The Boeing Company says that the first flight of the 787 Dreamliner has been moved from the end of the first quarter of this year to around the end of the second quarter to provide additional time to complete assembly of the first airplane.
Deliveries are now expected to begin in early 2009, rather than late 2008.
"The fundamental design and technologies of the 787 remain sound," says Scott Carson, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "However, we continue to be challenged by start-up issues in our factory and in our extended global supply chain."
Carson says that while solid progress has been made on the assembly of Airplane No. 1, the rate at which jobs are being completed has not improved sufficiently to maintain the current schedule.
"Our revised schedule is based upon updated assessments from the 787 management team of the progress we have made and the lessons we have learned to date. This includes our experience on the factory floor completing production work on the airplane that was originally intended to be done by our suppliers," Carson says.
Over the next several weeks, Boeing will be working with its customers and suppliers to assess the specific impacts of the schedule change on the 787's flight test program and entry into service. This effort will include an assessment of supplier progress in meeting their commitments to deliver more complete assemblies on subsequent airplanes.
"We are deeply disappointed by what this delay means for our customers, and we are committed to working closely with them as we assess the impact on our...