Cites "Out-Of-Sequence Production Work" Caused By Parts
What a difference a few days can make. About 48 hours after
Boeing Commercial Airplanes VP Randy Tinseth asserted it was still
the planemaker's "objective" to meet its
schedule for first delivery of a 787 Dreamliner in May 2008... the
planemaker announced it will delay the entire delivery schedule of
the 787 by six months.
The company cites "out-of-sequence production work, including
parts shortages, and remaining software and systems integration
activities" in a release to ANN.
"We are disappointed over the schedule changes that we are
announcing today," said Boeing Chairman, President and Chief
Executive Officer Jim McNerney. "Notwithstanding the challenges
that we are experiencing in bringing forward this game-changing
product, we remain confident in the design of the 787, and in the
fundamental innovation and technologies that underpin it."
The announcement also impacts the first flight of the 787 --
originally scheduled for August, then sometime by mid-December...
and now, Boeing says, that flight may not occur until the end of
After months of boldly predicting its 787 would fly on-schedule
-- despite mounting evidence to the
contrary -- Boeing adopted a decidedly contrite tone
in Wednesday's announcement... saying it "acknowledged increasing
risk to the delivery schedule, indicating that the margin to
accommodate unexpected issues had been eliminated.
"The newly revised schedule for first flight and first delivery
addresses the production challenges and restores margin for the
program to deal with issues that may be uncovered in final ground
or flight testing," the company added.
"While we have made some progress over the past several weeks
completing work on our early production airplanes and improving
parts availability across the production system, the pace of that
progress has not been sufficient to support our previous plans for
first delivery or first flight," said Scott Carson, president and
CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We deeply regret the impact
these delays will have on our customers, and we are committed to
working with them to minimize any disruption to their plans.
"The most important commitment we've made to our customers is to
deliver an airplane that performs to their expectations over the
long life of the program. These changes to our schedule will help
ensure we do just that," Carson added.
Shares in Boeing immediately fell off by two percent on the news
of the Dreamliner delay.