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ANA (All Nippon Airways) was to receive the first 787 Dreamliner delivery in May 2008  (Source: Boeing)
Just days after saying that the Dreamliner would be on schedule, Boeing reverses its position

What a difference a few days make. On Monday, DailyTech reported that Boeing's 787 Dreamliner program was still on schedule. The ambitious airliner project has sparked much interest from aviation enthusiasts and has rallied Americans around Boeing, while European rival Airbus has been plagued with delays to its A380 superjumbo program.

Randy Tinseth, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President for Marketing, reported that the program was still on schedule earlier this week. Tinseth remarked that despite supply issues, the Dreamliner program would meet its scheduled first delivery date in May 2008.

"It is still our objective to meet that May 2008 delivery but in doing that we have had to compress our flight-test schedule," said Tinseth on Monday. "It is an aggressive schedule but we believe we can do it."

Apparently, Boeing simply cannot live up to the statement made by Tinseth and the company today announced that it would delay deliveries for the Dreamliner.

The company blames out-of-sequence production on its test aircraft, parts shortages and software issues for the delay. As a result, initial deliveries have been delayed from May 2008 to November 2008 at the earliest.

"We are disappointed over the schedule changes that we are announcing today," said Boeing President CEO 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."

"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," continued Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Scott Carson.

The first schedule flights of the Dreamliner are now scheduled for the first quarter of 2008 instead of the revised mid-November to mid-December timeframe.

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RE: For the parts
By twajetmech on 10/10/2007 2:08:46 PM , Rating: 2
You are correct, the majority of the problem is a shortage of hardware (bolts etc) the other is software (not really boeings fault), While complex, the composite parts are all on schedule from the respective mfg sites, but because of the hardware situation they are arriving at boeing incomplete, causing boeing additional delays. Unlike Airbus which had design flaws which caused massive delays, boeing has no control of the hardware situation and can only wait for suppliers to mfg them

RE: For the parts
By ziggo on 10/10/2007 2:25:40 PM , Rating: 2
I can't say I am surprised. It has become difficult to procure even "small" orders for fasteners, and is really putting everyone in a tight spot. Perhaps Boeing has a deal for supply with Alcoa since they would be one of thier largest customers.

RE: For the parts
By ikkeman on 10/10/2007 9:17:48 PM , Rating: 2
it is boeings fault... as much as Airbus it's wiring problems is airbus's fault. Latecoerce isn't a part of airbus either, but their failure in recocnising the extend of costumization per A380 did result in most of the a380's delay.

I can't believe the fastner shortage is the real problem. Making fastners doesn't take long, the Titanium shortage just results in higher prices... in fact. Aviation has priority when it comes to procurement of such crucial materials. (it does come at an premium off-course).

RE: For the parts
By ziggo on 10/10/2007 9:34:04 PM , Rating: 3
I don't know how much you know about metalworking, or materials in general, but a titanium shortage is not the problem. It is a difficult material to work, with particulary nasty pyrophoric-like properties. New machines to mass produce fasteners do not come online overnight, and even if they did, the certification process is rigorus.

And I don't know how much you know about how a market economy works but aerospace does not recieve a "priority" when it comes to procurement. When someone sits at the top and decides what resources go where its called communism. The parts go to who is willing to pay the most or is more snaky in thier contracts. Unfortunatly for Boeing, who has to sell these planes to private industry, other programs probably even internal ones are willing to outbid them for components.

If you want to blame Boeing, blame them for pushing the technology envelope in civilian aircraft and hitting snags along the way.

RE: For the parts
By ikkeman on 10/11/2007 11:04:02 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry for not beeing clear. I'm not blaming boeing for the troubles. Production delays are the rule, rather than an exception in aerospace. I work there.
My point was to refute the original posters idear that the 787 delay wasn't boeings fault, but the 380 delay is airbus's fault.
IMHO baoth delays stem from the same problem. A shhortage in foresight at management level about what is needed in the future. I'm sure many ME engineers commented on the need for exotic fastners for the 787 as did many comment on the need for more design costumization for the 380.

I'm not a fanboy of either big manufacturer

RE: For the parts
By timmiser on 10/11/2007 3:12:46 PM , Rating: 2
We can sugarcoat it all we want but in the end, it IS Boeing's fault.

Boeing controls the project.
Boeing chooses their suppliers.
Boeing is aware of the availbility of components.
Boeing makes the promise to their customers.
Boeing sets the project delivery date.

Furthermore, Boeing will be the first to admit this is their error. Granted they will provide some general reasons for the delay, but they do accept the responsibility.

RE: For the parts
By Keeir on 10/11/2007 2:20:57 AM , Rating: 2
it is boeings fault.

Yes, but not for the reason you think.

Boeing failed to contract with the suppliers of the parts to the point where failure would be as painful for them as for Boeing. IE, Honeywell is significantly behind schedule, IE Alcoa behind in production of fasteners.

As to why fasteners are in short supply...
Airbus, Boeing, Embracer, etc... the entire aviation industry is experiencing significant boom in demand for fasteners. You probably wouldn't believe the number of fasteners on a single aircraft (in the 100,000s plus) and Boeing and Airbus will produce close to 900 this year. And each and every fastener must be made in an approved location, meet all export control issues, be staffed by certified workers producing fasteners with a certified process. Unfortunately, this presents significant barrier to entry of new fastener producers as capital costs are high and time delay in also high. In this fashion, the entire aviation industry is feeling the pains of poor choices taking by fastener producers during the slump of 2001-2004 (when the capacity for today should have been being invested in but was not).

RE: For the parts
By weskurtz0081 on 10/10/2007 11:46:52 PM , Rating: 2
Well, Honeywell is a big part of the problem. They haven't even completed the software for the cabinets yet. And, even after they do, they will have to spend an extensive amount of time fixing all the bugs. I can tell you from experience with working with Honeywell systems, it will be EXTREMELY buggy. It's hard to test a pc out when you cannot even turn it on. In the same respect, it's hard to do a FCF on a jet much less ground functional checks when you don't have the software needed to turn the core systems on.

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