New Boeing Airplanes Chief Says 787 Still On Schedule

Wednesday, December 6th 2006, 10:35 am
By: News On 6

CHICAGO (AP) -- A Boeing official says the 787 Dreamliner remains on schedule for its first test flight next summer and for delivery to airlines in 2008 despite the challenge to make the jet lighter.

Former Boeing plants in Tulsa and McAlester are to supply parts for the new jet and have been hiring additional employees. The two plants are now owned by Canada-based Onex Corporation and operate under the name Spirit AeroSystems.

Scott Carson with Boeing told an investment conference in New York Wednesday that Boeing has 435 firm orders for the 787 from 35 customers plus another 21 non-binding commitments.

Boeing officials have said since earlier this fall they need to reduce the plane's weight significantly to meet the promise of greater fuel efficiency. Carson says a plan is in place to reduce the aircraft's weight including switching from aluminum to titanium in some cases.