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Boeing has once again delayed the first deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner, the latest in a series of production snags that has pushed the airplane’s first commercial flight nearly three years behind schedule.

In a statement released on Friday, Boeing said it would not be able to deliver the first Dreamliners until “a few weeks into 2011.”

The reason? “Engine delivery problems,” according to the company. Earlier this week, however, the website FlightGlobal reported that one of the 787’s Rolls Royce engines had failed during a ground test in Great Britain. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has since confirmed this report.

The 787 was supposed to be ready for delivery back in May of 2008, but numerous supply chain and design issues have forced multiple delays.

The plane’s maiden test flight took place eight months ago – shortly after Boeing announced that its second line of Dreamliners would be built at a facility in North Charleston, S.C. In choosing South Carolina, Boeing took advantage of an estimated $900 million incentive package – which has been the subject of intense debate.

Despite the ongoing delays, the fuel-efficient plane – which is made using composite materials – is by far Boeing’s most popular offering, receiving nearly 850 orders from 55 different customers.