Etihad’s decision to buy 35 Boeing 787-9 has placed the widebody program within reach of 900 orders despite significant program delays in the past year. But Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO, Scott Carson, says that’s not the end of the story: by the time the 787 achieves first flight, the order book will likely reach around 1,000 units.
Boeing is being coy about when first flight will take place, saying alternatively the fourth quarter or before-year-end. Pat Shanahan, 787 program manager concedes production has just not moved fast enough.
But he indicates progress is being made to get the aircraft literally off the ground. Safety of flight testing, for instance, is already 98%.
The three main events to be completed before then: finish off the first-flight aircraft; undertake full-scale static testing, including three limit load trials; and complete a round of ground vibration trials.