787 Dreamliner's First Flight Delayed Yet Again

Structural reinforcement for a side-of-body panel is the latest hold-up

Dreamliner in Hangar
Aviation Explorer

Boeing announced today that they would not hit their latest scheduling target of a first Dreamliner flight before the end of this month, needing to go back to the drawing board for structural reinforcement of a side-of-body panel. This is the latest in a series delays, and it will almost certainly push back the current first-delivery target of Q1 2010.

Boeing said in a press release that they have yet to re-schedule the flight, only that it would be "several weeks before the new schedule is available." They're claming adamantly, though, that the structural upgrades have nothing to do with the 787's modern all-composite construction:

"Structural modifications like these are not uncommon in the development of new airplanes, and this is not an issue related to our choice of materials or the assembly and installation work of our team," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Scott Carson in the release.