Boeing Dreamliner delayed
Boeing has pushed back delivery of its first 787 Dreamliner by several weeks. The decision is no surprise, but is also the latest in a series of embarrassing glitches that have disrupted production of the hotly anticipated aircraft.
The postponement for the carbon-composite airplane, already more than two years behind schedule, is attributed to a delay in the availability of a Rolls-Royce engine needed for the final phases of flight testing. “The plane is a show-me plane at this point and I think everyone knows that,” said Alex Hamilton, managing director with boutique investment bank EarlyBirdCapital. “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
The U.S. planemaker now expects to deliver the first carbon-composite plane to Japan’s All Nippon Airways by the middle of the first quarter of 2011.
Boeing said in July its delivery schedule might slip from the fourth quarter of 2010. The company blamed “instrument configuration” and inspection work.
Shares of Boeing, a Dow industrials component, were down 1.5 percent at $60.40 in premarket trade.
Boeing has taken 847 orders for the Dreamliner, which lists for $150 million to $205.5 million depending on the model, making it the company’s best selling airplane at this stage in development. Boeing gets paid for its commercial planes at delivery.
The delay comes four weeks after the Rolls’ engine, a Trent 1000, blew up at a test site in Derby, central England, forcing the company to temporarily close the facility.
“The delivery date revision follows an assessment of the availability of an engine needed for the final phases of flight test this fall,” Boeing said in a statement late Thursday night. “Flight testing across the test fleet continues as planned.”
Boeing added it was working with the British engine maker to ensure engines were made available as soon as possible but that the delay would not affect its financial outlook.