Boeing says the side-of-body modification for the 787 is "progressing well" and first flight by the end of this year remains on track.

"Installations of the fittings are proceeding well and we are pleased with the progress we are making on this important effort," says Scott Fancher, Boeing's vice president and general manager for the 787 programme.

Boeing says more details will be provided on 21 October, when Boeing executives present third quarter earnings results to financial analysts and the news media.

Fancher issued the statement following a report earlier today on affiliate FlightBlogger. Boeing and industry sources say the initial fix on three of the 18 stringers involved in the side-of-body modification did not meet certification requirements, FlightBlogger reported. The issue means Boeing could be at risk of meeting the 2009 first flight target.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news