I don´t think, that i will fly with the 787 anytime soon … even in case, this baby will fly next year. There are new delays in the programs. As far as the usual suspects report, a mechanic at Alenia was able to destroy a complete barrel of the fuselage by using wrong fasteners. The damage was so severe, that they wait for a new center fuselage barrel.
Okay, this can happen, but this rises some questions for me as an outsider to this business : How do Boeing expect that an ordinary flight mechanic can repair the 787 on the apron, when a catering truck bumps into the plane or an uncautious loader rams its vehicle into lower deck? When even the people at the factory are unable to repair a damage? And to think it the other way round: Will they throw away such fuselage parts in the future or will they repair this to save some money (Boeing is a public traded company and i think Fight Club was right with it´s presentation of the internal logic of companies). The damage must have been severe enough that Boeing examines it complete schedule as Dreamliner Four plays an important role in the flight test schedule. And this just by the mistake of a single mechanic.
Additionally: This damage happpened at a part of the plane that was problematic for Boeing in the past as reported for example at Design News: Boeing Stiffens 787 Wing Box Spars: More Schedule Delays Possible.
Some strange: AirportBusiness.com reports in “787 partner halts work briefly after FAA audit”:
The South Carolina plant that assembles the mid-fuselage of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner halted production for 24 hours beginning Monday night after a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) audit found lax manufacturing procedures that could result in damage to the aircraft sections.
He said it wasn't surprising the FAA found issues, given the high number of workers there who "never worked on airplanes before.
"In the beginning ... they were basically looking the other way to get the plane built," said the contractor. "Now people are paying attention to procedures and everything is being done by the letter of the law."
Sorry that i can´t resist … but: The test flight pilots should wear parachutes not only on first flight ;) Well, i´m not in the aircraft business and i´m just a interested outsider , but at the moment my confidence as an upcoming consumer in this aircraft is waning at best …