2008 first flight for 787 Dreamliner still the target says Boeing

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Boeing is maintaining that the 787's maiden flight will occur during the fourth quarter of this year.

A Boeing spokesman stated the airframer will have "more specific airplane performance data following flight testing. That's scheduled to happen first quarter 2009."

However the spokesman went on to clarify that Boeing are still aiming for a 2008 first flight: "When I was referring to flight testing in the first quarter, I was referring to performance flight testing. We are still planning first flight for the fourth quarter."

Over a month ago, Boeing machinists began strike action, bringing jetliner production to a standstill.

Flight is reporting that the 787's launch customers All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, which under the latest rescheduling are due to receive their first aircraft in August and October 2009, are bracing for possible further delays.

The current timing is based around the rescheduling of the flight-test programme announced in April, which assumed a first flight in the fourth quarter of 2008.

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