The First Boeing 787 Dreamliner To Enter Into Service In September


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The First Boeing 787 Dreamliner To Enter Into Service In September

By Shane Nolan

August 8, 2011 - The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner that will enter into service with launch customer ANA rolled out of the paint hangar Saturday. The airplane bears a special livery signifying the core element's of ANA's service brand – innovation, uniqueness and the inspiration of Japan. 

"Our teams are making outstanding progress in completing the first airplane to be delivered and achieving certification of the 787," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program.  

"We are inspired by the airline's enthusiasm for this airplane and look forward to the day when we make our first delivery to ANA." ANA's first 787 features a short-haul international interior design with business- and economy-class cabins.

"ANA's passengers will be the first to experience the 787 Dreamliner's comfortable interior environment," said Mitsuo Morimoto, ANA senior executive vice president and member of the board of directors. "Combined with ANA's superior levels of service, passengers will enjoy a spacious interior, larger windows, comfortable seats and touch-panel in-flight entertainment screens." 

Some of the most innovative technologies aboard the 787 aren't visible, but will help passengers have a more pleasant and comfortable flight. Passengers will arrive at their destinations feeling more refreshed with the airplane's cleaner cabin air, lower cabin altitude and higher humidity.  

Boeing plans to deliver the first 787 to ANA in September. ANA will operate its first 787 revenue flight as a charter international flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is an all-new airplane featuring a host of technologies that provide exceptional value to airlines and unparalleled levels of comfort to passengers. It is the first mid-size airplane capable of flying long-range routes, enabling airlines to open new, non-stop routes preferred by the traveling public. 

Composite materials, more-electric systems, advanced aerodynamics and modern engines combine to make the 787 more fuel efficient and provide lower operating costs. Passengers will appreciate the cleaner cabin air, higher humidity and lower cabin altitude that combine to help them feel more refreshed after flying on the 787. Other innovations include larger windows with electrochromic shades, bigger onboard luggage bins and reliable LED lighting.


Boeing had originally planned for a first flight by the end of August 2007 and premiered the first 787 at a rollout ceremony on July 8, 2007, which matches the aircraft's designation in the US-style month-day-year format (7/8/07). However, the aircraft's major systems had not been installed at that time, and many parts were attached with temporary non-aerospace fasteners requiring their later replacement with flight fasteners.  

Although intended to shorten the production process, 787 subcontractors initially had difficulty completing the extra work, because they could not procure the needed parts, perform the subassembly on schedule, or both, leaving remaining assembly work for Boeing to complete as "traveled work". 

On September 5, Boeing announced a three-month delay, blaming a shortage of fasteners as well as incomplete software. On October 10, 2007, a second three-month delay to the first flight and a six-month delay to first deliveries was announced due to problems with the foreign and domestic supply chain, including an ongoing fastener shortage, the lack of documentation from overseas suppliers, and continuing delays with the flight guidance software.  

Less than a week later, Mike Bair, the 787 program manager was replaced. On January 16, 2008, Boeing announced a third three-month delay to the first flight of the 787, citing insufficient progress on "traveled work". On March 28, 2008, in an effort to gain more control over the supply chain, Boeing announced that it planned to buy Vought Aircraft Industries' interest in Global Aeronautica; the company later agreed to also purchase Vought's North Charleston, S.C. factory.  

On April 9, 2008, Boeing officially announced a fourth delay, shifting the maiden flight to the fourth quarter of 2008, and delaying initial deliveries by around 15 months to the third quarter of 2009. The 787-9 variant was postponed to 2012 and the 787-3 variant was to follow with no firm delivery date.  

On November 4, 2008, the company announced a fifth delay due to incorrect fastener installation and the Boeing machinists strike, stating that the first test flight would not occur in the fourth quarter of 2008. After assessing the 787 program schedule with its suppliers, Boeing confirmed on December 11, 2008 that the first flight would be delayed until the second quarter of 2009.  

On June 15, 2009, during the Paris Air Show, Boeing said that the 787 would make its first flight within two weeks. However, on June 23, 2009, Boeing announced that the first flight is postponed "due to a need to reinforce an area within the side-of-body section of the aircraft".  

Boeing provided an updated 787 schedule on August 27, 2009, with the first flight planned to occur by the end of 2009 and deliveries to begin at the end of 2010. The company expects to write off US$2.5 billion because it considers the first three Dreamliners built unsellable and suitable only for flight tests.  

Boeing announced on July 15, 2010, that the first delivery to launch customer All Nippon Airways could slip into 2011, and on August 27, 2010 it confirmed that the first delivery would be delayed until early 2011. Boeing and Rolls-Royce state a lack of Trent 1000 engines as the cause, following shutdown of Rolls-Royce's test facility after a blowout in a Trent 1000 during ground testing on August 2. 

In August 2010, it was announced that Boeing was facing a US$1 billion compensation claim from Air India due to the delays for the 27 Dreamliners it has on order. Within months, in early November 2010, it was reported that some early 787 deliveries may be delayed, in one case some three months, to allow for rework to address issues found during flight testing. In January 2011, Boeing announced that the first 787 delivery was rescheduled to the third quarter of 2011 due to software and electrical updates following the in-flight fire in November 2010.

On April 20, 2011 the National Labor Relations Board alleged that Boeing's second production line for the 787 in South Carolina violated two sections of the National Labor Relations Act.

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