Boeing says despite an aggressive on-going program to improve 787-8 in-service reliability levels the aircraft’s overall performance is not expected to reach that of the 777 until sometime before mid-2014.
Commenting in Dubai on the eve of the air show here, Boeing Commercial sales vice president Marty Bentrott says some operators such as Qatar Airways have experienced “some early teething problems,” and seen “reliability issues with some components.” The company is “committed to resolve those problems. We are making good progress but ‘do we have additional work ahead of us?’ Yes.” Bentrott says the company estimates that it will be “another six months or so” until the 787 reaches “the reliability rate of the 777.”
Boeing has been battling for improved reliability rates on the aircraft since it began suffering system and component glitches shortly after entering service in late 2011. Although the process was interrupted during the prolonged grounding of the fleet in the wake of the battery issues in early 2013, the recovery effort was stepped up as teething issues persisted. Earlier this month Boeing disclosed that, along with measures to boost the reliability of some components, it is also developing software improvements to reduce the number of nuisance warnings and improve the robustness of the aircraft’s self-diagnostic or built-in-test equipment capability.
The process involves simplifying some of the software which runs in the 787’s avionics system. Revised software loads are expected to be installed in the fleet by the end of the year with some of the changes being tested on the 787-9.