|To be assembled in Everett||188|
|To be assembled in Charleston||142|
|Undergoing final assembly||8|
|Storage/Change Incorporation and Re-Work||0|
|Change Incorporation and Re-Work||2|
|Non Customer Flight Tests||2|
|Ready for Delivery||5|
The first quarter of 2017 was a busy period for the 787 program and time highlighted by the very successful first flight of the 787-10 yesterday at quarter end. To the details of the quarter....
For the month of March, 2017 Boeing delivered 11 Dreamliners (4 x 787-8s and 7 x 787-9s) including the 200th 787-9 to be delivered to a customer. However two of these deliveries aren't confirmed: 1 787-8 ZD009 (LN 17, N947BA) left for Victorville to be stored but left under a Boeing flight number. This aircraft was supposed to be delivered to Crystal Cruises who is now trying to sell it. So far there aren't any buyers and is the second 787 that is up for sale. The other 787 delivery in doubt is ZB703 (LN 533, HZ-AR11) for Saudi Arabian Ministry of Finance (leased to Saudi Arabian Airlines). The aircraft was supposed to be delivered on March 30th but it is still parked on the Charleston flightline. We'll know more about these two 787s when Boeing reveals its monthly order and delivery results hopefully on April 6th. For the quarter, Boeing has delivered 32 787s (8 x 787-8s and 24 x 787-9s). Total program deliveries stand at 532 (332 x 787-8, 200 x 787-9). Boeing has delivered the 200th 787-9 to the Saudi Ministry of Finance which is leasing the aircraft to Saudi Arabian Airlines. This is the aforementioned ZB703.
Production is going smoothly with Boeing rolling out 12 787s (including the second test flight 787-10) during this month and starting assembly on a further 13 787s. Production efficiency declined due to lower deliveries in March. In fact for the quarter while the production rate was more or less on target deliveries were lower. This is attributable to the introduction of the 787-10 into the production system. Boeing transferred some 787 production aircraft to Everett from Charleston to mitigate production risk but it looks like Boeing can't transfer all of the Charleston 787 production thus deliveries fell. During the 1st quarter, Charleston rolled out 12 787 (should be around 15) while delivering 10 (again vs. 15). Everett, as I mentioned, picked up the slack in production (but not all of it) because of the 787-10 and rolled out 20 (vs. 24) and delivered 22 (vs. 28 including 2 early build deliveries). Production efficiency for March was 1.09 (an efficiency rating of 1 or lower is desirable as it shows declining inventory - roll outs vs. deliveries. Charleston had a March efficiency ratio of 1.33 while Everett was 1.0. Again this is all due to the introduction of the 787-10 into production and I expect that this will continue into early May until ZC002 (the third and last 787-10 flight test aircraft) has been rolled out from final assembly.
March deliveries were not all that interesting except for the two early build 787-8s (ZD007 and ZD009 and the 787-9 for the UAE Presidential (VIP) Flight. For April, I believe that Boeing is targeting another 11 deliveries (3 x 787-8, 8 x 787-9). This batch should include another early build 787-8 (ZD008) which will again go to Ethiopian Airlines as well as Air France's first direct purchased 787-9, they are currently operating 1 787-9 leased from AerCap. Additionally, American Airlines will receive the last 787-8 that they have on order.
By far the most important event in the 787 program during the past quarter was the first flight of ZC001 (LN 528, N528ZC) the first 787-10. I've included a few Boeing photos as well as embedded a couple of videos from that flight on March 31st. The flight began much earlier than I anticipated, 9:38AM due to bad weather rolling in soon after. The flight lasted 4 hours and 57 minutes and landed back at Charleston International Airport at about 2:35PM. After landing the pilots reported no squawks and had run through the whole list of tests that they needed to perform as well as a few get ahead tasks. The plan is for Boeing test pilots to fly ZC001 to Boeing Field late next week (I'm guessing next Friday) where it will be based for the remainder of the test flight program as will the other two test flight airplanes. ZC036, the next 787-10 to fly and the first with GE engines is already on the Charleston flightline going through ground tests and I anticipate that this airplane will probably fly by the end of this month. ZC002 will start final assembly by end of this week and I believe it should roll out by the end of the first week of May and join the flight test program around early June. The 787-10 flight test and certification program should last about a year and there will be additional production ready 787-10 that will perform functionality and readiness testing (F & R) similar to the 787-8 and 787-9 test programs.
Speaking of the flight test program, I will be attempting to track the flight test hours of the 787-10 flight test fleet similar to what I had done with the 787-8 and 787-9. This is mainly keeping track of flight test as they're reported on FlightAware.com and flightradar24.com. I will be keeping these logs on the spreadsheets in a tab called "787-10 Flight Test Hours." You can view these spreadsheets through the link below.
I will also be posting updates to the test flight program on the blog as they become available.