When Boeing (NYSE: BA ) management promised a date certain for delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner last month, well, that was a song we had all heard before. But management's still singing it, and up on Wall Street, they're starting to hum along.
Boeing didn't give a lot of detail about its 787 project in the April 27 earnings report. Flight testing is ongoing, "surpassing 3,500 hours." The first plane is still slated to arrive at All-Nippon Airways sometime in the third quarter of this year, the first of 835 such planes Boeing has agreed to deliver to customers ranging from ANA and Aeroflot abroad, to Delta (NYSE: DAL ) , AMR (NYSE: AMR ) , and United Continental (NYSE: UAL ) here in the states. That's about it. Not much new. Not much different from what Boeing's told us in the past -- and failed to deliver upon.
But by words and actions, Boeing is showing confidence that this time will be different. Marketing Vice President Randy Tinseth repeated the "Q3 delivery" claim to customers in Santiago, Chile, last week. Already, the company is building two Dreamliners a month toward that goal. This hints that Boeing plans to begin shipping the birds out sometime. And Boeing's hoping to ramp production to 2.5 planes per month later this year and accelerate toward an eventual goal of 10 planes per month in 2013.
It's too early to say that Boeing's "got momentum" just yet. But I can definitely hear the engines warming up.
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