Tuesday, June 16, 2009

787 Update from Paris, Day 2

UPDATE (06/16/2009; 10:50PM EST): A source has told me that final assembly on ZA100, the first 787 for ANA will start tonight in Everett.

Wow lots of news coming out about the 787 today so where to start?

Let's start with ZA001's road to first flight. I got a lot of the information from Guy Norris two 787 reports today.

Pat Shanahan gave an update on the status of Boeing's Commercial Product Development today in Paris. In the briefing he indicated that first flight could be a lot closer than the end of the month. Currently ZA001 is undergoing engineering tests that should lead up to a flight readiness review and then to final gauntlet which would after the review. Pat Shanahan also warned that there is no margin left in the testing and certification schedule so if there are problems that are uncovered during flight testing then that moves the entry into service to the right. Pat Shanahan also said that Global Aeronautica continues to be the weak link in the supply chain with the main issues being the travelled work as well as incorporation of the design changes.

So far ZA001 has completed flight control checks on June 16th and today are going through hydraulic systems checks today. Additionally, ZA002 which was rolled out to the flightline on Sunday has already completed its first fueling tests.

Guy's 29th 787 Update
Guy's 30th 787 Update
Aviation Week - ZA002 roll out

Highlighting the readiness of ZA001 to fly, Scott Carson told Bloomberg that ZA001could fly today if they wanted to. They won't fly it of course until they have gone through further tests but this illustrates the confidence that Boeing has in the 787 and the maturity of the systems that are loaded on the aircraft. He stated that the aircraft did much better than anticipated during the recently completed gauntlet tests.

Bloomberg's 787 article

From Flightglobal, Jon Ostrower confirmed what I had suspected a few days ago...the LCF flew in the main fuselage section for ZA100. This is the first production aircraft for ANA and was apparently delivered with a banner that read "Building with pride, the first 787 for ANA." The wings for this aircraft has been moved into position and should be soon followed by the three fuselage sections according to Jon.

Jon's Article

However, not all the news from Paris was positive for the 787. Qatar Airways is upset over the delays and Boeing's treatment of them. He threatened to pull the 60 plane order for the 787 if Boeing doesn't start to address their concerns. My opinion...Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airway's CEO has been more impartial to Airbus thus he would always see Boeing in a harsher light. I consider him a wind bag who has to say outrageous things in order for him to stay relevant but unfortunately for a Boeing, he is someone that they would have to take seriously if they want to preserve their order.

Flight's Qatar Airways 787 story


Anonymous said...

The Qatar threat is alot of hot air.....

Anonymous said...

Every one I have spoken to about Qatar indicates this is all nonsense and self puffery.

In additional there are others who will take the earlier slots and Qatar will have to pay alot more when the A350 fails to be produced as promised and runs into financial and delivery issues...besides losing their non refundable deposit