August 2012

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Heading for first delivery, Boeing's 787 backlog visualized (Update1)

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All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner JA801A ZA101

With US and European certifications in hand and 29 days to go before the first 787 officially delivered to All Nippon Airways on September 26, the 787's backlog stands at 821*, the largest-ever starting orderbook for a widebody aircraft program. The final regulatory hurdle for the 787's first delivery should be cleared Monday with receipt of the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau certification, giving ANA the clearance to begin flying passengers.

Boeing's herculean task over the next twenty-eight months is to ramp up 787 production from two per month today to ten per month by the end of 2013. 

Using some new techniques, we can take Boeing's 787 backlog data and break it down into three interactive visualizations. 

UPDATE: Non-interactive charts are available below the fold for those of you who are behind some corporate firewalls that don't allow access to Google Docs.

The first graph gives an historical look at the Boeing's 787 orders and cancellations since 2004. Since its launch, Boeing has accumulated 972 gross orders for the Dreamliner and 151 cancellations (including the six last week) or 15 months of production at peak rate.

The chart is intended to illustrate the growth in historical net and gross orders recorded at the time of their receipt, represented by the blue and red bars. The green bar represents the total cancellations recorded in a given year.

The orange bar illustrates the meltaway over time of the orders recorded in a given year. For example, while there were no cancellations in 2007, a year which saw 369 net orders, the customers who bought those 369 aircraft in that year have since cancelled 60 aircraft, reducing the total to 309. The orders recorded in 2008 saw the biggest drop, with a 37% reduction after the cancellations that were taken in 2009 through 2011. 

The chart ultimately illustrates how solid the orderbook has remained for the units sold before 2008, which were booked in an extremely favorable pricing environment as Boeing was building its backlog.

The second chart gives the geographical breakdown of the backlog by country and where the OEM direct orders originate. The chart does not show airlines who are leasing 787s, but does show lessor's country of origin.

The third gives look into the engine battle between Rolls-Royce and General Electric spread across the 787-8 and 787-9. While the data show that Rolls has more individual customers for the Trent 1000, GE has a greater overall share of which airframes it will power with its GEnx-1B engine.
*The 821 orders reflects the latest cancellation of six 787s on August 25 from an undisclosed customer, the overall backlog data from Boeing does not yet reflect that change. All data was generated from a base of 827 orders.

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