In the days since Boeing's announcement that they are delaying delivery of the first 787s to ANA by 6 weeks, the 787 flight test team has aggressively flown the 5 test aircraft. From Friday, August 27 through Monday, August 30th, the 787 flight test aircraft had flown almost 71.5 hours. Whether they maintain this pace is another story but one thing is clear: Boeing cannot afford any more slip ups with this aircraft. I expect that Boeing will continue normal test flights which will include ZA004 package "A" Trent 1000 being switched out for the package "B" Trent 1000 sometime this fall. This will be a major milestone as Boeing and Rolls Royce will truly understand the fuel efficiency of the aircraft/engine combination.
Currently, ZA002 is flying to Keflavik, Iceland to conduct crosswind landing tests. Flightblogger broke the news of this flight yesterday:
Flightblogger: Second passport stamp awaits 787 with Icelandic crosswinds
Meanwhile, ZA006 the last test aircraft is finally out of the hangars and in the fuel dock to conduct fueling tests which include fuel jettison testing. In the coming days it will fire up its APU as well as conduct a mini gauntlet test in the run up to its first flight which I expect to take place possibly around September 12th.
In other 787 news, Air China has decided to switch out its order for the 787-8 in favor for the 787-9 along with price concessions from Boeing for the delays it has experienced. Air China will receive these 787-9 between 2015 and 2018