Boeing has indicated that they are expecting deliveries of the 787 Dreamliner to pick up in the next quarter, allowing the company to actually break the delivery logjam. Senior vice president of Airplane Programs for Boeing Commercial Airplanes Pat Shanahan expects that the post-manufacturing fixes necessary on the earliest bodies assembled will be completed soon and from there the majority of planes will be able to be delivered directly off the line. It will still be a year or so while the already assembled planes are reworked but the delivery rate is expected to rise above 3.5 per month – the current assembly rate – during this quarter.
This isn’t the first time that Boeing executives have suggested that an increase in the delivery rates for the aircraft but between this official announcement and the comments from customers expecting to take delivery in the coming months (United Airlines seems pretty confident about the September timeframe and the Qatar aircraft was flying at Farnborough this week) it seems that they might actually be able to deliver on this one. And assuming they can make these deliveries start and also keep pace with the retrofits they should have the full backlog cleared out at some point in 2013. It is also worth noting that frame number 66, the first expected to be delivered without major modifications, has exited the factory, though it won’t be delivered until the other aircraft pending delivery can be pushed through the system.
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