Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Boeing Postpones 787 Flight Again
Boeing has delayed again the first flight of its 787 Dreamliner, citing the need to reinforce an area within the side-of-body section of the aircraft. Boeing said in a statement Tuesday the first flight and first delivery, which were slated for the second quarter of this year and 2010, respectively, will be rescheduled following the final determination of the required modification and testing plan. It will be several weeks before a new schedule is available. "Consideration was given to a temporary solution that would allow us to fly as scheduled, but we ultimately concluded that the right thing was to develop, design, test and incorporate a permanent modification to the localized area requiring reinforcement. Structural modifications like these are not uncommon in the development of new airplanes, and this is not an issue related to our choice of materials or the assembly and installation work of our team," Scott Carson, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes said. The aircraft is now more than two years behind its original schedule. The latest problem was identified during the recent regularly scheduled tests on the full-scale static test airplane. Preliminary analysis indicated that flight test could proceed this month as planned. However, after further testing and consideration of possible modified flight test plans, Boeing said the decision was made late last week that first flight should instead be postponed until productive flight testing could occur.