The latest delay to Boeing 787 production? Software. Wha? – UPDATED

Verifying software in the brake control system of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is the latest problem holding back the new plane’s first test flight, the troubled program’s chief said.

The first of the 787s, originally meant to fly last summer, has been held back by three major production delays due to parts shortages and incomplete work from suppliers arriving at its assembly plant near Seattle.

The plane is still on track for a first flight in the fourth quarter — in line with the last schedule announced in April — but the newest “air bubble” in the timetable is in the brake systems, Pat Shanahan said at a briefing at Farnborough Airshow…

It’s not that the brakes don’t work, it’s the traceability of the software,” Shanahan said, explaining that Crane Company, the provider, had to go back and rewrite certain parts of the brake control software to verify it for the certification process.

“I’m confident it will be done. It’s General Electric,” Shanahan said.

Uh – anyone else here ever work for General Electric? I won’t say if this does or doesn’t inspire me with confidence.

UPDATE: Got the critter up and off the ground this morning. Whoo-hoo. Looked great!

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