Boeing’s 66th Dreamliner aircraft first to go to preflight from assembly

An article in the Wall Street Journal (June 8, 2012) describes a milestone reached by the 66th Dreamliner aircraft – the first to reach normalized production i.e., go from assembly to preflight testing. That milestone was reached by the Airbus 380 between its 26th and 36th aircraft. Boeing also plans to spread the cost of the 787 over 1100 aircraft as against 400 in the past, increase production rate from 3.5 aircraft a month to 10 by the end of 2013 and decrease costs at a rate that is 50% faster than recent 777 aircraft. Are these aggressive goals realistic given the large fraction of outsourced components and assembly ? Is it fair to compare production stablization across aircraft models and manufacturers solely based on their customers being similar ?

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