Monday, December 22, 2008

LN 2 and Beyond: The Impact to Certification

I just got confirmation that LN 2 (ZA002) most likely won't make it's first flight until the summer of 2009. The reason is due to a lot of traveled work yet to be done on the airplane and the shifting of resources to finish LN 1. All that along with the fastener issues have impacted LN 2 shop completion date.

This can slow down the certification efforts by Boeing for the 787.

However after airplane 2 is completed the pace assembly will pick up due to the more complete states of the follow on aircraft delivered into Everett. LN 3 should be done about a month after LN 2 and LN 4 not too long after that as it was delivered mostly complete and with very little traveled work.

It is projected that LN 7 should be 98% complete by the time it arrives in Everett and LN 8 should be shop complete when those sections arrive in Everett for preintergration.

The question now is how will LN 2's first flight in the late summer impact on the certification and EIS of the 787?


Anonymous said...

Higher level of completion means more headaches when incorporating engineering changes. The more complete the aircraft is, the more stuff has to be torn out to reach hard-to-access places.
Just a wild guess, but to me it looks like Boeing focuses on completing LN1 in order to use it as a pattern for subsequent aircraft.
Furthermore, LN2 may have some unique structural 'problem' that has to be dealt with inividually. For sure it will have a unique set of embedded sensors for flight testing.

Chris Wallace said...

Well Boeing has to use ZA001 as the pattern for subsequent aircraft if they want to get a unified production certificate.

Otherwise, they end up with what Airbus had on the A380, where the first ~25 frames each had to have their own individual production certificates and not until MSN026 could they get one that would apply to all the subsequent builds.

Uresh said...

Chris makes an excellent point. Boeing needs to standardize the production and whatever they do to LN 1 they have to do to LN 2 through LN 6 and beyond.

Now the good news for Boeing is that each subsequent 787 arriving into Everett should be more complete than the one before it. Thus starting with LN 8 every 787should arrive into Everett with absolutely no traveled work and thus taking advantage of the production system Boeing has laid out for the Dreamliner from the start.