On 29th July, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved Boeing’s plans to inspect and modify the manufacturing flaws in the Boeing 787 Dreamliners. This will pave the way for the manufacturer to resume deliveries of its Dreamliners.

Even though the FAA’s approval for inspection and modification of the 787s is a milestone for Boeing, it won’t immediately resume deliveries. Boeing must apply the fixes accordingly and get the FAA inspectors to approve each aircraft, before resuming the deliveries. The US aviation watchdog had said it wanted Boeing to ensure it “has a robust plan for the re-work that it must perform on a large volume of new 787s in storage.”

Boeing had largely halted deliveries of its popular widebody aircraft since October 2020 as its engineers found “manufacturing flaws” in some 787 jetliners. Boeing has been facing production quality control issues with the Dreamliners for more than two years, further questioning the manufacturer’s reputation for quality. While the deliveries were suspended in mid-October 2020, they resumed in March last year before being halted again in May 2021, due to production quality control issues. On July 13, Boeing engineers discovered gaps at joints in the forward pressure bulkhead and again reduced production.

a group of airplanes on a runway
New built Boeing 787 storage at Victorville, Ca.
New built Boeing 787 storage at Victorville, Ca.
New built Boeing 787 storage at Victorville, Ca.

Earlier this year, speaking to Boeing employees, the company’s CEO Dave Calhoun said, “We are progressing through a comprehensive effort to ensure every [787] in our production system conforms to our exacting specifications. This effort continues to impact our deliveries and our financial results – but we are fully confident it is the right thing to do.”

New built Boeing 787 storage at Victorville, Ca.
New built Boeing 787 storage at Victorville, Ca.

Boeing Plans To Ramp Up B787 Production

Boeing is planning to gradually ramp up production of its 787 Dreamliner after the regulators allowed the aircraft manufacturer to restart deliveries. During an interview at the Farnborough Airshow 2022, Stan Deal, the President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes stated that Boeing will ramp up production as it reduces the inventory of undelivered Dreamliners.

Boeing reportedly will ramp up production to three Dreamliners per month, up from the current rate of one. It will further increase to five jets per month in 6 months time. At the presentation of second-quarter results that took place this week, Boeing’s CFO, Brian West said that it had 120 of the 787s in inventory and was “making progress completing the necessary rework to prepare them for delivery.”

an airplane in a factory

In January, Boeing disclosed a $3.5 billion charge due to delivery delays and customer concessions, and another $1 billion in abnormal production costs due to manufacturing flaws and related inspections and repairs of the 787 Dreamliner.

American Airlines is poised to take delivery of the first 787 once the deliveries resume. While the timing of delivery resumptions remains uncertain, the carrier expects to receive two 787-8s in August. American Airlines said that it expects to receive nine 787s this year.

Here is a video I made on all the new built 787 in storage at Victorville, Ca during my fly-in visit this year.