787 delivery pushed to 2011
Boeing has announced yet another delay to the delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner, with All Nippon Airlines now expected to take delivery of the aircraft in the middle of the first quarter of 2011.
In a statement, Boeing announced that the revision to the delivery date “follows an assessment of the availability of an engine needed for the final phases of flight test this fall.”
Rolls-Royce says that there is no link between the uncontained failure of a Trent 1000 during ground testing and the delay in delivering the first 787.
The engine manufacturer said in a statement to Australian Aviation that the failure of the engine during a test run in early August “caused no disruption to the Boeing flight test programme and is in no way associated with the announced delay to the program.”
Rather, “Boeing has told us that the previous planned and agreed dates for Trent 1000 engine deliveries will now not support their latest flight test program requirements… Rolls-Royce is working closely with Boeing to expedite engine deliveries in support of their latest timetable.”
The delay comes after the company previously noted that other issues with the aircraft including supplier workmanship issues related to the horizontal stabiliser and instrumentation delays, could push first delivery of the 787 a few weeks into 2011, although officially it had been on track for a late 2010 delivery until the new announcement.
Meanwhile, Boeing has announced that it will add a further two 787s to its flight test program for the type after announcing recently that delivery of the first aircraft will be delayed until the middle for the first quarter of 2011.
Unlike the six aircraft originally identified as being involved in the flight test program, the two additional aircraft are production 787s which will still be delivered to customers after the type achieves certification. Reports claim that the two aircraft will be involved in ground and ETOPS (Extended-range Twin engine Operations), which will not require heavy instrumentation or modification, and it is understood that they will be flown with full airline interiors.
A Boeing spokesperson said that the manufacturer had always intended to add two aircraft to the test fleet but that it had not been previously disclosed. There are currently five of six preproduction aircraft involved in flight test duties, with the sixth aircraft likely to fly later this month.
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