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Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, the first of their aircraft to be primarily made out of composite materials, is expected to complete its first test flights before the end of 2009. The much protracted project has recently seen a set-back that has required extra reinforcements to be put in place.
Although there have been delays, Boeing expect some orders to be delivered by the fourth quarter of 2010 and they project a production rate of ten aeroplanes per month in late 2013.
The new schedule reflects the previously announced need to reinforce an area within the side-of-body section of the aircraft, along with the addition of several weeks of schedule margin to reduce flight test and certification risk.
The 787 team working the side-of-body reinforcement has completed initial testing and is finalising design details of new fittings that are expected to ensure full structural integrity of the joint. The static test procedure that uncovered the issue will be repeated and the results fully analyzed before first flight is conducted. Fatigue testing also will be performed on stringer components to validate the long-term durability of the modification.
“”This new schedule provides us the time needed to complete the remaining work necessary to put the 787’s game-changing capability in the hands of our customers,”” said Boeing Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney. “”The design details and implementation plan are nearly complete, and the team is preparing airplanes for modification and testing.””
Based on the revised schedule and other assumption updates, the company has determined that the 787 program is not in a forward-loss position.
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