Friday, December 11, 2015

Boeing exceeds 2015 787 delivery forecast by delivering 14 787 in November. Aims for 9 to 10 deliveries in December

November 2015 results

Boeing had a pretty good delivery month for the 787 as they delivered 14 aircraft: 6 787-8 and 8 787-9.  As of November 30th, Boeing has delivered 126 787s: 68 787-8 and 58 787-9s thus exceeding its 787 delivery guidance for 2015.  Total program deliveries stand at 354 as of November 30, 2015. The 14 787s delivered included customers such as KLM's 1st 787-9, 2 airplanes each for Qatar (787-8) and British Airways (787-9) and 3 787-9s for United.

November also saw the firming of Eva Airway's order for 18 787-10 (+6 options) which is a major boost for that model.  Thus far Boeing has booked 97 gross orders for the 787, 71 net orders. Ethiopian also has said that they have ordered 2 787-9s for 2017 delivery though those airplanes have not showed up on Boeing's order and delivery site.

787-10 Rendering Courtesy of The Boeing Company
Speaking of the 787-10, Boeing announce that they have completed the detailed design of the 787-10 which is a simple stretch of the 787-9.  The two aircraft will be 95% common thus making the aircraft a low risk proposition.  Expect final assembly to start in a years time followed by first flight in the late 1st quarter or early 2nd quarter of 2017 and delivery in 2018.  Boeing is expected to have 3 test airplanes all of which will be re-worked and delivered to customers in 2018.

December Delivery and Production

As Boeing heads into the last few weeks of 2015, it appears that they are aiming to get their remaining deliveries for the 787 completed by December 23rd.  According to the current delivery schedule, Boeing will deliver 7 787s (2 have already been delivered as of Dec. 11th) between Dec. 15th and Dec. 23.  Deliveries include 2 787-9 to Virgin as well as 787-9s to Vietnam Airlines, LAN, and Air Canada.  American and Scoot will each get one 787-8.  Boeing has already delivered a 787-8 to Avianca and a 787-9 to KLM.

Boeing has rolled out 116 787 though the end of November and started final assembly on 115 thus putting them on track to exceed the 10/month production rate.  Through Dec. 11th, Boeing has rolled out 121 787s and started final assembly on 119 Dreamliners.  I believe that we should see a tapering of production activities just prior to Christmas that will last until just after New Years.

Moving Re-Work and Change Incorporation Activities?

So according to sources but as of yet unconfirmed, Boeing will not be sending anymore 787 to the EMC to finish re-work prior to delivery.  That work will now take place in a couple different locations around Everett including 40-24 final assembly and the two spots behind the Everett Delivery Center (stalls 114 and 115).

The reason for this switch is to allow Boeing to concentrate on recovering the KC-46A tanker program which has fallen behind schedule much like the 787 had done during it's early gestation period.  It appears that Boeing will send KC-46As to the EMC to finish work and to try and recover the schedule will maintaining the test flight program which is currently on going.

Boeing has 11 early build 787-8s that need to be re-worked to certification standards.  8 of those 11 airplanes have customers assigned to them as of today but have delivery dates stretching out to 2018.

The relocation of the 787 re-work raises questions that I frankly don't have the answers to such as:
1) Will the relocation to 40-24 delay the start final assembly of early 777X or will it interfere in the reconfiguration work that will needed to be done in order to support early 777X final assembly?
2) What work will take place inside 40-24 as oppose to the outdoor stalls 114 and 115?
3) Will the relocation of these activities slow down the rate of completed re-worked 787s?
4) Will this change necessitate the continued use of the runway storage area at Paine Field?

Clearly since there is a plan for most of the remaining early build airplanes (we must not forget that 3 787-10 test airplanes will have to also be re-worked in 2018), Boeing is now planning to free up facilities for 777X and KC-46A work as work on the early build 787s will start to wind down.

787 Full Production Table