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It has just been announced by Boeing that there will be yet another delay in delivery on their new air bus class airplane. Speculators have been watching the progress and many knew after a fire erupted during flight testing back in November, 2010 that further delays were inevitable. Originally the Dreamliner was scheduled to begin delivery in May of 2008 but that date kept getting pushed back as many trials and tribulations affected the giant airplane. The FAA is determined to make sure the plane will be airworthy and in order to certify it much more testing is in store. Boeing wants to blame the government regulators on causing much of the delay on delivery but the do need to be safe before loading on passengers and taking to the skies.

Below is a timeline for delays keeping the 787 grounded thus far:

1) September 2007 there was a three month delay because of shortages in parts.

2) October 2007 another delay of three months caused by problems with the supply chain.

3) January 2008 yet another three month wait caused by something called “traveled work”.

4) April 2008 saw another delay on airplane deliveries causing the first test flight to be rescheduled for later in the year (2008). This puts the “late” airplane at fifteen months behind the delivery schedule.

5) November 2008 found delays were being caused by a machinists strike among other problems.

6) December 2008 parts supply issues forced the first flight back to the second quarter of 2009

7) June 2009 Boeing 787 Dreamliner proves to not be so airworthy and in fact the aircraft body needed a rework that included reinforced parts. This further delayed the maiden flight.

8) July 2010 Delivery of the first Dreamliner was pushed back until early in 2011 after and explosion and fire in an engine. This occurred while on the test bed and not in flight.

9) November, 2010 the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was reported to have caught on fire while on a test flight and while near Laredo, Texas had to make an emergency landing there.

Fire onboard causes latest in delays

The fire subsequently caused Boeing to delay any further test flights until they can figure out exactly what caused the most recent of many problems plaguing the aircraft components. With any deliveries pushed back until sometime later in 2011 many agree that the date is merely speculation due to Boeing’s track record so far. Boeing first rolled out plans for the 787 back in 2005 and prospective customers saw a first version of it on the eighth of July in 2007. But issues with materials, labor, and the onboard computers each contributed to delay after delay. The company has been under the gun to get them airworthy ever since but so far we’ve not seen a whole lot of progress. At that July 2007 event Boeing disclosed that some forty seven individual customers already had put in their orders for a total of 677 of the 787 aerospace operations. This was seen as the most successful launch of a commercial plane in history. This before the problems with delays began to plague the airliner and its manufacturer, Boeing Aircraft.

Airbus orders exceed those for Boeing 787With competition close between the two, EADS Airbus has orders for 644 new airplanes while Boeing follows behind slightly with 625 new Dreamliners having confirmed orders. The further delays won’t be much help for Boeing and concerns for aircraft safety continue to be felt. Some things, such as the public’s safety, simply cannot be rushed. Japan’s All Nippon Airways had anticipated delivery of the first 787 Dreamliners next month before the most recent delivery push back. There is still hope that the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will become a reality because the problems affecting the aircraft operations are not considered major nor will they be expected to halt the progress made thus far. Investors are still hanging in there and stock for Boeing is currently up.

Post Author: Inga Withrow