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Boeing may cut back on test flights for new Deamliners

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Aug. 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
August 20, 2012 3:19 pm

Boeing, hoping to speed up the delivery of its ranks of undelivered 787 Dreamliners, may be cutting back on post-production test flights before the planes are delivered.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jon Ostrower said in an article today that the fewer test flights could help to clear out the ranks of completed but undelivered 787s accumulating at Boeing’s Paine Field production site in Everett.

Boeing has delivered just 13 of the planes to three airlines, but dozens stand ready or nearly ready to be handed over to airlines.

By cutting back test flying to just three flights after the planes roll out the door, Boeing will free up flight crews and mechanics to ready more planes for delivery. Boeing initially sent most of its 787s out the door with work to still be done before delivery in a post-production hangar.

Now that the company is finally creating planes that are full assembled and equipped without post-assembly line modifications, it should be able to dispense with retesting of the modified systems.

Some of the planes finished after the factory rollout needed eight to 10 flights for further testing.

Boeing can enhance its bottom line by delivering more Dreamliners more quickly. After an initial deposit, Boeing typically doesn’t receive full payment for the planes until they are handed over.

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