We have been following the Boeing's 787 Dreamliner for a long time. It's a beautiful aircraft, which allegedly provides with a much-better flying experience—less noise, bigger windows, more space, and better fuel efficiency—thanks to its new construction processes and technologies. However, a new delay in its LEGO-like manufacturing process shows that Boeing is having very serious difficulties with its mass production, which will put them a whooping 18 months behind their original schedule.
According to the always entertaining Richard Quest, the delays have been caused precisely by the new technologies and manufacturing strategies that Boeing is using for the 787. Mainly, the biggest problem seems to be with the carbon fibre modules being manufactured all through the world, which then have to be brought and put together at Boeing's Everett factory in Washington, using their gigantic cargo Dreamlifter.
But as Quest points out, there will have to be major changes to this process because, at the end of the day, "the reality is that they have discovered they can't do it" in this way. One of these immediate and most serious changes, will likely require a redesign of the 787's wingbox.
As a result of these troubles, Boeing has ended with "new revised schedules" and an "extraordinary embarrassment" comparable to the humiliation that EADS had as a result of the multiple delays on the Airbus A380.
The even-worse thing is that, while it's understandable that companies like Boeing and EADS may have setbacks in the construction of these giant next-generation machines, the problem doesn't end in the technological embarrassment: Boeing will have to pay compensation to the airlines who have already bought 850 Dreamliners—which is "far more than any other aircraft at this stage"—and were expecting them on time.
Nightmareliner indeed. [CNN]