Big 787 drama is over, says UTC executive

United Technologies (UTC) remains confident the Boeing 787 “is going to fly soon” and believes that “the big drama is behind us”. So said the firm’s VP of accounting and finance Greg Hayes this morning at the JPMorgan Aviation and Transportation Conference in New York.

While Hayes could not comment on Boeing’s latest schedule (the airframer has committed to release the new schedule at the end of the month), UTC is “ready and we are supporting that aircraft”. hamilton.jpg

UTC subsidiary Hamilton Sundstrand has won contracts to provide nine major systems for the 787 twinjet.

“It’s going to be a great program, whether it’s a week later or another month later, it’s not going to matter all that much,” says Hayes.

Contractual payments from Boeing will be made “once that airplane gets delivered”, says Hayes. “We’ve obviously had discussions with Boeing because of the delay,” he says, adding, however, that he cannot comment on those talks.

Speculation is rife that the program will slip again. But Boeing has not confirmed another hold-up, and continues to maintain its plan is unchanged from its prior announcement, despite a report from Goldman Sachs to the contrary, and an environment that indicates industry doubt.

Boeing is focused on getting power on “sometime in the early beginning of the second quarter”, first flight at the “end of the second quarter” and first delivery “in early 2009”, said Boeing VP marketing Randy Tinseth last week at the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) conference in Orlando, Florida.

He is scheduled to speak later today at the JPMorgan event.

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