Looking at the delivery chart indicates a significant milestone. Boeing is at 92, 787's delivered! Just eight shy of the bench mark number of 100 787 deliveries. Today there are more 787-9's on undelivered status, than 787-8's that are to be delivered. Considering multiples of frames under assembly, and the post assembly frames awaiting delivery, by the end of the year about 125: 787-8 frames could be delivered in total for the program. Leaving a bulk of the frames, by a significant number, for the 787-9 to be delivered.
Model Ordered Delivered Undelivered
787-8 483 95 388
787-9 406 0 406
787-10 90 0 90
The interesting point is that back in 2005-2006, Boeing had set projections of aircraft progressions in a following sequence:
The first 40 aircraft were deemed to be in production development. Refining the process with its builders and suppliers, while honing in its skills for building aircraft. The 787 process would achieve maturation in its development by frame 40.
What happened is history, many frames remain in a newly added on Boeing manufacturing campus for frame renovation, in the attempt of setting those frames right. What has now become referred to as the "Change Incorporation and Rework Center." Sounds like an institution for solving the mistakes made, not anticipated. The frame numbers are slowly dwindling is this special remedial class, and the frame numbers are rapidly expanding towards the Ln#150, benchmark. Frame 150 onward is supposed to be clear skies for the 787. A testament to that, will be the 787-9. Solving everything the 787-8 failed to do in its initial entry into service, with a 787-9 bounce back. That is a strong possibility this will happen with the 787-9, and will become the aircraft everything that the 787-8 wasn't. Boeing is scrambling to stop glitching as the final straws are put into place. Consistency is the key goal for Boeing with its overly complex aircraft. The 787-9 is the validation Boeing expects, needs and requires. A perfectly made 787, that the 787-8 could not be, but the 787-9 will be. The good news for the -8, from frame 150 and beyond, is that it will work just as good as the 787-9. The 787-8 early copies are forgotten because change incorporation has swept-up all the Boeing crumbs off the table, and is ready to party on dude from the factory floor to the airport terminals. One problem remains, that is the reputation issue of glitching.
By frames 40-100, Boeing would have the process mastered and optimal output achieved. In fact after frame 65 all aircraft come out the assembly door ready for flight testing and not sent to some kind of holding storage. After frame 100 any lessons established would be set in the 787 mold going forward. Finally, from frame 150 and beyond full maturity hits the program, whether it’s a -8 through the -10, the 787 ship is righted and sailing just fine beyond frame Ln#150. That is Boeing's dream for its customers. That is also why from corporate heads on down want the glitches to stop. Boeing is going to dog its suppliers, and its own production procedures for a million or so parts working as designed, or examining the assembly processes are correctly applied. No more parts gaffs, failed pumps or crimped wires. The press is eager to shame Boeing for all of the above problems. The questions I have not unlike the operating system jump for computers where a new OS does not meet customer expectations, because it’s beyond customer comprehension, does it mean it’s a failure?
My answer is no, since it becomes a journey of discovery for the customer and what it expects for a phenomenal invention. A caveman really likes his stick for digging but doesn't understand the implications of a steel shovel. That is the story of the 787. It advances aviation beyond the intrinsic understanding of 787 possibilities found within its skin. It will take time for passengers to understand what just happened on their flights. After reading about all those glitches, times 10 news outlets over one week for one light bulb lighting-up on one flight, makes passengers in India nervous not wanting to fly the aircraft. What makes the flying public nervous is all the attention given the routine on an un-routine aircraft. I too would pause and think every time an aircraft can't fly, "should I get back on?"
The address from above, suggest one thing, has Boeing turned the corner at #Ln100 Boeing place? The answer is definitely yes. By unit, 150, the press will have to shift and pick on the next aircraft up. The 787-9 will not have the 787-8 developmental problems, because problems have been addressed in the -8 and are fixing glitches on-the-fly. Therefore, I would expect the -10 will fly like the -9 as a seamless exercise of the 787-8 lessons learned on an entirely new airplane design that no one else will or could touch in the next 30 years.