Boeing, Boeing, Gone
Somebody wake us when the Boeing
Boeing pushed back the initial test flight of its long-awaited 787 Dreamliner for the fifth time on Tuesday, citing a need to reinforce part of the aircraft. The flight was originally scheduled for late 2007, but production problems, a labor strike, and, if you ask us, really bad karma have caused repeated delays.
Boeing shares sank over 6% on the latest postponement, dragging down Dreamliner suppliers Spirit Aerosystems Holdings (Stock Quote: SPR)
Boeing said a revised schedule for the flight, as well as first deliveries to customers, will not be announced for several weeks.
Our advice? Don't hold your breath waiting for this jumbo jetliner turned running joke.
Customers had expected to get the first of the new jets in the first quarter of 2010, almost two years behind the original schedule. All Nippon Airways was at the head of the line back in 2004, ordering 50 Dreamliners that have yet to be delivered. And at this point it would be hard to blame them, or any other Boeing customer for cutting bait. So far this year, Boeing has seen a net 45 cancellations for the 787. (This number doesn't include Qantas, which late Thursday said it has canceled orders for 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and delayed the delivery of another 15). In early June, Boeing claimed it had more than 50 customers who have placed orders for more than 850 of the airplanes.Scott Carson, president and chief executive of Boeing's commercial airplane division, said the reinforcement problem has been solved, and that such modifications were not uncommon in the development of new airplanes.
Then again, Carson also told us back in December 2007 that there will be no further delays in Dreamliner development. He broke that promise a month later in January 2008 when Boeing announced a three-month delay in the project. When those three months expired in April 2008, the company asked for six more months. And so on. And so on.
If this keeps up, by the time Boeing finishes this plane we won't need Dreamliners anymore. Scotty will be able to beam us up instead.
Dumb-o-meter score: 95 -- We've long since hit the snooze button on the Dreamliner.