The delays at the 787 program hide a little bit the delays at another important programm of Boeing. The regenerated 747 will be delayed, too 747-8 schedule undone by 787 crisis, management errors . Stephen Trimble writes in his article:
Boeing shifted the delivery date for the 747-8 Freighter to Cargolux from late 2009 to the third quarter of 2010. First delivery of the 747-8 Intercontinental, a passenger variant struggling to attract orders, dropped from late 2010 to the second quarter of 2011.
The flight-test phase is now allotted between seven and nine months to complete, Teal says. By comparison, Boeing completed the flight-test programme for the 777-200LR, a perhaps less ambitious derivative programme, in about 10 months in 2005.
At just 20 (+8 for Boeing Business Jet as a customer) orders for the 747-8 but 78 for the freighter i wouldn´t be suprised a lot if see more delays for the passenger variant to help the 747-8F. It´s like in computer engineering … given a fixed number of engineering cyles you have to find an economical sensible distribution.