Flight test is a constant balancing act and we’ve made a decision that will result in us not flying 787s for a couple of days.
After finding a workmanship issue on the horizontal stabilizer of an airplane in final assembly, we decided that we needed to inspect all airplanes to ensure they are in compliance with our design.
This includes the flight test airplanes.
ZA002 and ZA003 had been scheduled to fly Thursday. But as we do every day in flight test, we look at our priorities and change our plans.
So we decided that the best course to follow is to conduct inspections in order to find out what rework, if any, is required on those airplanes.
As you’ve seen over the years at Boeing, and over the last several months in particular on the 787 program, we’re dedicated to doing the right thing - and that isn’t always to prioritize the day’s schedule.
The overall program schedule can accommodate the inspection process and the required rework without jeopardizing our delivery commitment.
It’s disappointing to find workmanship issues. We’ll do root cause analysis and make the necessary changes to ensure these issues never find their way into the production flow again.
In the meantime, we’ll do what we always do - understand the situation and react accordingly.