Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Belated 787 Round Up

Boy I did pick a helluva day to come back and start posting.

First to start the day Boeing decided to buy out Alenia North America's share of Global Aeronautica thereby bringing the entire North Charleston facility into Boeing complete control. It is important to note that Alenia, the Japanese heavies, and Spirit still have responsibility in manufacturing their respective segments but the integration of section manufactured in Italy and Japan will be wholly done by Boeing. Here's Boeing's Press Release:

Boeing Acquires Alenia North America's Interest in Global Aeronautica

SEATTLE, Dec. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) said today it has acquired Alenia North America's half of Global Aeronautica, LLC, a South Carolina fuselage subassembly facility for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, and is now the sole owner of that entity. Alenia North America is a subsidiary of Italy's Alenia Aeronautica, a Finmeccanica company.

Operationally, Boeing will integrate the Global Aeronautica facility with the rest of Boeing's organization in North Charleston, S.C.

"The Boeing Charleston site is critical to the success of the 787 program," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Through this acquisition, Boeing benefits by joining together two solid operations - including their talented employees and state-of-the-art facilities - into one Boeing team. Ultimately, we believe integration of the site will increase productivity for the 787 program and allow us to maintain our long-term competitiveness."

"We are proud of the major contribution we have made over the past four years through our partnership in Global Aeronautica to the 787 program and to the state of South Carolina," said Giuseppe Giordo, president and CEO of Alenia North America. "We are confident that the foundation we have developed will continue to flourish as it is integrated into Boeing Charleston." The acquisition was effected through a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing; other terms were not disclosed.

"We look forward to integrating the employees of both operations into one team in
North Charleston, along with continuing our partnership with Alenia on the 787 program," said Albaugh.

Global Aeronautica, LLC, began in 2004 when Alenia North America and Vought Aircraft Industries formed a 50/50 joint venture in support of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. In 2008, Boeing purchased Vought's interest in Global Aeronautica, making the company a 50/50 joint venture between Alenia North America and Boeing.

Global Aeronautica's integration entails the joining of the mid-fuselage sections, the installation and testing of associated elements, and the application of surface finishes to more than 60 percent of the 787's fuselage. Global Aeronautica sits adjacent to the Boeing Charleston site and shares a 240-acre (97-hectare) campus.

So does this come as a surprise? Frankly no in my opinion. The Global Aeronautica production was key to getting the supply chain up and running smoothly. There are still issues with travelled work coming form Global Aeronautica so if Boeing hopes to ramp up to 10 or more per month then they have to fix the issues at GA.

Now the other big story is that ZA002 the second 787 made its first flight today as I had posted earlier, this airplane was expected to make it's first flight prior to Christmas and it has. This flight was cut short (it was in the air for about 2 hours) due to issues with the main landing gear doors, the nose gear and one of the two T-33 chase planes having run low of fuel.

Here's Boeing's statement of Dreamliner 2 taking to the air:

Second Boeing 787 Dreamliner Completes First Flight

EVERETT, Wash., Dec. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The second Boeing (NYSE: BA) 787 Dreamliner, ZA002, completed its first flight today. The all-new airplane, which features the livery of the Dreamliner's launch customer, ANA (All Nippon Airways) of Japan, took off from Paine Field in Everett, completed a two-hour flight and landed at Boeing Field in Seattle.

"We are delighted that the second Dreamliner is in the livery of our launch customer, ANA," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. "We are honored by the airline's support and look forward to delivering ANA the first production airplane next year."

Captain Randy Neville was at the controls for the flight, with Chief Pilot Mike Carriker operating as co-pilot. Neville and Carriker took the airplane to an altitude of 13,000 feet (3,962 m) and an airspeed of 200 knots, or about 230 miles (370 km) per hour. The airplane took off at 9:09 a.m. PST and landed at 11:10 a.m. PST.

This is the second of six 787s being used in the airplane's flight-test program. Each of the airplanes will be used for a specific set of tests, with this airplane focusing on systems performance. Like its predecessor, ZA001, the airplane is powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines.

"We would like to convey our sincere congratulations to the Boeing team for its achievement of this milestone, and we look forward to the delivery into our fleet next year," said Shinichiro Ito, president and CEO of ANA.

Boeing Press Release makes no mention of any in flight anomalies

Dominic Gates of the Seattle Times reports the gear door problem as well as issues with the nose gears that were eventually resolved. Dreamliner 2 apparently landed with the landing gear doors down instead of the up or stowed position. Here's Dominic's story:

First Flight of Glitches for Dreamliner 2

Flightblogger also weighed in with information on the Dreamliner 2's first flight and gave some clarity to the situation but all in all the issues that this airplane faced are minor and will be corrected and tested before the airplane goes up again.

Flightblogger: Explanation and Clarification of ZA002's Landing Gear

Guy Norris also had posted on the Things With Wings blog more details on the systems experienced issues on ZA002 during yesterday's flight.

First Flight Problems for 787 Show Up on ZA002

Lastly, here are some great videos. The first on is ZA002's take off as filmed by Matt Cawby (Thanks to Matt on the video)

The second video is landing of ZA002 at Boeing Field. Notice the gear doors in the open position as the aircraft is landing.

Here's a second view of ZA002's first flight from the Future of FLight

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