Boeing has said that despite a four-month delay caused by insufficient supply of aerospace fasteners, it can deliver the first 787 Dreamliner on schedule in May. This assertion raised eyebrows among industry experts, including some of Boeing's suppliers. "We looked at each other and said, 'Are they kidding?'" said a supplier who heard the conference call at which Boeing made the claim. Boeing has booked over 700 orders with 48 airlines for the Dreamliner. For the company to deliver the first plane on time, every step of the manufacturing process will have to go according to plan -- a rare event in airplane construction. Hundreds of parts have yet to be installed, including instruments that require elaborate code. The "power-on" phase, at which wiring and equipment are checked to see they work together properly, is not forecast before mid-October. That will allow only one to two months for safety engineers to declare the plane fit for transport. That stage took three months when Boeing debuted the 777. "We're down to the program having to go by the book," said Boeing CEO Jim McNerney. International Lease Finance Corp. [ILFC] and All Nippon Airlines, the Dreamliner's biggest customers, are unfazed at the prospect of a reasonable delay. "Nobody's going to care if the plane turns out to be two or three months late as long as it does everything Boeing has promised," said ILFC President and COO John Plueger.
Sources: Wall Street Journal
Commentary: Boeing's White Knuckle Approach • Boeing 787 Test Flight Delayed; First Delivery Still on Schedule • Boeing’s 787 Premiers On 7-8-07
Stocks/ETFs to watch: BA, HON, GE. Competitors: LMT, NOC. ETFs: ITA, PPA, DDM
Earnings call transcript: Boeing Q2 2007
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