I wanted to provide a bit of clarification on what flight ready means when talking about the 787 lead up to first flight.
Though unconfirmed by official sources, Dreamliner One is tentatively scheduled to be flight ready by late February. Word from the factory floor confirms this time frame is on target with expectations.
When I mentioned flight readiness by late February, I neglected to describe exactly what this meant. This milestone signifies that all systems are ready for flight. This is not the same as a first flight date.
After flight readiness is achieved, Boeing will be starting the engines for the first time, running ground vibration tests followed by the low speed and high speed taxi tests. Only after these additional milestones are accomplished, will we see the Dreamliner fly.
One very important note to add to this is that weather plays a big factor in determining the first flight date. Boeing prefers a first flights to occur on runway 34L to the North because there are fewer homes north of Paine Field.
Because of this, the winds have to be blowing favorably to the south to provide the proper conditions for first flight.
A northerly wind is harder to come by at Paine Field because the prevailing wind direction in March is typically from the South.