On Wednesday, September 5th, senior Boeing executives involved with the 787 program provided a conference call update. Highlights/lowlights of the call include:
- First flight for LN0001 could be as late as November 2007 at this time.
- Boeing has lost partial configuration control of the non-flight-specified fasteners used to get the plane ready for the 07/08/07 premiere and this is taking time to correct and document.
- Many of the primary sub-assemblies delivered to PAE were well below the production standard Boeing expected, even knowing they would not be "production ready". As such, even with the additional staff they had in place to handle the work, there is more then they expected and it is taking longer as they can only put so many people on it.
- LN0002 through LN0006 continue to progress at the respective factories in Japan, Italy and the US.
- Boeing has delayed delivery of the primary sub-assemblies for those planes, allowing the workers to continue to bring them closer and closer to "production standard", which will reduce the amount of work needed at PAE prior to final assembly.
- LN0001 through LN0004, all with Rolls-Royce Trent power, should be in flight-test and certification support by January 2008 and will handle the bulk of the certification and flight-test duties for the 787 program.
- LN0005 and LN0006, both with GEnx power, will concentrate mostly on systems testing and certification for GEnx aircraft.
- Boeing has performed a great deal of the testing and certification that does not need a plane in the air already. This will allow LN0001-LN0006 to concentrate on actual flight-related test and certification duties.
- The third and final 787 drop test from last month was a success and has validated Boeing's crash analysis computer models (I am guessing to the satisfaction of the regulatory agencies since that is how Boeing will provide crash certification, I believe).
- At this time, Boeing expects to deliver LN0007, the first "production" 787, to NH in May 2008 as contracted.
- August 2007 was the best sales month for the 787, with over 200 sold.