Boeing Publicly Reveals 787
Some 15,000 well-wishers witnessed the first public appearance of the Boeing 787 in Everett, Wash., on Sunday (07/08/07, not coincidentally), an event broadcast live via satellite in nine languages and “potentially” reaching more than 100 million people. Now the company’s attention turns to a more select and critical audience of airworthiness authorities, as it prepares the mostly composite, twin-aisle Dreamliner for first flight and an eight-month flight-test program. Boeing 787 program manager Mike Bair reiterated estimates of late August or September for first flight and a “high degree of confidence” in first delivery to All Nippon Airways next May. Bair dismissed suggestions that wiring could present a problem similar to that Airbus experienced with the A380, citing the comparative simplicity of the 787’s electrical configuration, but the supply of fasteners made primarily by Alcoa remains a concern. Workers assembled the first 787 using temporary fasteners and must replace them before it can fly.