Thursday, July 8, 2010

Around the 787 update

Well as my "real" job kept me very busy (I bet some of you didn't have to work till 4:30AM the next morning), the 787 continued its flight testing activities. So far ZA004 and ZA005 have been flying with ZA005 undertaking flutter testing with the GEnx engines configuration. ZA004 has started the important flight loads survey testing whose data will be compared to predicted data.

Flightblogger has posted a flight test update on his blog but he also revealed that ZA003 and ZA001 are undergoing horizontal stab rework. While ZA003 should finish this work by July 9th, Boeing is keeping the option of sending ZA002 to Farnborough instead of ZA003 in case the work is not completed. It has been suspected that ZA003's return from Arizona to Boeing Field meant that there may need to have some rework done on this aircraft and now it looks as if that is true.

Flightblogger: Horizontal stabilizers of ZA003 and ZA001 being reworked, ZA002 on deck for Farnborough

Guy Norris also put out an article at Aviation Week describing Boeing reaction to the horizontal stab workmanship issues and how Boeing is trying to figure out who the problem got past quality control inspections. He says that Boeing still has margin in the schedule so any rework shouldn't impact the remainder of the test schedule. Guy also gives a look ahead to the test flight schedule.

Guy Norris: 787 To Debut At Show, Despite Tail Issues

Max Kingsley-Jones of reported that the 787 fatigue test airframe, ZY998, is about to start it's 3 year testing of the durability of the 787 airframe. The airframe will undergo rigorous testing which will subject it the equivalent of 165,000 flight cycles over those three years. The frame was moved to it's test fixture in late January and the past few months have been spent installing instrumentation and other test fixtures.

Max Kingsley-Jones: Boeing targets 787 fatigue test buffer over lead aircraft

On the production front, the first painted 787 for Japan Airlines made its debut on the Everett ramp. The aircraft is LN 20 (ZA 175) and is in spot 106. There are 12 787s on the Everett ramp including one in the "circus tent" undergoing side of body modifications. There should be line move later this weekend to make room for the 25th 787 to be built, the first for Air India. Parts for this aircraft have already started arriving into Everett. ZA006 first flight has been put back to sometime in August though I don't have atarget date as of yet.

Lastly, the 787 test flight fleet exceeded 1,100 flight hours flown. ZA005 flew the flight that achieved that milestone. Thus far the test flight fleet has flown almost 36% of the required test flight hours.

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