Boeing continues to make steady progress on its largest commercial development programs, the 787 Dreamliner and the 747-8. Pat Shanahan, vice president of Airplane Programs for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, reported the progress at the 48th International Paris Air Show, affirming the company will fly these two newest and boldly innovative products this year: the 787 by the end of second quarter and the 747-8 Freighter by the end of the year.
With the first flight of the 787 Dreamliner imminent, Shanahan said, “We now are preparing to conduct final testing to verify that the airplane is ready to enter the flight test program. From there, we will go through taxi testing and then the airplane will take to the sky. That will be an emotionally intense day for everyone who had a part in reaching this key milestone.”
The 747-8 Freighter and Intercontinental also are making progress with their engineering and final assembly in Everett, Wash. The first four 747-8 Freighters are in various stages of assembly at the factory, with the first 747-8 Freighter more than 50% assembled. For the 747-8 Intercontinental, more than 30% of design releases are complete. “And the engineering on the airplane is better than planned,” Shanahan said.
While the development programs receive considerable attention, Shanahan stressed there is equal intensity to continuously improve production operations on the 777, 737, 767 and P-8A Poseidon. “It’s all about driving execution to the highest levels. The Boeing family of airplanes leverages our expertise in providing the features, technology and performance that our customers want,” he said.