Boeing CEO on 787 battery progress, 787-10, 777X

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney opened the company’s quarterly earnings call with updates on the 787 battery situation and key development programs like the 777X.

The company gained FAA approval Friday on a redesigned battery system for the 787, which was grounded for three months. Since then, Boeing has installed 10 battery systems on customer 787s and nine on production aircraft, McNerney said.

Delivery of 787s will resume in May; the retrofitting of most of the 787 customer fleet will be completed mid-May.

Boeing has started process of building 787s at a rate of seven monthly and expects to deliver 60 787s or more this year.

Customer interest in the larger Dreamliner, the 787-10, continues to be high, McNerney said. Boeing will officially launch the 787-10 “sooner rather than later,” he said. McNerney declined to say how soon Boeing could deliver the first 787-10.

Boeing still plans for the 777X to enter service by end of decade. Improvements to the 777X, including a composite wing and more efficient engines, make the jet very competitive, he said.

The company is considering where to assemble the 777X. Everett is doing “one heck of a job” building current 777, McNerney said later in the call.

Final assembly on the 787-9 will begin later this year in Everett; first flight will take place in the second half of year with delivery of the first 787-9 is still scheduled for early 2014.

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