By now you’ve seen the news about the target for first delivery of the 787.
As you know, we said earlier this summer that it was possible that our first 787 delivery could move a few weeks into 2011. The reason was a combined impact of several issues unrelated to the airplane’s performance in flight test. Then, just recently, Rolls-Royce experienced some engine availability challenges.
The cumulative impact of this new issue, on top of the other issues, has led to our revising our expected timing for first delivery by a few weeks - to mid-first quarter next year.
ZA001 and the 787 program continue to fly straight on toward first delivery.
Fortunately, as the program awaits a substitute engine from Rolls-Royce and we work with them to address the contributing factors in the test incident, our flight testing across the program continues at a healthy pace. We recently completed polar navigation and autopilot testing, and wet runway landing demonstrations.
We’ve said it before: Building a new airplane is hard work. But the certification and entry into service has to be right. And that’s what the team is focused on today and every day.
Clearly first delivery will be a great event when it happens because we’ll know that the airplane we’re presenting to our customer is safe, efficient and reliable.
In the big picture, the date of the event is much less important than the thoroughness of the process that gets us there.