787 Reliability: Some Revealing Figures

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FAA's report out Wednesday on 787 design, certification and manufacturing foreshadows some changes coming in the way the agency oversees the ever-more-complex world of OEMs and risk-sharing partners. AWIN subscribers can see our story here.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the report is summarized in the charts below.
 

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In the first chart, Boeing-provided entry-into-service (EIS) data history shows that the 787 had "schedule reliability" figures of about 96% during its first 15 months in service (or up until FAA kicked off a worldwide grounding of the fleet last year). Those figures are comparable to the 777, ahead of the 767, and well ahead of the 747-400. 
 
The solid performance extended to so-called EE-1 or ETOPS in-service event frequency through the 15-month in-service mark. In fact, if the bar chart is accurate (the report doesn't provide the data behind either chart), the 787's first 15 months beat the 777's every single month, even though there were 49 787s in service at the 15-month mark, compared to 37 777s.
 
There is a lot the data doesn't say, of course. Schedule reliability aggregates delays of more than 15 minutes, turnbacks, diversions and cancellations--completion factor may tell a different story, for instance. (For the record, Boeing says the 787's dispatch reliabilty is now over 98% and climbing.)
 
Still, for anyone who believes the 787 had a particularly rough entry into service, these figures suggest otherwise--at least up until the grounding and subsequent fleet-wide battery mods.

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