A day after resuming certification flight testing on the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing announced this morning that it expects delivery of the first production airplane to Japan’s All Nippon Airways in the third quarter of this year. The new delivery date reflects the effect of an in-flight fire during testing last November and includes the time required to produce, install and test updated software and new electrical power distribution panels in the flight-test and production airplanes, said Boeing. Four test airplanes–ZA001, ZA002, ZA004 and ZA005–have returned to flight status. The company said ZA003 and ZA006 would return to flying “within the next week or so.”
“This revised timeline for first delivery accommodates the work we believe remains to be done to complete testing and certification of the 787,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. “We’ve also restored some margin in the schedule to allow for any additional time that may be needed to complete certification activities.”
Previous schedules called for certification and first delivery during this year’s first quarter, before the electrical fire that broke out during a November 9 test flight of ZA002 forced the company to ground all six test aircraft until December 23. Following seven major delays, the program now lags more than three years behind schedule.
After installing interim software and hardware improvements, the 787 program team has subjected four flight-test airplanes to extensive ground testing and conducted a thorough review to ensure their readiness to return to flight, said the company.
Boeing said it does not expect the revised first delivery window to materially affect 2010 financial results. It plans to discuss financial guidance and details of anticipated initial 787 deliveries during the company’s scheduled earnings call on January 26.