mean that the flight test team doesn't have as much risk to retire or that the flight test schedule doesn't require as many flight hours as the -8 or -9 thus limiting testing to the weekdays.  I'm also expecting that the second flight test 787-10, ZC036 (LN 548, N548ZC) should take to the air around May 2nd, a week from this coming Tuesday. ZC002 is still in final assembly and I expect it to roll out aroune the 2nd week of May and should join flight testing around late June.Thus far the lone 787-10 flight test aircraft has racked up about 72.38 flight test hours.  Boeing needs to achieve Initial Airwothiness Testing which I believe should be down shortly, it will be followed by the TIA (type inspection authorization) which would allow the 787-10 to start the certification program with the FAA and have the FAA on board the -10 to observe the certification flight tests and sign off on each required test flight objective.  The 787-9 achieve the TIA after about 275 flight test hours on the initial Roll Royce powered 787-9 which took about 3 months.  The 787-8 received it's TIA after about 4 months of flying. I believe certification testing for the -10 should start around the end of June to early July time frame if not earlier.

You can follow my log of the 787-10 flight test by clicking the link below for the 787 Spreadsheets.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Boeing delivers 11 787 in March while first 787-10 takes to the air as the quarter ends.

Production Snapshot
Number
Testing Complete3
To be assembled in Everett188
To be assembled in Charleston142
Parts Arriving
6
Undergoing final assembly8
Storage0
Storage/Change Incorporation and Re-Work0
Change Incorporation and Re-Work2
Pre-Flight Prep8
Production Testing3
Non Customer Flight Tests2
Ready for Delivery5
Donation3
Delivered532
TOTAL902

Boeing Photo

Boeing Photo

Boeing Photo






The first quarter of 2017 was a busy period for the 787 program and time highlighted by the very successful first flight of the 787-10 yesterday at quarter end.  To the details of the quarter....

For the month of March, 2017 Boeing delivered 11 Dreamliners (4 x 787-8s and 7 x 787-9s) including the 200th 787-9 to be delivered to a customer. However two of these deliveries aren't confirmed: 1 787-8 ZD009 (LN 17, N947BA) left for Victorville to be stored but left under a Boeing flight number.  This aircraft was supposed to be delivered to Crystal Cruises who is now trying to sell it.  So far there aren't any buyers and is the second 787 that is up for sale.  The other 787 delivery in doubt is ZB703 (LN 533, HZ-AR11) for Saudi Arabian Ministry of Finance (leased to Saudi Arabian Airlines).  The aircraft was supposed to be delivered on March 30th but it is still parked on the Charleston flightline.  We'll know more about these two 787s when Boeing reveals its monthly order and delivery results hopefully on April 6th.  For the quarter, Boeing has delivered 32 787s (8 x 787-8s and 24 x 787-9s).  Total program deliveries stand at 532 (332 x 787-8, 200 x 787-9).  Boeing has delivered the 200th 787-9 to the Saudi Ministry of Finance which is leasing the aircraft to Saudi Arabian Airlines.  This is the aforementioned ZB703.

Production is going smoothly with Boeing rolling out 12 787s (including the second test flight 787-10) during this month and starting assembly on a further 13 787s.  Production efficiency declined due to lower deliveries in March.  In fact for the quarter  while the production rate was more or less on target deliveries were lower.  This is attributable to the introduction of the 787-10 into the production system.  Boeing transferred some 787 production aircraft to Everett from Charleston to mitigate production risk but it looks like Boeing can't transfer all of the Charleston 787 production thus deliveries fell.  During the 1st quarter, Charleston rolled out 12 787 (should be around 15) while delivering 10 (again vs. 15).  Everett, as I mentioned, picked up the slack in production (but not all of it) because of the 787-10 and rolled out 20 (vs. 24) and delivered 22 (vs. 28 including 2 early build deliveries). Production efficiency for March was 1.09 (an efficiency rating of 1 or lower is desirable as it shows declining inventory - roll outs vs. deliveries.  Charleston had a March efficiency ratio of 1.33 while Everett was 1.0.  Again this is all due to the introduction of the 787-10 into production and I expect that this will continue into early May until ZC002 (the third and last 787-10 flight test aircraft) has been rolled out from final assembly.

March deliveries were not all that interesting except for the two early build 787-8s (ZD007 and ZD009 and the 787-9 for the UAE Presidential (VIP) Flight.  For April, I believe that Boeing is targeting another 11 deliveries (3 x 787-8, 8 x 787-9).  This batch should include another early build 787-8 (ZD008) which will again go to Ethiopian Airlines as well as Air France's first direct purchased 787-9, they are currently operating 1 787-9 leased from AerCap.  Additionally, American Airlines will receive the last 787-8 that they have on order.

787-10
By far the most important event in the 787 program during the past quarter was the first flight of ZC001 (LN 528, N528ZC) the first 787-10.  I've included a few Boeing photos as well as embedded a couple of videos from that flight on March 31st.  The flight began much earlier than I anticipated, 9:38AM due to bad weather rolling in soon after.  The flight lasted 4 hours and 57 minutes and landed back at Charleston International Airport at about 2:35PM.  After landing the pilots reported no squawks and had run through the whole list of tests that they needed to perform as well as a few get ahead tasks.  The plan is for Boeing test pilots to fly ZC001 to Boeing Field late next week (I'm guessing next Friday) where it will be based for the remainder of the test flight program as will the other two test flight airplanes.  ZC036, the next 787-10 to fly and the first with GE engines is already on the Charleston flightline going through ground tests and I anticipate that this airplane will probably fly by the end of this month.  ZC002 will start final assembly by end of this week and I believe it should roll out by the end of the first week of May and join the flight test program around early June.  The 787-10 flight test and certification program should last about a year and there will be additional production ready 787-10 that will perform functionality and readiness testing (F & R)  similar to the 787-8 and 787-9 test programs.

Speaking of the flight test program, I will be attempting to track the flight test hours of the 787-10 flight test fleet similar to what I had done with the 787-8 and 787-9.  This is mainly keeping track of flight test as they're reported on FlightAware.com and flightradar24.com.  I will be keeping these logs on the spreadsheets in a tab called "787-10 Flight Test Hours."  You can view these spreadsheets through the link below.

787 Spreadsheets

I will also be posting updates to the test flight program on the blog as they become available.

Friday, March 31, 2017

787-10 First Flight

Check back to this post for up dates on the first flight of the 787-10

2:35 PM - ZC001 landed completing a 4 hour and 57 minute test flight.
1:57 PM - ZC001 is now heading back to Charleston International Airport to complete its first flight. Boeing is saying landing around 2:15-2:30.

1:35 PM - Some official Boeing photos from today's take off of ZC001

Boeing Photo

Boeing Photo

Boeing Photo


1:10 PM - Here's a video by the Charleston Region Business Journal of ZC001's take off:




10:15 AM - The plan after today's flight will be for ZC001 to return to Charleston and will conduct another flight in about a week after which it will fly to Boeing Field in Seattle where it will be based for the rest of the flight test/certification program.

9:50 AM - Today's first flight should last about 4 to 5 hours.

9:38 AM - BOE001 is Airborne and Airworthy

9:26 AM - Flight plan for BOE1 on FlightAware:

BOE001 Flight Plan


9:22 AM - Still waiting for the first flight of Boeing's 787-10.  Here 's a link for the webcast:

787-10 First Flight

So far I haven't seen a flight plan filed but there is a flight plan for the T-33 chase aircraft:

FlightAware T-33

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Boeing confirms March 31st date for 787-10 First Flight

Boeing just released the date for the first flight of the 787-10 which is March 31st as I had reported earlier.



This is all weather dependent.  I expect that Boeing will fly ZC001 (LN 528, N528ZC) to Boeing Field by April 10th to start flight and certification testing of the 787-10.  This process should take about year.  Currently the second 787-10 (GE powered) is due to roll out of the Charleston assembly building 88-30 today and the last 787-10 flight test aircraft should start final assembly in early April and should be flying around late May.

In the meantime, Boeing has been continuing flight tests of the Trent 100 TEN engine on ZA004 (N7874, LN 004) which is the engine that is fitted to ZC001.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

March production and delivery schedule for 787

With the 1st two months of the year in the books, Boeing is looking to finish out the 1st quarter in strong fashion.

Delivery wise, Boeing is hoping to deliver 11 787s. Some planned notable deliveries include early build 787-8s to Ethiopian and to a yet to be determine customer who is buying the air frame once bought by Crystal Cruises.  I must stress the deliveries are tentative as we have seen in the past that sometime they just don't occur.  ZD007 (LN 16, ET-ATH) was supposed to be delivered at the end of February and now it is scheduled to be delivered at the end of March.  ZD009 (LN 17) was going to be taken up by Crystal Cruises until they found out it was too small for their use.  They may have found a buyer but it is still unknown who or even if there is a new buyer.

The UAE government will be taking its second 787 and first 787-9 for Presidential/VIP duties in March. Other than that it will be a ho hum affair with deliveries to usual suspects like Saudi Arabian (2), Avianca (1), American (1), JAL (1), Air Canada (1), Virgin Atlantic (1) and Norwegian (1).  Six of the eleven have had their B-1 and one 787-8 (for Avianca) has had it customer flights.  The remaining 5 should have their first flight by March 15th.  Most deliveries (9 of 11) should occur in the second half of the month. Deliveries in March will heavily favor Everett as they should deliver 8 787 while Charleston will deliver 3.  This is due to the introduction of the 787-10 into final assembly thus mandating the need to have some production frames moved to Everett so as not to disrupt assembly of customer aircraft.

Production for the first half of March should see 6 787s start final assembly with another 6 rolling out by mid March.

Lastly, I'm hearing that the 787-10 should make its maiden flight by the end of the month.  March 31st is penciled in for the first flight date but I'll you all know as soon as I can get more clarity on this date.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

787 Results for February 2017


-->
Number
Testing Complete3
To be assembled in Everett196
To be assembled in Charleston147
Parts Arriving6
Undergoing final assembly7
Storage0
Storage/Change Incorporation and Re-Work0
Change Incorporation and Re-Work2
Pre-Flight Prep9
Production Testing6
Non Customer Flight Tests1
Ready for Delivery1
Donation3
Delivered521
TOTAL902

Boeing delivered 9 787 during February (2 787-8s  and 7 787-9s), 1 short of what I expected them to deliver.  Boeing has delivered 21 787s in 2017 (4 787-8s and 17 787-9s) and 521 787s since program deliveries began (328 787-8s and 193 787-9s).  The one airplane that wasn't delivered was ZD007 (LN 16, ET-ATH) for Ethiopian Airlines.  I don't have any information as to why it wasn't delivered but since the airplane flew last week on a VIP flight between Paine Field and Boeing Field in Seattle, I think we can rule out any issues with the aircraft it self.  The aircraft has yet to fly its customer flight for final acceptance.  I am speculating that the delivery delay may have more to do with obtaining financing for the final payment to Boeing since EX-IM Bank still cannot approve financing over $10 million.

The only notable delivery was the first 787-9 for Korean Air which was delivered on February 22nd.

Production of the 787s continued at the 12/month pace as 12 airplanes were rolled out of Boeing factories including the first 787-10.

Boeing Photo
Boeing Photo

Boeing Photo

Boeing Photo
Boeing started final assembly work on at least 9 787s including the first GE powered 787-10.  I expect his airplane to roll out around late March/early April.  I expect that the first flight of the 787-10 should occur within the first 10 days of March as the aircraft is currently undergoing ground gauntlet testing.

Because of the low number of deliveries coupled with the high production output, the 787 inventory around Charleston and Everett has grown.  The efficiency ratio is 1.33 in February for the entire 787 program.  For Everett, the efficiency ration stands at 1.0 while for Charleston the ratio is 2.0 due to the low number of 787 deliveries.

Boeing did grow the 787 backlog by adding yet another unknown Chinese airline, this time Juneyao Airlines.  They ordered 5 787-9s and curiously while both the airline and Boeing made an announcement of the order, it is listed on Boeing's O & D site as unidentified as are most Chinese orders.

I hope to have another post soon of 787 delivery and production expectations for March




Thursday, February 16, 2017

1st 787-10 Outside Charleston Paint Hangar

UPDATE 2:


UPDATE:

Here's another much better picture.  I'm not sure who tok it but clearly you can see how much larger the -10 is vs. the -9 and -8.



Here's the first 787-10 painted and waiting outside the Charleston paint hangar!  This was posted on Twitter about 20 minutes ago by Jon Ostrower.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

787 Mid Month review for February 2017

Number
Testing Complete3
To be assembled in Everett134
To be assembled in Charleston98
Parts Arriving6
Undergoing final assembly8
Storage0
Storage/Change Incorporation and Re-Work0
Change Incorporation and Re-Work2
Pre-Flight Prep7
Production Testing5
Non Customer Flight Tests1
Ready for Delivery4
Donation3
Delivered516
TOTAL787

So far in February Boeing has delivered 4 787 (1 -8s and 3 -9s) with four more airplanes just having recently completed their customer flight, Boeing is well on it's way to delivering 10 787s.  One of those ten will be ZD007 (LN 16, ET-ATH) which is an early build 787.  This one should deliver by the 28th.  Thus far, Boeing has delivered 16 787s this year and 516 since program deliveries started in 2011.

Also on tap for delivery is Korean Air's first 787-9 and first aircraft for regular passenger service.  This aircraft, ZB656 (LN 525, HL8081), just recently completed its customer flight and should deliver around February 22.  Korean Air took delivery of an early build 787-8 that they will operate on as a Presidential/VIP aircraft on behalf of the South Korean govt.

Production is still being limited by the introduction of the 787-10 into the production system.  Again most production 787s are being diverted to Everett for final assembly thus ensuring that assembly of customer aircraft is not impacted by any issues that may occur when assembling the 787-10.  Next Monday the first 787-10 powered by GE engines will enter final assembly.  Since the last -10 took 50 days to be assembled, I expect the the assembly time to be a little less.  

Of course the big news out Charleston was that Boeing workers there rejected IAM's attempts to unionize the 3,000 employees 74% to 26%. This was a resounding defeat for IAM who cannot hold another vote to unionize until one year from now at the earliest.  

Lastly, some other news from South Carolina, Boeing will open the 2nd paint bay it its newly completed paint hangar by the end of this month thus completely eliminating the need to fly 787s to Louisiana or California for painting as well as saving time and money ferrying the aircraft back and forth.

787 Tables

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Boeing to introduce 1st 787-10 on Friday February 17; Roll out from paint hangar still set for February 16th

Boeing is set to present to the 1st 787-10 to the world on February 17th.  The roll out will be attended by Trump who has criticized the 787 in a past tweet:



In another irony the 787 uses a worldwide supplier base that he has repeatedly railed against and now he'll be attending the unveiling of the largest member of that aircraft family.

Nevertheless the aircraft has had a very smooth assembly thus far and the projected window for first flight is reportedly to March 10th.  It does not mean that it will fly on March 10th rather the window ends on that date.  I strongly feel, given that this is a simple stretch of the 787-9 and the flawless execution on the -9 development, the -10 should fly by the end of this month.

787 Tables

Change to the 787 Tables on All Things 787

I've implemented a change to the 787 tables which improves the experience and allows readers more flexibility.

You can now access all the tables with one link and anyone can now filter for specific information.  Users can not edit or add information (that ability stays with me to ensure the integrity of the information).  I've always wanted to give users more flexibility in what and how they see the information.  I hope this helps all of you and maintains interest in this blog.  Thank you all for your support!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Singapore Airlines places mega wide body order including 19 787-10

Boeing and Singapore Airlines signed an LoI for a very large wide body order.  The order is 30 x 777-9X plus 6 options and 19 x 787-10 + 6 options.  The deal includes the flexibility for Singapore Air to switch the 787-10 order to other 787 models.  The carrier is scheduled to get the first 787-10 in about 15 months, May 2018.

This is a huge boost for Boeing as they widebody orders have almost dried up in 2016.

Speaking of the 787-10, the first 787-10 is currently in the Charleston paint hangar and this aircraft should roll out of the paint hangar on February 16th.  Any Charleston spotters...please try and send my pictures...I'll post them here  and of course give you full credit.  I don't have a time when it will come out unfortunately.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

787 profitability helps drive Boeing's 2016 earnings

-->
Number
Testing Complete3
To be assembled in Everett135
To be assembled in Charleston98
Parts Arriving6
Undergoing final assembly8
Storage0
Storage/Change Incorporation and Re-Work0
Change Incorporation and Re-Work2
Pre-Flight Prep9
Production Testing6
Non Customer Flight Tests1
Ready for Delivery2
Donation3
Delivered514
TOTAL787

Boeing's 787 program has turned the page and is now (though slowly) become a profit generator for the Chicago based aerospace company.  In their 2016 earnings release, Boeing revealed that operating cash is expected to increase by $250mm in 2017 driven mainly by 787 cashflows. Deferred production costs went down by $215mm in the 4th quarter of 2016 to a total of $27.3bn.  That's about $1.4bn less than the high of $28.7bn.  Still it will take Boeing a meaningful amount of time to recoup all that loss even with the drive to lower production cost now on going within Boeing and with their worldwide supplier base.  The mix of 787s being delivered will greatly help going forward as most 787s that are due to be delivered are the larger 787-9s and, starting in 2018, the 787-10. Since the mix of 787s to be delivered are the larger 787-9, I expect that this will be the main driver of 787 profitability this year as these most of these airplanes also don't have delay penalties attached to them from the 787 program delays.

Still with about 700 787s left to deliver (about a 4.5 year backlog at current production levels) Boeing sorely needs additional orders to help fill the hole it created.  Obviously current sales campaigns are important but given that the program was launched in 2004 (13 years ago) with a lot of the engineering and design work done over 10 years ago, the 787 might be due for a refresh in the same way Boeing refreshed the 777 program with the 777-300ER and 777F. The 787-8 certainly is in line for a refresh given the engineering was completed on that version 10 years ago.  Additionally I can see a 787F variant which I talked about a long time ago but would be a great replacement for the 767F.

Boeing is looking to firm up potential 787 orders thus paving the way for an increase in rate to 14 per month.  In my opinion Boeing needs to show a book-to-bill ratio of over 1 which it has struggled to achieve since 2013 when it last achieved a a book to bill of 2.84.  Even though Boeing has a backlog of about 700 787s, some of those will not be delivered thus the 4.5 year backlog is probably less. Certainly the rumored Emirates and Singapore Airlines order will help but what will be necessary for a rate increase to 14 is for existing 787 customers to firm up their 787 options.

During January Boeing delivered 12 787 (10 787-9s and 2 787-8s).  Through February 8, 2017 Boeing has delivered 514 787s and so far in 2017 14 787 have been turned over to customers.  Also in January Boeing started assembly on 11 Dreamliners and rolled out another 8.  The holiday pause certainly bought down the number of aircraft that was rolled out but also the start of 787-10 production in Charleston also contributed to the lower roll out in January.  Charleston rolled out only 2 787s in January.  The efficiency ratio calculated by taking the number of aircraft rolled out and dividing that number by the number of deliveries was 0.67 across the 787 program which again reflects the low number of roll outs.  For Everett, the efficiency ratio is 0.75 while for Charleston it was 0.50.

For February, I expect that Boeing will deliver 10 787s (3 787-8 and 7 787-9). 2 787s have already been delivered (1 -8 and 1 -9).  A further 6 have had their first flight and two of those have had their customer flight.  Included in this total will be the first early build 787 to be delivered this year which has been reworked for Ethiopian Airlines.  A second was just flown to Victorville for re-painting and should be delivered by the end of next month.  Boeing will also start final assembly of the first 787-10 that is powered by GEnx-1B engines and start ground tests on the 1st 787-10 after it rolls out of the paint hangar.  I expect first flight to take place around early March though it's possible it could happen sooner.  The time between roll out and first flight of the first 787-9 was 24 days.  Given that the 787-10 is a simple stretch, I can see first flight happening sooner. In terms of production, Boeing has already rolled out 6 787s while starting assembly on another 4.







787 Current Production Table
787 Full Production Table