Report: 787 certification to be delayed again

A German magazine reported Sunday that Boeing is set to announce a further three to six month delay to the 787 program due to issues with achieving its “type certification”. The report, which appeared in FOCUS, cited sources inside the FAA who also said that the delay would be announced in mid-May.

Boeing 787 program spokesperson Yvonne Leach responded to the report telling FlightBlogger that, “The FAA has been overseeing our effort every step of the way and we’ve been working closely together.”

Leach added, it is “not our understanding” that there are any additional issues with achieving FAA type certification for the 787.

787 Program Manager Pat Shanahan commented on FAA certification during the 787 update on December 11, 2007:

“Boeing and the FAA have reviewed and agreed to all the technical requirements needed to achieve type certification. Also, we have submitted more than 25% of the certification deliverables to show type certification.”

“This is the first time on any program where we and the FAA prior to flight test have agreed on all the requirements. Now, the next portion of this is demonstrating compliance to those requirements, but it’s a big step forward for us and really is a reflection of the last four years of the close working relationship between Boeing and the FAA. I feel confident that we’ve identified what is necessary to demonstrate during the flight test program and now we need to go produce the data and work with their technical specialist to show compliance.”

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney confirmed in February that about 35% of the 787s airworthiness certification requirements had been completed.

A source familiar with the certification process says that modifications to the center wing box are not impacting the FAA certification schedule. Airplanes 1-6 will have stiffeners installed inside the center wing box to improve structural integrity. Airplane 7, the first production aircraft, will feature a redesigned wing box.

Boeing’s 787 flight test program is slated to begin in late October, according to another company source familiar with the upcoming flight test schedule, and is set to be completed early in the third quarter of 2009 with first delivery later in the quarter to ANA. Dreamliners One, Two and Three are all expected to take to the sky within three weeks of one another.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

10 Responses to Report: 787 certification to be delayed again

  1. RW - San Clemente April 21, 2008 at 9:14 am #

    It’s gotten so boring around here that folks are worried about a story as dubious as this?

  2. sntheorist April 21, 2008 at 9:50 am #

    Well, as somebody who has lived in Germany more than half of his life and who is quite familiar with the media scene over there, I can tell you that FOCUS is _NOT_ a reliable source of news. It’s more of a boulevardesque-type “news”/scandal periodical. I personally, would never trust anything written in FOCUS.

  3. Ed April 21, 2008 at 10:54 am #

    The reason Im doubting this is the fact that this storey is in a German paper, rather than American or even Japanese.

    Another Malaysian Sun / KC-X type storey?

  4. scott April 21, 2008 at 1:05 pm #

    Yes, but the Malaysian Sun was right!

  5. Dirk April 21, 2008 at 3:33 pm #

    I am from Germany and read this post with curiosety.
    Although FOCUS is not the authorative news magazine in Germany it is not that yellow as suggested in one of the other posts.
    What I find remarkable is that a German magazine claims to have sources in the FAA. This in it self wanted me to disregard the feature as it was reported in other German media. But now, reading the the comments by Boeing, I think maybe the is more to the story. There is a German saying: ‘Where there is smoke, there is fire.’ I smell smoke, and Boeing has just explained, that they are in full support for fire fighting in general and that it is not ‘their understanding’ that they have ‘issues’ with the fire department.
    Let us wait and see if there is just someone smooking or if there is an other fire burning.

  6. Ed April 21, 2008 at 5:24 pm #

    I think there are two important issues regarding the financial impact of a hypothetical delay in certification.

    One is the obvious impact on Boeing of further compensation payments.

    The other is the possibility of outright cancellations. I cant see many airlines defecting to the A350 because it is still very far away and still carries the risk of delays in its own right, the 767 is too old and small, and the 777 big and expensive, but I can see some airlines defecting to the A330. If Airbus can get the production line in Alabama up and running in time then they could in theory use ‘cheap A330s’ as an effective weapon against an indefinatly delayed 787, partly because its cheaper to make american assembled A330s than French assembled ones.

  7. Jon Ostrower/FlightBlogger April 21, 2008 at 5:59 pm #

    JE, can you please email me at your earliest convenience? I’m reachable at flightblogger (at) gmail (dot) com.



  8. Ed April 21, 2008 at 6:26 pm #

    ”Single barrel is expensive and heavy–not the shape of things to come as Udvar-Hazy claimed. Airbus is gaining time at Boeings’ expense and will be vindicated for not going down the “bleeding edge” path. ”

    - I was one of the few whom said that Airbus should be given the benefit of the doubt regarding their decision not to go with a single barrel and bleedless design on the A350XWB, at a time when the majority of lashed their ‘inferior’ approach and disputed Airbus’ reasoning for the design of the A350.

    I think that the rational behind the design decisions of Airbus at the time are starting to become clear.

  9. Andrew April 21, 2008 at 9:22 pm #

    Eds comments make a lot of sense.
    I also believe the Airbus decision to keep on with a bleed air system will be vindicated.
    Still cannot find a source to show that Boeing have factored in up to about 600lbs of fuel per hour to drive the generators.

  10. Flo Rida Updates November 25, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    I know Flo Rida still got it. I have absolutely no explanation how Flo can still puts out hits! I guess David Guetta’s production really helped on Club Can’t Handle Me. Nice video, though!