Friday, January 22, 2010

As the 787 and 747 turns...a round up of 787 and 747 news

Boeing Photos

Well a few tid bits from these two programs came out from the usual suspects and the not so usual suspects.

First off, Bloomberg News had a nice article on the 787's battle of the bulge now that the maximum take off weight is 9.25 tons more than when the program first started. Now we do know that airplane 7, which is built, is the first block point aircraft to incorporate some weight saving measures and Boeing plans to have further weight savings starting with airplane 21. Boeing says that it still plans to meet all performance guarantees made to airlines for the 787 but the performance of the airplane won't be truly known until ZA004 with revised Trent 1000s engines is flying. In addition, Boeing plans to fly ZA100 and ZA102 with the revised engines will be flown to see how the production level aircraft will perform vs the test flight aircraft baseline performance.

Matt Cawby has been great with providing a visual record of the 787 progress in addition to written reports of what is happening at Everett. Last night he got some great video of LN 10 (ZA 103) coming out of the Boeing paint hangar. This airplane was painted white (a white tail) and was towed to the Boeing flight line to wait it's turn for the side of body modification. In addition Matt Cawby got some video of engine runs on ZA002 post fuel tank cleaning. Boeing is trying to get this airplane back in the air as soon as possible. Matt also broke the news of the start of 747-8 gauntlet testing and has further updates in his blog.

Guy Norris posted an update on both the 787 and 747. Currently ZA001 is in a plan lay up at Boeing Field to have more test flight equipment installed, calibrated and tested before continuing flight tests with flight test engineers aboard. ZA002 is continuing to have it's engines runs (see Matt Cawby's video) at Everett before rejoining the test program but I have to assume that all the test equipment testing and re-calibration work is complete and it should be a matter of days until this airplane is flying again for certification and TIA purposes. ZA004 is still getting ready for it's first flight but before then Boeing is conducting test of the emergency escape slides. Guy also has a nice update on the 747-8 confirming the the start of gauntlet testing and saying that taxi tests could occur late next week after safety of flight tests then followed by first flight around January 31st or February 1st.

As I mentioned earlier in this post, Matt Cawby got video of LN 10 (4th production 787) being pulled out of the Boeing paint hangar. This aircraft was painted all white. It was assumed, prior to yesterday that this airplane would be going to ANA and thus it should have been painted in the colors of ANA like the previous three production airplanes. But Flightblogger, Jon Ostrower, broke the news yesterday that this plane and airplane 16 will be delivered to LAN Airlines. Airplane 10 is probably painted as a white tail pending confirmation of the slot swap between ANA and LAN. Flightblogger revealed that the weight savings on airplanes 7 through 20 will come from changes in the wing skin but that after airplane 20 the 787 will have a higher MTOW (maximum take off weight). The increase in MTOW is on the order of about 9.25 tons which is what Bloomberg had reported.

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