Continuing a string of delays in development of the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing announced today that first deliveries of the passenger jet will be set back six months to December, 2008. Beset by an industry-wide shortage of titanium and aluminum fasteners, Boeing also said the maiden flight would be pushed back, from next month to March 2008, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Another source of delays is the Dreamliner's carbon-fiber composite fuselage, which requires suppliers to learn new manufacturing techniques that have thrown them for a loop. The company has dispatched hundreds of engineers to help smaller suppliers around the world get up to speed. Boeing has more than 700 orders for the Dreamliner, billed as setting new standards in fuel efficiency, comfort and ease of maintenance.