Tuesday, November 30, 2010

ZA002 to fly back to Boeing Field, Boeing still expects to issues new schedules in the next several weeks

Boeing spokesperson Lori Gunter issued a press release saying that ZA002, the 787 that had been damaged in a fire almost a month ago, has been repaired and is scheduled to return to Boeing Field soon. Boeing did not give a specific date but Flightaware shows that ZA002 will be flying back today. Boeing had fully repaired the aircraft and performed ground test to validate the repairs. There won't be any flight test activities performed on the airplane during the ferry flight back to Boeing Field.

Flightaware ZA002 track

Here's Boeing's press release:

ZA002 Returning to Seattle

Boeing has readied ZA002, the 787 flight test airplane that experienced an electrical fire on Nov. 9, to be flown from Laredo, Texas, to Seattle. Maintenance technicians replaced the damaged P100 power distribution panel, repaired damage to interior composite structure and installed new insulation material.
The team in Laredo, Texas, has completed a series of ground test operations and
inspections to validate the repairs. The flight, which is expected to occur soon, will not include test operations.

In related news Boeing Commercial Airplane chief, James Albaugh said that Boeing still has more work to do in order to finalize plans for the necessary modifications and fix to the power distribution system and then develop a schedule based on that and probably other considerations in the program. Albaugh is saying that there will be a schedule slip which is expected but has not yet said how long that slip would be. His comments were to Reuters. You can read the article by clicking HERE.

Still all this is not sitting well with customers for the 787. ANA is demanding a new schedule as well as details about the problem that caused the fire and subsequent power problems. Qatar Airways has called the 787 a "failed" program though it seems that they're still holding on to their order for 30 787s. China Eastern Airlines is saying that they will cancel their order for 15 787s though Shanghai Airlines, which is owned by China Eastern, has not said if they too will cancel.

It is too early to tell if customers will stick with Boeing and the 787 until the revised schedule is out.

Still Boeing is still continuing with production with the 31st 787 to be loaded into position 1 today or tomorrow. This airplane, ZA117, is destined for ANA. ZA178 which is for Japan Airlines will be rolled out to the paint hangar.

Ground test continue to be performed on the 787 test flight fleet in lieu of flight tests as well. Boeing is also making progress in terms of getting the other 787s ready for flight tests and delivery. As had been reported earlier, a 787 destined for Japan Airlines received it's GEnx-1B engines this past weekend and one of the production 787 that will undertake flight/ground testing was rolled out to the flightline. I had reported that this airplane was ZA102 but it might be ZA101 which is to take part in ground tests though I'm working to try and confirm which aircraft is actually out on the flightline.

Flightblogger reported today that production airplanes will be flown to San Antonio, Texas where they will go through the change incorporation program prior to being delivered. Flightblogger is reporting that the Japan Airlines 787 (ZA177) will be the 3rd or 4th 787 to be delivered. It seems that now production airplanes are starting to get their powerplants in preparation for the flights to San Antonio though when these airplanes will be flown will be determined by the new schedule that Boeing should put out in the next several weeks.

Flightblogger: Repairs complete in Laredo, ZA002 to return home to Seattle

Lastly, I am still standing by my earlier prediction of a three month delay for 787 deliveries.


Dan said...

Gday Uresh,

It appears to me that the 787 with engines in full ANA colours (JA804A) is either LN8/ZA101 or LN11/ZA103 as both wore JA804A originally. From Boeing comments regarding the use of LN8 for ground testing we'd assume it to be LN8 but it appears from older photos that LN11 held onto the JA804A rego.

It now also appears that LN9/ZA102/N6066Z (with engines) is out at the fuel dock as well.

Dan said...

I take that back! Both LN8 and LN11 still sport the rego JA804A. The aircraft with engines (and new doors) has to be LN8.

Dan said...

Haha can you see "L/N 8" now written above tha ANA logo on the aircraft!


Is that a joke?? or possibly people inside Boeing helping us identify the aircraft!

johnv777 said...

I doubt it is a joke. My bet is that Boeing is doing it to help their workers identify the correct A/C to work on and document.

Dan said...

Yes obviously not a joke, but very convenient since the identity of the aircraft was being discussed in many threads on the net. With a number of 787's on deck at Boeing (many that looks the same) it makes sense to positively identify each one for employees to see.