27 August 2009

Boeing: "WE PROMISE IT WILL FLY" in 2009

Boeing is now sticking its neck out (I count this as the 9th first flight date announcement - but I could be wrong) and saying the Dreamliner 787 will fly in 2009. Technically before the end of the year with deliveries now planned for "late 2010".

Frankly I had given up on Boeing being able to do this. I remain a little bit skeptical as having been the nay sayer for sometime - I have avoided commenting on the "Microscopic" skin wrinkles that have "no impact" on the safety or flight characteristics.

I will let others more qualified than I talk about the potential to get this right or wrong. Instead I will take the opinion that this has worked to Boeing's advantage and to the airlines also. In the mean time the wind down of the 767 line has kept lease prices high for an aircraft of the right size. It has keep the market from being flooded with a number of new planes in the mid size category, and it has kept the 757s and 767s flying when some could easily have found their way to the desert.

It has also fueled the demand for Airbus's product in the A330 line.

So winners all round?

Not quite sure. For one thing Boeing's credibility has been severely shot in the process. The idea of a Just In Time supply chain management driven production process has really taken a big bite. We can be assured that in future - Boeing wont be so trusting of its partners.


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