Thursday, March 26, 2015

Boeing Donates ZA002 to Pima Air and Space Museum

In a surprise flight, ZA002, the 2nd test 787-8 was flown to Davis Monthan Air Force Base where it will be turned over to the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tuscon, Az.

The aircraft accumulated over 960 flight hours over 300 flights in support of flight testing and certification of the 787-8.  After it had completed these tasks Boeing stored the aircraft in Palmdale, Ca. until the flight today to Arizona.

ZA002 first flew on Dec. 22, 2009, one week after the maiden flight of sistership ZA001.  It had suffered an in flight fire on November 9, 2010 due to a piece of solder in a power distribution panel had caused a short circuit.  The aircraft landed safely in Texas without any injuries but this fire and the subsequent investigation and required fixes set back the 787 deliveries by 6 months.

Check out Pima's Facebook page for details.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

787 Progress Report - March 25, 2015



Deliveries of 787s are still slow though this month but hopefully should start to pick up with 6 days left in the 1st quarter.  Thus far, Boeing has delivered 5 787s: 4 787-9s and 1 787-8 including the 1st 787-9 to be assembled at the North Charleston plant.  The latest delivery was a 787-9 delivered to AerCap on behalf of LAN who will operate it.  I expect that Boeing should be able to deliver 6 more 787s this month.

Production has been moving along without any overt signs of issues and each aircraft going through Everett still makes a stop on the 40-51 ramp to finish minor assembly tasks and for some to have their seats installed.

However flight testing activity has been noticeably thin over the last 2 to 3 weeks.  There are a couple of 787s that are scheduled to be delivered this month but have not flown their customer flights.  It maybe indicative that some customers are not yet ready to take delivery of their aircraft.

There's also been a lot of buzz about American Airlines 787 deliveries or lack thereof.  It does seem that the production issues with the Zodiac seats are persisting and are not only affecting Boeing or 787 deliveries but are impacting different aircraft and manufacturers (Airbus and Boeing).  That said, American has publicly stated that revenue flights won't start until May and the 2 airplanes that they have taken delivery are being used to train their pilots.  It doesn't make sense for AA to take delivery of more 787s if they don't intend to introduce them into revenue service within one month of taking possession.  Thus I don't see any more 787 deliveries until late April at the earliest.  The 2 AA 787s that have flown but not delivered are, I believe, fully outfitted with their seats.

Hainan Airlines announced in a public filing with the Shanghai Stock Exchange today that they intend to purchase 30 787-9s.  However, I believe that these 30 787-9s will be a mix of purchase and leased 787-9.  LN 430 (ZB763) is an aircraft earmarked for Air Lease Corp. (owned by Steven Udvar Hazy) and leased to Hainan Airlines.  ALC has 15 787-9s on order with Boeing so I wouldn't be surprised if the final order is 15 leased from ALC and 15 new 787-9 from Boeing. An article by Jon Ostrower in the Wall Street Journal says that deliveries are to start in 2021 and these slots were some of United Airlines 787-9 slots which are being given up in exchange for the 777-300ER order that UAL intends to place with Boeing.  These slots were initially offered to American Airlines which turned them down as they are focused on introducing the 787-8 into the fleet (replacing 767-200).

Air China is expecting to take delivery of its first Trent powered 787-9 (LN 419, ZB047) next year as well as part of their order of 15 aircraft.  In a bit of disappointing news, it seems that Rwandair will be buying 2 A330s instead of the 787. The carrier had options on 2 787s which were expected to be exercised for two of the "terrible teens" that are sitting on the Everett runway.  Rumor is that Ethiopian came in with a higher bid for these aircraft.  Another rumor is that EVA Air is in the final stages of buying the 787-10 as well as 777F.  The number of each is unknown.  If true it would be a huge boost for the 787-10 which hasn't received an order since early last year and a 3 plane commitment from ANA.

Lastly, a personal note from me.

I've started this blog almost 7 years ago and I've been complimented by many readers over the years and I certainly appreciate it.  The highest form of flattery is when people start to imitate you or cite the information that is in this blog, However there are certain individuals who have used the information in my posts or in the tables I have created without giving proper credit and have passed it on as if it is their own.  I have struggled to figure out want to do including communicating with the offenders but they have continued to steal my information.  I am considering making this a pay site but have not reached a definitive decision as of yet and not sure if that would solve the problem.  My intention for a long time was to just have a free blog that enthusiasts will enjoy reading but it seems that a few bad apples are intent on ruining this for their own gain.  I will keep you all apprised of my final decision regarding this blog.  Thank you for reading!

787 Full Production Table
787 Build Location By Operator 
787 Build Location By Customer

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

First 787-9 built at Boeing North Charleston flies away to Denver

Boeing Photo

Photo by Karadion

Photo by Karadion

Photo by Karadion
The first 787-9 to be built at Boeing North Charleston was formally flown away by United Airlines to it's hub in Denver.  The aircraft will go through the United process of inducting the aircraft into revenue service.

Boeing got the ok to start 787-9 deliveries after the FAA approved the 787-9 production certificate for the North Charleston plant.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

United Airlines to take 250 787 to be delivered

United Airlines is suppose take the 250th 787 to be delivered to a customer tomorrow.  The aircraft is ZB170 (LN 269, N35953) is a 787-9 built at Boeing's North Charleston plant.  Boeing is quickly closing on delivering 25% of their total 787 orders and will most likely accomplish that next month barring any large firm orders.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

787 production and delivery update, March 10, 2015



Production

Boeing's 787 production continues at the 10/month pace so far in March but according to sources it appears that Boeing will start final assembly on 11 aircraft this month including 5 on the main Everett line.  Boeing is planning, later this year, to reduce 787 production on the surge assembly line (in 40-24) by 2 airplanes and allocate one each to the main lines in Everett and North Charleston.  This should take place around October.

Just recently Boeing started final assembly on the first 787-9 for Vietnam Airlines which should be delivered around May.  Another interesting development was a reallocation of 787-8 L/N 339. Initially this aircraft was going to go to Air India as ZA251 and would have been the carrier's 22nd 787-8.  This aircraft has been reallocated to American Airlines as ZA827 and will be the airlines' 11th 787 when it's delivered around September.  Thus American will take 13 not 12 787s while Air India will take 3 not 4 787s this year.  This reallocation lends strong evidence that Boeing and Air India maybe close to an agreement whereby Air India will take their remaining 787 orders (6 in total) as 787-9s.  A formal announcement has yet to be made but it appears to be close.  Air India does have financing in place for the remaining two deliveries.  One is to occur this month and the last will occur in June.

Flight Testing and Deliveries

Production flight testing seems to have slowed down during the month.  While 10 airplanes have been in various stages of flight testing Boeing does appear to be aiming for a large number of deliveries this month.  Boeing has already delivered 2 787s to Scoot and Virgin Atlantic but looks to try and deliver 13 more 787s this month for a total of 15.  I think a more realistic number will be 12 more deliveries by the end of March.  To complicate matters, I'm still wondering at the slow pace of deliveries to American Airlines.  The carriers' 3rd 787 made a trip to Victorville, Ca., a trip that the airlines' first 2 787s didn't conduct.  I can only speculate the reason but in the past Boeing has sent aircraft down to Victorville for 1) storage, 2) IFE/Seat/BFE installation, or 3) flight testing.  I think we can rule out 3 which leave only the first two.  I have no indication which one it is.  Additionally, there are three other 787s for American Airlines sitting on the tarmac at Everett though two are recent roll outs and have yet to be painted the third is painted and has been outside for quite sometime yet no B-1 flight has been conducted.

The 787 program is nearing 250 (249 delivered thus far) deliveries and should have delivered 25% of the total current 787 orders by the end of April.

Lastly, there has been a lot of questions (and confusion of costs related to the 787 program, namely deferred production costs and carry-loss forward and how it relates to the break even on the program. Vero Venia put together this great post describing it in great detail and I recommend the read.

787 Full Production Table
787 Build Location By Operator 
787 Build Location By Customer

Sunday, March 1, 2015

787 Month End Review - February 2015



The 787 program ended the second month of 2015 in strong fashion as Boeing delivered 12 787's to customers.

February makes to first time this year where deliveries exceeded the number of 787s rolled out of Boeing's assembly halls in North Charleston and Everett.

The 787 efficiency ratio (as measured by taking the 787 deliveries divided by 787 rollout) was 0.83.  This number was driven by Everett delivering 9 787's (including 1 787 built in Everett but delivered from Charleston) while rolling out 7 from both the main line and the surge line. Everett had an efficiency of 0.78 while North Charleston delivered 3 aircraft and rolled out 3.

Boeing has now delivered 247 787s since program deliveries started in September, 2011. Thus far in 2015 Boeing has delivered 19 including 6 787-9 and 13 787-8.  What is more interesting is that Boeing has delivered almost 50% of the contracted 787-8 firm orders through this month.

As I mentioned in previous posts, Boeing is looking to try and deliver more than 135 787s this year but they would need to deliver at a rate of 11.5 787s per month.  January was not a good month for deliveries and they were on target in February which means they would have to attempt to deliver around 15 to 16 jets in March.  This is a pretty tall order but if that is a goal then Boeing needs to increase the tempo of pre-delivery ground and flight testing.

787 Full Production Table
787 Build Location By Operator 
787 Build Location By Customer

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

787 new order development efforts gaining traction at Boeing

Drumming up new orders for the 787 seems to be improving.

Yesterday Bloomberg news reported that Boeing was in talks with Ethiopian to purchase 8 787-8 all of which would come from the stock of existing 787s already assembled and parked on Everett's Runway 11/29 or at the EMC otherwise known as the "Terrible Teens."

This is addition to the two terrible teens that Boeing has firmly sold to Air Austral the Reunion based vacation airline news of which I broke last week.  Boeing sold them LN 15 and LN 22.  The latter was to be delivered later this year but it now appears it will be delivered in May of 2016 while LN 15 will be delivered around October of the same year.

Getting 10 of these airplanes (out of 12) will be a huge boost to Boeing in reducing their inventory while the airlines will still be getting good fuel efficient aircraft at a fraction of their worth.

787s orders are not done as ANA still has to firm up 3 787-10 that they intend to take and QANTAS, who reported excellent earning today, are looking to firm 50 787 options that they hold for delivery starting later this decade.  Turkish Airlines is also expected to place an order for either the 787 or A350 this year which can be significant while Emirates  looks to choose between the 787-10 and the A350-900 possibly around spring to summer time.

Boeing is planning to increase production to 12 airplanes next year.  This increase is expected to meet not just new orders but conversions of purchase rights and options into firm orders by existing customers.  The options and rights need to be exercised by a particular date and with the existing firm order pipeline being filled, attention will now turned to the additional orders from existing clients.