Demonstrating a degree of public humility many feel has been all too absent among the bankers collectively responsible for the global financial crisis, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Scott Carson offered no further excuses for the delays that have plagued the 787 and 747-8 this month during the J.P. Morgan Aviation and Transportation Conference in New York. “The stumbles we have made have been embarrassing for us,” Carson said. “They’ve been embarrassing for our customers, who were counting on us to have the right product in place at the right time.”
To avoid further embarrassment “will require us to be humble,” continued Carson. “This will require us to not be taken at our word, but to be [judged] by our actions.”
Boeing continues to target the second quarter for first flight of the 787, on which the company has now cleared all the equipment for first flight, he said. Now fully assembled, according to the CEO, the first flying prototype next leaves the factory for washing and repainting, then returns to the factory for a series of gauntlet tests with ground power on all the airplane’s systems. Finally, engineers will run all the systems under ship’s power to, in Carson’s words, make sure they play together and run reliably for first flight.
Meanwhile, said Carson, Boeing continues to make “solid progress” toward a third-quarter 2010 first delivery of the 747-8, the first wing for which was ready to come out of its jig and be placed into the so-called lay-down position in preparation for attachment to the fuselage.