Aviation Week & Space Technology reporter Guy Norris claims that the Boeing 787 is unlikely to make its first flight until late December due to slow progress with the wing-join fix which has slowed the program down.
According to a blog post by Norris, the fix is not yet complete on the first aircraft, ZA001, while it has also not completed testing on ZY997, the static testing rig. As such, the resumption of preflight testing would at the earliest take place around Thanksgiving (November 26), which is expected to take a further three weeks until the aircraft is finally cleared to fly.
Interestingly, Norris also claims that the modification work is more complete on ZA002 than on ZA001, raising the prospect that the second aircraft may be used to achieve Boeing’s target to fly the 787 by the end of the year.
Boeing has maintained that the 787 program and the wing modification work is on schedule, and that the aircraft will fly by the end of the year.