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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

April 1, 2013 at 10:30 AM

The Boeing flight that didn’t happen

Last week, Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney was speaking confidently about the progress of getting the grounded Dreamliner back in service. The company was supposed to conduct a test flight Saturday to test engineering improvements of the airplane’s power panels, which are apparently unrelated to the battery problem. It didn’t happen and Boeing didn’t say why. Now one is naturally given to wondering if the flight was postponed because of Easter — or because the fixes didn’t take. And how does this affect the schedule for battery tests and ultimately getting the 787 flying again.

The answer may be perfectly innocent, or highly complex yet benign. But considering the many delays and blunders that have beset the program, often accompanied at first by a “move along, nothing to see here…” — one is naturally curious. Readers who emailed me are.

Meanwhile, the Puget Sound Business Journal and Bloomberg report this morning that Air India is asking $37 million for losses incurred because of the 787 grounding, the latest of several compensation claims. Last week, the revival of the Dreamliner seemed imminent, or so the talk went. Now we’re left to wonder.

[UPDATE] Boeing said it is conducting a 787 flight on Line number 86, a Boeing-owned production airplane built for LOT Polish Airlines, leaving Paine Field in Everett at 11:19 a.m. PDT. According to a prepared statement: “Please note that today’s flight is unrelated to the ongoing 787 battery certification testing. This is a routine test flight designed to address ongoing system upgrades to the airplane. The battery certification demonstration flight will take place in the coming days.”

And Don’t Miss: As stock market heats up, trading slips into the shadows | NY Times

Today’s Econ Haiku:

North Korea nukes

That would ruin your whole day

China, step on up

Comments | More in Aerospace/Boeing

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