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EVERETT, Wash. (


) --


(BA) - Get Boeing Company Report

has once again delayed delivery of the 787.

First delivery is now expected in the third quarter. Most recently, first delivery was scheduled for the current quarter. The

original date for first delivery to launch customer


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was May 2008, so the plane is now more than three years behind schedule.

The new date reflects the impact on an in-flight fire during testing in November. It includes time required to produce, install and test updated software and new electrical power distribution panels in the flight test and production airplanes, Boeing said.

"This revised timeline for first delivery accommodates the work we believe remains to be done to complete testing and certification of the 787," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, in a prepared statement. "We've also restored some margin in the schedule to allow for any additional time that may be needed to complete certification activities."

Boeing said individual 787 aircraft have been gradually returning to the test flight program following interim software and hardware improvements. Four test aircraft have undergone extensive ground testing and a thorough review to ensure their readiness to return to flight, with two more expected to return shortly.

Additional information will be disclosed in Boeing's fourth-quarter earnings call on Jan. 26. In pre-market trading Tuesday, Boeing shares were up 83 cents to $70.90

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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Ted Reed