Dreamliner facing further delays

23 Jun 2009 by Mark Caswell

Delivery of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is likely to be delayed once again, following the announcement that the aircraft’s first flight has been postponed.

The Dreamliner had been due to take its first flight in the next few weeks, but Boeing has now postponed this milestone due to “a need to reinforce an area within the side-of-body section of the aircraft”.

Boeing says that first flight and first delivery timetables will be rescheduled  “following the final determination of the required modification and testing plan”. The manufacturer added that it would be several weeks before the new schedule is available.

Commenting on the postponement, Scott Carson, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes said:

“Consideration was given to a temporary solution that would allow us to fly as scheduled, but we ultimately concluded that the right thing was to develop, design, test and incorporate a permanent modification to the localized area requiring reinforcement. Structural modifications like these are not uncommon in the development of new airplanes, and this is not an issue related to our choice of materials or the assembly and installation work of our team.”

The launch of the Dreamliner has been subject to a number of delays, not helped by the strike at Boeing’s manufacturing plant in Seattle last year. For a look at the forthcoming aircraft, read Tom Otley’s special report in the May 2009 issue of Business Traveller.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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