Boeing Provides 787 Progress Update to Airlines, Financiers and Supplier Partners

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] and representatives from 140 airlines, financial institutions and supplier partners spent two days in Seattle this week discussing progress on the all-new 787 Dreamliner airplane.

Called the Progress Summit III, the meeting featured open discussion about development progress, customer requirements, airplane financing, production plans, and concepts for standardizing and simplifying the 787.

"The key to making a session like this successful," said Marty Bentrott, Boeing 787 vice president of Sales, Marketing and In-Service Support, "is finding the right balance of giving everyone relevant information while at the same time hearing their perspectives and insights. Customer feedback has been the key to making the 787 the great value proposition it is."

Various 787 achievements were highlighted during the summit: modification of the Large Cargo Freighter in Taiwan began in June; progress with supplier partners continued throughout the year on testing of key components, technology developments, and construction of facilities at particular sites; and the program achieved two key milestones in September when it reached firm configuration and unveiled the airplane's innovative flight deck.

The positive market response has been another achievement of the year. Since launching the program in April 2004, 25 customers have ordered 309 airplanes. "We are extremely pleased with the breadth and depth of the customers who have joined our launch team," said Bentrott.

During the meeting Boeing also discussed updated ranges and seat counts for each 787 family member. "Since we talked to our customers about the optimum range and efficiency of the 787, and learned more about the airplane through firm configuration, we have determined ranges for the 787-8, -9 and -3," said Bentrott.

The range for the 787-9 is 8,600 - 8,800 nmi; the 787-8 is 8,000 - 8,500 nmi; and the 787-3 is 3,000 - 3,500 nmi.

"We also know that our customers appreciate the flexibility available in the 787 interior and the ability to configure it quickly to match their market needs. As a result, we are now reflecting a seat-count range by model," Bentrott added. The seat ranges for the 787-8 are 210 - 250; the 787-9 is 250 - 290; and the 787-3 is 290 - 330 seats.

The next major milestone for the 787 will be in 2007 when the first 787 enters production. Flight test will occur the same year, with certification, delivery and entry into service in 2008.

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Yvonne Leach