Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO, Scott Carson, has said that the 787 Dreamliner programme is now on track to perform its first flight by the end of the second quarter.
"We think we've told you the truth and that we will fly in June. I would caution that 'June' could mean the first week of July or the third week of June. Weather could have an effect."
Speaking at a New York investor's conference, Carson said that the plane's supply chain "is sorting itself out in a hurry." He pointed out that Boeing had "taken advantage of the delays" to spend extra time on flight systems. This was likely to rule out further delays once flight-testing would start.
"We will have a more mature systems suite than we would have" without the delays, he said.
Carson also said that the manufacturer continued to push suppliers to increase efficiency. "To be candid, on the 787 we've learned some things we'd do differently," he said. "We still have a few challenges on fasteners and feed parts."
He said that the company had placed "experts in the field" to work at supplier sites to ensure progress.
Carson also said that the company was already shifting focus to large-scale production once initial deliveries of six aircraft were made to launch customer, Japanese airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA).
"Rapidly our focus is shifting from how you build those first six to what you do to get seven through 856 built," he explained. "There appears to be a very strong market demand to support a very high build rate. The first order of business is how capable the supply base is. . .We are driving hard on execution and the accountability that comes with that," Carson said.