787 WTF?
January 16, 2008 7:20 AM   Subscribe

What's the skinny on the latest 787 delay? Any good insider-y blogs available covering that mess? Thanks.
posted by matteo to Technology (14 answers total)
What, you mean this?
posted by Caviar at 8:04 AM on January 16, 2008

Airliners.net has good discussions in their Civil Aviation forum. This thread and this thread. Only problem is Airbus-Boeing flamewars, but that's a problem in any online forum.
posted by smackfu at 8:24 AM on January 16, 2008

Caviar, no I mean this delay
posted by matteo at 8:40 AM on January 16, 2008

I don't know about the 787 project in particular, but I have encountered shortages of carbon fibre, Nomex (used in floor panels), and some varieties of high-strength aluminum and inconel in recent years which have led to manufacturing delays in the industry in general.
posted by cardboard at 9:03 AM on January 16, 2008

It's the first time the company is doing 100% outsourcing for components, and the supply chain is ramping up clumsily.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 9:13 AM on January 16, 2008

M. C. Lo-Carb! is pretty much correct. In fact, the supply chain issues are such causing such cost setbacks that Boeing is rumored to be moving its (significantly concentrated) manufacturing operations from the Seattle area to the mid-West, where part delivery is faster and labor is cheaper. The longer it takes Boeing to build a plane, the more they have to pay back to their customers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:41 AM on January 16, 2008

Outsourced parts were supposed to be wired in advance but as early as 2006 that wasn't happening, so Boeing was to have its mechanics in Everett install the electrical wiring. I'm guessing that either it ended up being harder than they expected, ran into glitches, or stuff they were waiting on arrived late.

But really, this thing has been behind schedule since 2006 and I had a real hard time swallowing the last statement saying there would be no further delays, which just happened to occur around the same time that they were about to sell a large batch of planes to BA.
posted by furtive at 9:49 AM on January 16, 2008

This is a great source. The FLIGHTBLOGGER!!!!
posted by tcv at 10:50 AM on January 16, 2008

dead-on with airliners.net. also interesting is cranky flyer and the flyertalk forums.
posted by krautland at 11:52 AM on January 16, 2008

It is unlikely that there is a blog or similar resource that will have the information that you are looking for, at the level I think you want. Flight International seems to have the best reporting. Leeham.net isn't bad, and Richard Aboulafia sometimes has interesting insights. AWST seems a little less informed. Seattle Times and the PI are also good places to check.

I'm a 787 employee, and know a fair amount about what's going on in my little knothole of the world. But there is no way I'm going to talk about it in public. I think most of my co-workers are doing likewise. Aside from the remarkable ability of the press to not get the issues at hand (e.g. the "hackability of the core network"), between the time I spend at work, trying to have a personal life, and sleep, there's simply not enough time to try to write good blog entries. Airplanes are incredibly complex and very hard to build. It's enough hard to explain the things that are solved to my co-workers, much less the open issues. I don't want to think about how to do it in a blog.
posted by printdevil at 11:53 AM on January 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

I second Flightblogger. Every time it is updated it results in a thread on airliners.net, because it has the most up to date info available on the net.
posted by Catfry at 1:59 PM on January 16, 2008

posted by krautland at 3:00 PM on January 16, 2008

thanks everybody
posted by matteo at 4:58 PM on January 16, 2008

The FAA is also concerned that the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s in-flight passenger network is physically connected to the network that manages the aircraft’s control systems and also connects to ground-based maintenance and booking networks. Sounds scary to me too!

See Hack your dream 787 destination.
posted by worldshift at 3:18 AM on January 17, 2008

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