Boeing reaffirms 787 schedule

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Boeing reaffirmed its 787 schedule today, explaining it has "cleared all equipment for first flight" as it prepares for its maiden flight in the second quarter.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Scott Carson says Airplane One, which has been delayed by fastener problems and design changes, is "essentially factory complete".

The chief executive tells attendees at the JP Morgan Aviation and Transportation conference that Airplane One is currently undergoing integrated hardware and software testing at the company's Everett, Washington factory.

Carson cites several visible "mini-milestones" to look for in the weeks to come, including a trip to the paint shop and commencement of gauntlet tests to verify and validate systems integration, as well as flight line ground and ship power testing to ensure the aircraft's self-sufficiency.

Carson stresses "job one" for his company is flying, certifying and delivering on the 787 and 747-8 programmes for customers.

The first 787-8, ship seven, is scheduled to enter service in the 1st quarter of 2010 with Japan's All Nippon Airways.