Boeing delays Dreamliner once again

Boeing delays Dreamliner once again

Boeing has confirmed what many analysts had been expecting for weeks and announced a further delay in its much troubled Dreamliner programme.

The decision follows a fire onboard a test aircraft late last year and pushes the project almost three years behind schedule.

Deliveries of the new aircraft are now expected to begin in the third quarter of 2011.

Last November’s fire has forced the airline manufacturer to produce, install and test updated software and new electrical power distribution panels for the flight test and production airplanes.

“This revised timeline for first delivery accommodates the work we believe remains to be done to complete testing and certification of the 787,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program.

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“We have also restored some margin in the schedule to allow for any additional time that may be needed to complete certification activities,” he added.

The 787 program has been gradually returning individual airplanes to the flight test program following the fire.

After receiving interim software and hardware improvements, four flight test airplanes have been subjected to extensive ground testing and a thorough review to ensure their readiness to return to flight.

The remaining two airplanes are expected to return to flight testing in the days ahead.

Boeing said it does not expect the revised first delivery date to have a material impact on 2010 financial results.

The news comes after confirmation yesterday rival Airbus outsold Boeing in 2010.