Monday, May 4, 2009

The Road Ahead

Now that the 787 is out on the flightline ready for fueling test, what is the road ahead for the 787 and first flight. I talked to a leading industry journalist and we speculated as to what is ahead and how long it will take to get through the tests. All this assumes that the 787 passes each test and gauntlet. This is a best case scenario and there is a good chance that this scenario is too good to be true.

We all know that fueling tests should occur later this week, perhaps by Tuesday, May 5th (Happy Cinqo de Mayo). Assuming that there are no issues with the fueling and calibration tests, the 787 should be ready for APU and engine run up tests to take place possibly sometime between May 6th and May 8th. This will lead to intermediate gauntlet testing, possibly as early as this weekend (May 9th or 10th). Lastly, final gauntlet could take place by around mid May which would take a little bit more than a week which would lead to taxi and braking tests around late May and first flight soon thereafter.

Please be reminded this is all speculative and all this assumes no show stoppers or need for retests. Is it possible, yes but as we saw with the landing gear swing tests, there is plenty of potential for glitches or unknown unknowns to show up.


Anonymous said...

How long do the engines have to run or be tested before they are ok for flight?

Also, is the plane being fueled for flight or for engine testing...and will have to be refueled before flight again.

Anonymous said...

A comment on the Seattle pi article asks about any "firetesting" that has/will go on ( I imagine has already).

He states that an aluminum fuselage is more protective than a composite one.

Do you know anything about the fire safety conditions of the 787 or can add to this issue.