Friday, August 20, 2010

Eight Months in...787 exceeds 1,500 flight hours and other news

Sorry for the late post.

The 787 test flight fleet has now been flying for eight months and while they continued to move forward, the situation with the horizontal stabilizer seems to have reduced the flight tempo of the test aircraft.

Through August 14th, the 787 flight test team has flown 1,487 hours and 55 minutes or 48% of the 3,100 flight test hours that Boeing has stated that they will need to certify the aircraft.

To date (August 19, 2010) the test flight hours have accumulated 1,509 test flight hours with ZA004 flying a flight loads test and breaking through the 1,500th hour on August 19th. Additionally, ZA001 cross the 500 hour mark with three test flights yesterday with several dedicated to Vmu testing at Edwards Air Force Base. However, in order for the Rolls Royce powered aircraft to be certified by the end of November (102 days), Boeing would need to fly the four test airplanes for another 1,040 hours and 30 minutes which equates to about 10.2 hours per day every day until November 30th. The bottom line is that Boeing needs to aggressively get these airplanes in the air if they hope to deliver by the end of the year.

It is expected that the GE powered 787s will be certified sometime in early 2011 though ZA005 had a hydraulic leak and has been at Paine Field for the last few days getting new parts installed. It should be back in the air as early as today according to sources. ZA006 should be out on the flightline at Everett by August 23rd for an expected first flight around middle of September though I'll hopefully find out more sometime next week. The GEnx-1B powered airplanes have completed under 18% of the required test flight hours. Boeing plans to deliver the GEnx powered airplanes sometime in the 1st quarter of 2011.

Guy Norris broke the news this morning that ZA002 will be flying to the North Pole this weekend for an extensive test of the 787s navigation system while the aircraft is flying polar routes. Traditional compasses are rendered ineffective at the North Pole thus the aircraft will rely on the Honeywell built navigation system. This will be a test of that system at the polar region.

Guy Norris: First 787 to the north pole

AOL Travel has a great article about aircraft testing and they specifically talk about the 787 testing

AOL Travel: What Does a Plane Go Through Before It Can Fly?

Lastly, Jens Flottau of Aviation Week wrote about ANA plans for the 787 in the next hew months after receiving their first airplanes:

Jens Flottau: ANA Plans Quick 787 Ramp Up

No comments: