Silver-lining to Boeing 787 Schedule Slip


" 'We have taken advantage of the delays to make sure our system level maturity is coming along at a rate that will avoid problems as we enter flight test.' " So said Boeing's Scott Carson, chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes last Wednesday in regard to the year-long slip in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner's flight testing. As I noted a few months back, the software folks were praying for some other part of the aircraft's development to be blamed for the slip, and not them. They got their wish - and they better make the most of it.

Carson says that the 787 is now on track - although we've heard that a couple of times before. There still has been no public disclosure of the penalties Boeing will have to pay airlines such as All Nippon Airways for the late delivery of the 787, but I doubt it will be minimal.

On a side note, I had a chance to see Boeing's major competitor the Airbus 380 arriving in Singapore last week. Others may disagree, but it looked to me like a cargo plane on steroids. It definitely looks better in pictures than up close.

Unfortunately - or maybe fortunately - I was outbound to Germany and did not get to see how baggage, customs and immigration handled the plane's passenger volume. The newly opened and spectacular terminal at Changi Airport (which I'll blog about soon) has been designed to handle Singapore Airline's future fleet of A380's (Singapore Airlines currently has two A380s in service, a further 17 on firm order and options on six more), but even though the new terminal is spacious, I don't think I would want to be around when a couple of A380s off-load at the same time.

It is not known how much Airbus had to pay in penalty costs to Singapore Airline for delivering the A380 two years late (operations started last October), but given that Singapore Air had very publicly committed its future business around it, the amount had to be pretty high.


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Robert Charette
Spotsylvania, Va.
Willie D. Jones
New York City