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should follow suit, and by the 17 January, both India's
and Chile's had.
In response, Boeing issued a contrite statement
from its President and CEO Jim McNerney.
"The safety of passengers and crew members who
fly aboard Boeing airplanes is our highest priority,"
McNerney said. "Boeing is committed to supporting
the FAA and finding answers as quickly as possible."
He added that the company would work "around the
clock" with customers and regulators, making all its
"We are confident the 787 is safe and we stand
behind its overall integrity," McNerney continued. "We
will be taking every necessary step in the coming days
to assure our customers and the travelling public of
the 787's safety and to return the airplanes to service."
There is no doubt that Boeing will be anxious to
resolve the issue without delay, as the stock market
has proved extremely sensitive to the programme's
troubles. Just hours after the 11 January FAA review
announcement, Boeing's stock had lost US$2.6
billion of its value.
"We are confident the 787 is safe and we stand behind its overall integrity."
-- Boeing President and CEO Jim McNerney
The 787 programme has faced numerous
challenges dating from before the original
August 2007 target first-flight date. The
following events show the 787's bumpy
progress toward service entry in late 2011.
April 2004 - Boeing's board of directors
approves the launch of the then-'7E7'
June 2006 - Boeing reveals air bubbles have
been found in a composite fuselage section.
January 2007 - Unconfirmed reports of 787
suppliers falling behind schedule.
June 2007 - Boeing reveals production snags,
including a gap where the nose section is out
of alignment with the fuselage; says first 787
test flight may slip to September 2007, while
still on schedule for first delivery in May 2008.
July 2007 -- Less than three weeks after the
787 roll-out, Boeing admits the programme
is running slightly behind. The manufacturer
does not reschedule deliveries.
September 2007 -- Boeing delays 787
first flight by about three months to mid-
November/December because of industry-
wide fastener shortage and flight-control
software issues. May 2008 delivery target
October 2007 -- Boeing announces a
longer delay to end-March 2008, due to
continued production problems, pushing
back first delivery by about six months to late
November/December 2008. Programme
vice-president and general manager Mike
Bair is replaced by Pat Shanahan. Bair says
some suppliers of major 787 components
have fallen short of Boeing's expectations.
December 2007 - Boeing Commercial
Airplanes chief executive Scott Carson
says there will be no further delay in 787
January 2008 - Boeing announces a further
three-month delay to end-June 2008 and
first delivery to early 2009, due to problems
with unnamed suppliers and slow assembly
March 2008 - Boeing admits it has had to
redesign and strengthen the centre wingbox.
April 2008 -- Boeing reveals a third major
delay due to continuing problems with
unfinished work from suppliers. First flight
rescheduled for fourth quarter 2008 and first
delivery for third quarter 2009.
August 2008 - First cancellation of a 787
order, by Azerbaijan Airlines. More
November 2008 - Boeing says first flight
has been delayed until 2009 by 58-day
production workers' strike.
December 2008 - Boeing announces a fourth
major delay, due to the strike and continuing
fastener problems. First flight now set for
second quarter of 2009, with first delivery in
first quarter of 2010.
June 2009 - Boeing reports 59 order
cancellations, with net orders for 866, and
announces a fifth delay of an undetermined
number of weeks for the design and
installation of reinforcements in the "side of
body" wing-attachment area; says new dates
for first flight and first delivery will be set in
August 2009 - Boeing reports microscopic
wrinkles in the 787's fuselage skin and
installs a composite reinforcement. First
flight re-scheduled to end of 2009, with first
delivery October-December 2010.
15 December 2009 -- First flight of 787.
August 2010 -- Boeing delays first delivery to
the middle of the first quarter of 2011.
September 2010 -- First 787 (MSN ZA001) is
grounded for engine change following Trent
1000 failure at Rolls-Royce.
November 2010 -- All six flight-test aircraft
grounded after a fire aboard ZA002 leads to
July 2011 -- Boeing halts 787 line for a month
due to supplier part "spot shortages" and
"remaining engineering changes".
26 October 2011 -- Entry into commercial
service with ANA. -- Ian Goold
787 PROGRAMME DIARY
The burned-out battery of the JAL 787 that suffered
a fire on the ground at Boston on 7 January.
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