Dreamliner closer to commercial release

TEXT OF STORY

Bob Moon: Boeing's newest jet passed a key engineering test over the weekend. The 787 Dreamliner is now one step closer to entering commercial service. As Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman reports, Boeing is counting on the expensive jet to help gave a lift to its future growth.


Mitchell Hartman: What happens when you take the wings of Boeing's new Dreamliner jet and bend them 25 feet up in the air, while the plane's still standing on the ground? Nothing. Which is exactly what Boeing was hoping when it conducted a crucial "ultimate load test" yesterday at an airfield near Seattle.

Last time Boeing tried this, engineers found damage where the wing meets the plane's body. That further delayed development. It's already three years behind schedule, costing the company billions of dollars. Boeing has pinned its hopes on the Dreamliner, which is highly fuel-efficient, partly because it uses light-weight composite materials.

Darryl Jenkins: It fills a niche in terms of its size, how many passengers it can take, and how long it can fly.

Aerospace analyst Darryl Jenkins. He says don't count on Boeing making its new projected roll-out date the end of this year.

Jenkins: All the timetables that have been put forth in the past were pretty well, nothing to be relied on, so let's just kind of wait and see when the first one is delivered.

The planes cost upwards of $150 million each. Boeing already has 850 on order.

I'm Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...