This past few days since the Farnborough Air Show ended has seen Boeing flying the wings off both the 787 and the 747-8F. The 787 test fleet racked a few first during this past weekend including ZA001 and ZA002 going over the 400 flight hour mark. the 787 test flight fleet surpassing the 40% mark for test flight hours and the 400th flight of the 787.
During Sunday all 5 test 787s were flying at one point or another and Boeing had added well over 65 test flight hours during the period starting from July 23rd to July 25th. Boeing will need to fly the 4 Rolls Royce powered 787s about 10 hours a day combined everyday until the end of November if they hope to deliver the first 787 to ANA by the end of the year.
So far Boeing has accumulated about 1,293 flight hours on the 787 though I think their total is missing one flight. Boeing is also almost half way through to certifying the Trent 1000 powered 787. That version of the 787 needs 2,430 flight hours and Boeing has accumulated a little over 1,200 flight hours on the Trent powered aircraft. The test flight program for the GEnx-1B engines is just getting started and Boeing has less than 90 hour accumulated on ZA005.
Boeing also kept the 747-8F flight crews busy during this weekend with RC 501, RC522 and RC 503 (3 of 4 test aircraft) all flying at one point during this weekend. I believe RC 521 is conducting ground tests in Victorville.
Boeing has cast some doubt on whether it can finish the test flight program and deliver both these airplanes by the end of the year though they are maintaining the guidance for deliveries to start by the end of 2010. If the current pace of test flights becomes a long term (4-5 months) trend within each of these programs, then Boeing is well on their way to start deliveries in December. Careful observation of the test flight program progress for both the 787 and the 747-8F will allow us to know how they're progressing.