Boeing's Next Delays

Uncovering more problems for the Dreamliner.

Last week, Boeing announced that the planned delivery of the first Dreamliner to Japanese airline All Nippon would be pushed back from the end of 2010 to early 2011. Boeing attributed the setback—its sixth on the 787, according to Bloomberg News—to engine-maker Rolls Royce, saying that there are problems with engine availability. "Are there now more unknowns that can trigger another unexpected delay? That is the question," an analyst told Bloomberg. Are there ever! Digging through the trash outside the Boeing plant in Everett, we found a memo written by a staffer to company CEO W. James McNerney, Jr., detailing other issues that could push the Dreamliner's first commercial flight well beyond the next presidential election. 1) All available flight-attendant outfit options are too plain-Jane to be worn on a jet called the Dreamliner. 2) Because of the gloomy Pacific Northwest summer, everyone at local Boeing facilities is too mired in seasonal affective disorder to actually box up the Dreamliner and send it off. 3) The Dreamliner's delivery pilot was sucked into watching Snakes on a Plane at a party, and has developed a crippling case of aerophobia. 4) The Charleston RiverDogs, the minor-league baseball team in the South Carolina city where some Dreamliners will be assembled, is primed for a very strong season this coming year; worker "sick days" are likely to skyrocket. 5) The Alaskan Way Viaduct. (The memo didn't say what this had to do with the plane, but apparently it's the scapegoat for everything these days.)

 
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