Boeing Mechanic on 787 Production Goals: “It isn’t going to happen”

While the 787 appears to be on schedule for initial delivery to launch customer All Nippon Airways, the company’s ambitious production rate increase and goal of delivering 20 Dreamliners by years end is in jeopardy according to the Seattle Times.

“It isn’t going to happen,” said one mechanic working on the airplanes. “There are too many jobs to be done.”

One job taking weeks per airplane is the painstaking removal of sealant from the interior of fuel tanks in the wings, then resealing them.

And because the computerized system that provides mechanics with data on parts isn’t operating well, even simpler modifications take much longer than they should.

We should have a better picture of Boeing’s production goals for the remainder of the year when the company announces its quarterly results tomorrow.

Even with 35 Dreamliners already rolling off the assembly line, including six that are apart of the flight testing fleet, significant work remains as modifications made during testing still need to be implemented on those planes.

“The assembly process is still a mess,” an engineer said.

“They are building airplanes in the final-assembly process that then have to be rebuilt in the pickup process, which is many times longer.”

Parts that don’t fit, including doors and control surfaces on the wings, still are arriving in Everett.

“The wings on the 787s aren’t even close to being ready,” the engineer said.

The source for the article is a Boeing mechanic meaning that the information should be treated as speculation and not fact but certainly the people who are actually putting the nuts and bolts on the plane would have the best understanding of how much work remains on the 787. If they aren’t confident, there isn’t much reason to believe Boeing executives would be confident in the company’s production goals for the remainder of the year either.

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