Sometimes the only thing that's clear is that nothing is clear.
The Seattle Times reports this morning that Boeing is still struggling with the 787 and the massive amount of rework that is taking place all over Paine Field, including at rapidly growing Boeing ATS now dubbed "factory south". The goal of delivering 12 to 20 787s this year "It isn't going to happen," says one mechanic doing the rework.
Small indications had been cropping up in recent weeks that things were again beginning to slip, including, but not limited to, the interior completion date and return to flight for ZA102 moving from mid-April to early-May. Though, another set of confusing data points illustrates the uncertainty that exists between Boeing suppliers, its second 787 customer Japan Airlines and even inside its own production system.
- According to the internal planning guided by Boeing's Z23 schedule, JAL will get its first 787 in October, making it the launch customer for the GEnx engine.
- One top executive at a major 787 supplier told me at MRO Americas that he had spoken to Boeing just the day before and that his company's product was entering service with JAL in November.
- A third source, close to the airline itself, says JAL expecting its first in December.
So, when is JAL getting Airplane 23, which is currently in San Antonio for rework?
Three different targets from three different sources. The only thing that's clear is that no one, perhaps even Boeing, is really sure when the Japanese carrier is getting its first 787s and just how many of those 12 to 20 Dreamliners will be in the hands of customers this year.