It’s been about five months since Boeing delivered a 787 Dreamliner. However, Friday, March 26th, broke the dry spell as a factory-fresh 787-9 was handed over to United Airlines. Indeed, another 787 will be delivered to the airline on Monday as well.
“We have resumed 787 deliveries, following several months of engineering analysis and inspection work. Our commitment to safety and compliance led us to thoroughly examine many aspects of the program to ensure we continue to deliver airplanes that meet all regulatory requirements and Boeing’s highest quality standards.” – Boeing spokesperson
No deliveries since October
Since the very start of the aircraft type program – over 10 years ago, the Boeing 787 has had to work through a number of issues. This included quality control issues – which were tied to its facility in Charleston, South Carolina.
In September, we reported on issues raised regarding the aircraft’s vertical stabilizer, while just last month, an FAA airworthiness directive required repetitive visual inspection of bilge barriers located in the forward and aft cargo compartments to look for disengaged or damaged decompression panels. Most recently, Boeing has turned its attention to some Dreamliner cockpit windows, inspecting select aircraft for possible flaws.
As mentioned in Boeing’s statement above, the manufacturer has been reviewing its program to meet regulatory requirements and ensure that production meets its standards of quality. The planemaker has been working closely with the FAA throughout this process, as it works to verify and rework its production activity.
“Today, we resumed 787 deliveries following several months of rigorous engineering analysis, inspection and as-needed rework to ensure that every airplane we deliver meets all regulatory requirements,” – Lane Ballard, 787 Program Director, Boeing via BNN Bloomberg
What planes are being delivered?
At the time of publication, the actual delivery flight for this particular 787 to United Airlines had not yet taken place. Sources note that the first plane will be ferried today, from Charleston, South Carolina. It will head to United’s San Francisco hub.
Although we don’t know the exact aircraft, data from BOE Family Flights shows two possible candidates:
- On March 20th, the 787-9 registered N29985 (MSN 66144/1048)
conducted its eighth test flight
- On March 21st, the 787-9 registered N28987 (MSN 66146/1058) took its fourth test flight
With one Dreamliner to take its ferry flight today, and BNN Bloomberg reporting another delivery to United on Monday, these two jets seem like they would be the most likely candidates.
United isn’t the only carrier expecting new 787s from Boeing in the short term. Hybrid carrier Air Premia looks like it’s also expecting a 787-9. The carrier conducted two customer acceptance flights last week – one on March 25th and another on March 26th. The aircraft, registered HL8387, had thus far conducted a total of five flights out of Paine Field.
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