It has finally happened!


The Boeing 787 Dreamliner completed its first flight yesterday after almost two years of delays.  You can view a neat video of the actual flight at Boeing’s official First Flight web site.  Click on the 787 flight icon at the top of the page. 


First flight lasted over three hours and has already been officially declared a success.  I suppose getting this aircraft flying was the primary criteria for such success.


Supply Chain Matters has penned numerous commentary regarding the supply chain challenges and setbacks that have led up to this milestone.  Yesterday was a day of celebration for Boeing employees and suppliers, and we extend our congratulations to all for the hard work leading up to this event.


The next phase for the 787 Dreamliner is that of supply chain execution and delivery.  Once the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) completes its certification of the aircraft, it will be up to Boeing’s internal and external supply chain teams to execute a consistent ramp-up of production, and deliver the 865 aircraft that have been ordered by airline customers.  Suppliers will not be able to completely recoup their resource investments until these planes are delivered in quantity, and Boeing needs to recharge its delivery and export engine to recoup its own financial setbacks related to delays thus far.


The events related to 787 Dreamliner remain as the supply chain story of the 2009, and perhaps the months to come.   They have provided testimonial to the title of this blog, namely that supply chain capability does indeed matter.


Again, best wishes to the extended Boeing 787 supply chain team.  Enjoy the upcoming holiday season and come back renewed to be able to shine in the next and most critical phase, getting these magnificent planes delivered to customers.


Bob Ferrari