Thursday, August 6, 2009

Boeing is "weeks away" from issuing a new schedule; Preparing test fleet for fix

According the Chris Musoke, Boeing's 787 chief engineer, they're weeks away from issuing a new schedule for first flight and delivery of the 787. He was speaking at the meeting of the Organization of Black Airline Pilots in Atlanta.

As proof that there is progress towards testing and implementing a fix on the side of body join, Flightblogger says that ZA001 has been moved inside to prepare for installation of the parts and that ZY997, the static test airframe, has scaffolding surrounding the aircraft in preparation of installation and testing of the fix. The parts needed have already been manufactured and shipped to Boeing for ZY997 and ZA001. If this fix does the trick, the parts will be manufactured and installed in all the other aircraft in the supply pipeline as well as those already assembled.

Access to the areas to be fixed will be very tight and will require technicians to get to the areas through an access door into the center fuel tank and several access holes. The first two flight ready 787, ZA001 and ZA002 have already have had these areas closed out and cleaned for testing which means that they would probably have to go though a close out procedure again and have the tanks washed out. The other four airplanes won't have that issue but this should be all minor compared to the problem that has to be fixed.

Flightblogger also reports that assembly activities are continuing on production standard 787 though some assembly activities will be put on hold until the fix is verified and the parts are installed. Airplane 8 has already started final assembly and parts for airplane 9 will start arriving later this week starting with the wings. Also reported that starting with airplane 15, the fuselage part (section 11) of the fix will be installed at Global Aeronautica in Charleston with the wing box part (section 12) of the fix being installed at Everett when the fuselage and wing box are joined in final assembly.

Flightblogger also reported that ZA004 has completed gear swing tests inside building 40-26. ZA003 is probably still inside the 747 assembly building and either ZA005 or ZA006 is outside on the flightline.

Flightblogger: Prepartations start for wing-body fix

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