Emirates: Dreamliner Delays OK

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The Boeing 787 Dreamliner's flight testing, originally scheduled to begin in late August, is now scheduled for October. Boeing has confirmed that a fastener-shortage problem and glitches in the aircraft's flight control software have impacted the schedule. "A slip of two months is not harmful to the program, and can be made up in reasonable time, we believe," wrote Howard Rubel of Jefferies & Co. Inc. last week. Boeing plans to fit testing inside six months, acknowledging that previously built-in margin for error and unforeseen missteps has now been erased. Emirates' decision to order 100 Boeing 787 aircraft (and not Airbus A350 aircraft) has not been affected by Boeing's announced delays in the program, according to comments Emirates President Tim Clark left with ATW Daily News. Clark remains bullish on the program, stating that he expects the aircraft to be among the finest ever built. He also offered conciliatory comments that praised the technologies incorporated into the design and spread any blame for the delays across "the supply chain." ""It would have been a miracle for Boeing to have flown the 787 on time," Clark told ATW. A section of Dreamliner fuselage has recently passed Boeing's 15-foot height drop test, confirming for engineers that their computer models can predict structural response with accuracy.