Saturday, August 3, 2019

787 Deliveries drop in July - 787 Month End Report

Testing Complete3
To be assembled in Everett93
To be assembled in Charleston93
Parts Arriving6
Undergoing final assembly8
Storage/Change Incorporation and Re-Work0
Change Incorporation and Re-Work0
Pre-Flight Prep16
Production Testing6
Non Customer Flight Tests0
Ready for Delivery1

As the 737 MAX and 777X issues take a bite out of Boeing's bottom line, we are seeing that BCA needs to have its other aircraft programs (widebody aircraft) step up. However the 747 is down to a 6/year production rate and the 777NG/777Classic is at 6/month down from 8.3/month and the 767 which is at 1.5/month is projected to go up to 2/month due to demand for freighters and the KC-46A program. Freighter demand may also increase the 777 output.  

Most importantly the 787 program needs to be firing on all cylinders. Until the 737 MAX is back to normal production and delivery rates, it will be the 787 and 777 programs that will be carrying the financial burden and will provide a level of revenue stream that will allow BCA to weather the 737 MAX/777X storm.

In July, Boeing delivered 12 787 (1 x 787-8, 10 x 787-9 1 x 787-10).  A total of  90 787 have been delivered in 2019 through the end of July (3 x 787-8, 70 x 787-9, 17 x 787-10). Total program to end of July 2019 deliveries stand at 871 aircraft (363 x 787-8, 476 x 787-9, 32 x 787-10).

The July delivery number has examined a little bit more closely however.  Boeing missed the delivery target by two units (12 vs. 14).  8 deliveries came from Everett so they exceeded their expected deliveries but Charleston fell way short of it's delivery target of 7 airplanes by 3 units (4 vs. 7).

787s built in Charleston are taking a long time to get through final assembly, ground and flight testing, and eventually to delivery with some planes taking as long as a 104 days.  Everett built 787s are being assembled and delivered 50 to 60 days...this is a huge difference and the reason is unclear though one can think back to the New York Times article that came out on April 20th, 2019 regarding shoddy work on the 787s built at Charleston.  These delays out of Charleston may be a backlash from that article. I theorize that Charleston managers are spending extra time to correct any workmanship issues but also the pace of assembly may be more than the Charleston facility can handle thus forcing them to roll out the aircraft not fully completed and doing some assembly tasks on the Charleston flightline.  This is similar to something we saw before in the early days of the 787 program at Everett. Unfinished assembly tasks known as traveled work followed airplanes out of the final assembly building onto the flightline where they were completed before ground testing and first flight of each new 787.  Also looking at the backlog on the flightline is evidence of something going on at Charleston:  There are currently 25 787s on between the two flightlines.  9 are at Everett and 16 are at Charleston while both final assembly locations are producing 787s at 7 airframes per month.  At Everett, of the 9 787s there, 5 have taken their B1 flight. At Charleston of the 16 airframes only 3 have flown for the first time. So the time between the roll out of the Charleston built aircraft and it's first flight is more than those built at Everett and thus the total amount of time from final assembly to delivery has increased at Charleston and has caused a large backlog of airplanes at Charleston waiting to be delivered.

As mentioned previously, 787 production continues at the set pace of 14 per month equally distributed between both locations.  Both locations load and roll out aircraft virtually on the same dates.

It is clear that with the 787 program that this is now a high margin business for Boeing and, in light of the current issues in the other commercial aircraft programs, a key revenue driver.  Boeing can ill afford to have the 787 program stumble at this critical period and Charleston's contribution that the 787 bottom line is crucial thus it must look to remediate the issues that are holding back deliveries.  August and September deliveries will be telling if there is any improvements in their production.

in the meantime you can follow the latest production and delivery progress of the entire 787 program by clicking on the link below for my 787 Spreadsheets.