Monday, June 28, 2010
Boeing has since made changes to make the 787 more survivable in an impact. You can read more in Dominic's article:
Dominic Gates : How will 787's new materials fare in a crash landing?
Because these two airplanes has resumed flight doesn't necessarily mean that they don't need rework. Boeing may have cleared the aircraft to fly but under certain operating restrictions that would not add stress to the horizontal stabilizer. I'm still awaiting word on weather any of the test flight airplanes need rework or not.
Dominic Gates broke the story on Saturday of the return to flight of the two 787s.
Dominic Gates : Two grounded 787s could take off again Sunday
Friday, June 25, 2010
If problems are found on any of these aircraft they still may fly though under a reduced flight envelope so as not to strain and fatigue the horizontal stab. It will take Boeing about 8 days to repair each horizontal stab if problems are found. For the production aircraft this won't affect their delivery since these airplanes are not flying and can be easily repaired before delivery. Boeing will focus on fixing any of the issues with ZA001 through ZA006 as these are the test flight airplanes and getting them fixed and returned to flight test will be a priority.
I don't think there will be much effect on the flight test program and their is some margin in the test flight schedule. Boeing main issue to discover who this problem got past quality control and develop methodologies to make sure manufacturing errors like this don't occur. The issue also is why Alenia is having so many manufacturing issues with their product that they deliver to Boeing.
Boeing also says that they're going to go ahead with plans to bring ZA003 to Farnborough next month though they have not finalized those plans as of yet. If they do bring it it will go a log way to repairing Boeing's image vis a vis the 787.
Boeing also announced a production related change. There will production slow down in September due to resequencing of part deliveries into Everett for final assembly. This is due to customers taking different delivery dates. This will allow Boeing suppliers to catch up and to improve the supply chain health. Boeing is planning to implement the resequencing after airplane 27 (ZA178, LN 27) is delivered. Boeing indicated that the resequencing of deliveries shouldn't impact deliveries in 2010 and 2011 to customers.
In some other 787 news, Vietnam Airlines announced that they are switching their order from the 787-8 to the 787-9. The reason being is that the airline believes that the -9 will be a better performer than the -8. This came on the heels of Boeing announcing 3 more 787s orders from an unidentified customer.
Lastly, ZA006 which will be the last test flight 787 to take flight won't fly on July 13th as previously reported but now has been pushed back to July 26th. This is before the horizontal stab issue came to light. I don't know if the new problem will further push back ZA006's first flight or not but this airplane has to be inspected first.
Dominic Gates : Boeing Halts Flights for 787 Inspection
Dominic Gates : Dreamliner Chief Says Production Will Slow In September
Flightblogger : Gaps in horizontal stabilizer prompt another Alenia 787 quality issue
Flightblogger : Boeing plans additional re-sequencing of 787 parts deliveries
Flightblogger : Boeing starts 787 horizontal stabiliser inspections
Guy Norris : Boeing 787 Test Flights Halted
Aubrey Cohen : Boeing finds glitch in 787 horizontal stabilizers
Aubrey Cohen : Boeing inspecting 787s, plans to slow production in September
Flightglobal : Vietnam Airlines switches 787 order to -9s
Bloomberg : Boeing Says 787s May Need New Tail Parts After Inspections
Randy Tinseth : 787 inspections prioritized
Geoffrey Thomas : Boeing to bring 787 to Farnborough, happy with flight testing progress
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Dream supporters : getting the 787 ready for passengers
Friday, June 18, 2010
Guy also talks about the progress on increasing the fuel efficiency of the GEnx-1B engines and GE's desire to get the engines to spec with the PIP (product improvement package) 1 that would be delivered to customers around May of 2011. There are further improvements planned for the GEnx-1B to increase fuel efficiency even further but those improvements won't show up until 2012.
Guy Norris: GE-Powered 787 Enters Test Flight
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Boeing Press Release:
Boeing 787 Dreamliner Passes 1,000 Hours of Flying
EVERETT, Wash., June 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --The Boeing (NYSE: BA) 787 Dreamliner flight test fleet passed 1,000 hours of testing yesterday. The program estimates that it is about 40 percent through the test conditions required to certify the first version of the all-new jetliner.
"More work remains but we are seeing excellent progress in flight test," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Even more important than the hours we've logged are the test conditions we have completed. The team is being very efficient in getting the data we need."
"It's also important to note that we are making solid progress on the ground testing required on the flight test fleet as well," Fancher said.
Follow the progress of 787 flight test at http://787flighttest.com.
Additionally, Fancher revealed that Boeing flight test pilots have completed 40% of certification test points over the 1000 plus test flight hours that the test fleet has flown. Given this progress it may take Boeing much less than the stated 3,100 hours of flight test to complete the flight test program. Fancher says that test flight results are matching up to model predictions quite accurately thus adding to confidence in the program. If this trend continues I think that there will be a spike in 787 orders in the coming months as Boeing and it's customers get comfortable with the results coming out of the test flight program.
Bloomberg: Boeing 787 Withstands First Lightning Strike as Tests Advance
News Release Issued: June 16, 2010 11:04 PM EDT
Boeing Completes First Flight of GE-Powered 787
EVERETT, Wash., June 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The first Boeing (NYSE: BA) 787 Dreamliner with General Electric (GE) engines, the airplane referred to as ZA005, completed its first flight at 6:29 p.m. (Pacific time) today, following a 3-hour-and-48-minute flight over the state of Washington.
GE executives and Boeing employees were on hand to welcome Captains Mike Bryan and Mike Carriker to Boeing Field in Seattle following completion of the flight.
"The airplane handled just like I expected," said Bryan, who captained the flight. "It was just like every other 787 flight that I've flown in the last several months –smooth, per plan and excellent."
"We're pleased to introduce the fifth Dreamliner to the flight-test fleet and to start flight testing with GE engines," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "It's taken the collective resources and dedication of our teams to get to this day. There's just nothing like a first flight to validate that it has been worth the sacrifices we have all seen our teams make in the past several years."
ZA005 will be used to test the General Electric engine package and demonstrate that the changes made with the new engine do not change the airplane's handling characteristics.
The sixth, and final, 787 to join the flight test program is expected to fly before the end of July.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
The first 787 to be powered by GE's GEnx-1B engines finally took o the skies today. In keeping with the 787 tradition, this take off was delayed though this time due to low ceiling clouds and rain showers. It finally lifted off from the Everett runway at around 2:40 PM PT flew around the Seattle area before heading to Moses Lake. An observer told me that the sound of the GEnx engines on the 787 are very conventional sounding compared to the Trent 1000 which have a low pitched buzz saw sound to them. It flew back from Moses Lake and touched down at Boeing Field at about 6:22 PM PT. This now kicks off Boeing-GE certification test flights of the GEnx powered 787. ZA005 joins the Rolls Royce powered test fleet that has been flying for the past 6 months starting with ZA001. Test flights should last another 5 months and the last GE powered aircraft, ZA006, should be flying by July 13th...about 4 weeks from now.
Video courtesy of Liz Matzelle:
Video and pictures of ZA005 first flight by David Parker Brown
Photos of ZA005 first flight by David Parker Brown
Photos of ZA005 first flight by Liz Matzelle
Flightblogger, Jon Ostrower is writing a in depth article about this particular 787 and its test flight responsibilities.
Flightblogger: Better Know A Dreamliner - Part Five - ZA005
Guy Norris is also writing up a post which should be posted very soon but he does have a couple of pieces up:
Guy Norris: GE powered 787 flies
747-8 and 787 ready for test expansion
Matt Cawby got some amazing video of ZA005 first flight and I highly recommend it:
Matt Cawby: N787FT First Flight
And some video from King5, a Seattle TV station with a unique angle of the take off:
Video Courtesy of King 5
Lastly, ZA003 is flying tonight and when it lands it will push the 787 flight test hours to 1000 flight hours. Stay tuned for information on that.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Matt Cawby: 787 Update - June 15
Six months after ZA001 took to the air, the combined test flight hours stand at a shade under 983 hours. The average per flight hours is 4 hours and 12 minutes but thus far in June, the test flight fleet has flown 22 missions for almost 105 and half hours making the average flight last 4 hours and 47 minutes. Over the past three months the average hours per flight has steadily increased with Boeing flying longer missions on each of the airplanes and accomplishing more tasks on each flight.
Later this week it is expected that the total 787 test flight hours flown will break the 1000 hour mark and by early next week Boeing would be 1/3 of the way through its flight test program.
In order to achieve the 3,100 test flight hours by mid November of this year (22 weeks), the test flight fleet would have to fly 96 hours and 13 minutes per week. With the addition of ZA005 to the test flight program tomorrow and the anticipated first flight of ZA006 on July 13th, Boeing should be able to achieve its certification goals by mid-November.
Monday, June 14, 2010
- The 747-8F has received it TIA (Type Inspection Authorization) so now FAA engineers and inspectors will ride along to certify the 747-8F.
- Boeing started fuselage assembly of the first 747-8I.
- A 747-8F for Korean Air Cargo made its appearance on the Everett ramp today in full Korean Air livery joining the 747-8F for Cargolux.
The start of fuselage assembly represents a major milestone in the 747-8I program. Boeing has already been working on the wings but as you can see from the Boeing photo, the iconic shape of the 747 is starting to become reality for the newest version of the aircraft. It will be amazing to see the full aircraft, with it stretched upper deck, completed sometime this fall and prepared for its first flight scheduled to take place late this year or early next year. Here's Boeing's press release:
Randy Tinseth put up a few more great pictures of the assembly of the first section 41 for the 747-8I on his blog. First Look - 747-8 Intercontinental.
Boeing Begins Fuselage Assembly for First 747-8 Intercontinental
EVERETT, Wash., June 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) began fuselage assembly of the first 747-8 Intercontinental at the factory in Everett, Wash. Mechanics loaded panels for the 31-foot, 8-inch (9.6 m) long front section of the new airplane into the assembly tool. The panels are part of section 41, the area of the fuselage that houses the flight deck on the upper deck and the forward passenger cabin on the main deck, an area that most airlines typically configure with first class seating.
The 747-8 Intercontinental is the new, high-capacity 747 that offers airlines the lowest operating costs and best economics of any large passenger airplane while providing enhanced environmental performance. Boeing has 109 orders for the 747-8 -- 33 for the 747-8 Intercontinental and 76 for the 747-8 Freighter. The first 747-8 Intercontinental is scheduled to deliver in late 2011.
Boeing 747-8 Freighter Receives Expanded Type Inspection Authorization
EVERETT, Wash., June 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) received expanded type inspection authorization (TIA) from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the 747-8 Freighter on June 11. This authorization clears the way for FAA personnel to participate in test flights and collect required data.
"This is a major step in our effort to test and certify the 747-8 Freighter for our customers," said Mo Yahyavi, vice president and general manager for the 747 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The airplane is performing well in the tests. We have demonstrated the airplane's readiness to move onto the next stage in the flight-test program through tests at a variety of speeds, altitudes and configurations."
With the issuance of TIA, the 747 program is beginning expanded certification testing. During this phase of testing, the extremes of the flight envelope are explored. Testing conditions include operations in hot and cold weather as well as takeoffs and landings at high-altitude airports. In addition, over-speed conditions, hard landings and engine-out conditions are tested.
"The airplane is handling beautifully," said Mark Feuerstein, 747 program chief pilot, Boeing Test and Evaluation. "It is a joy to fly."
The entire flight-test program calls for a total of about 3,700 hours of ground and air testing. The first 747-8 Freighter delivery is planned for the fourth quarter of this year.
Photo courtesy of David Parker Brown
Lastly, Dave Parker Brown of Airlinereporter.com, got some terrific pictures of the third 747-8F to come out of the final assembly hall at Everett. The aircraft is destined for Korean Air Cargo when the certification program is complete. You can see the other pictures by Dave by clicking here.
Flightblogger has a couple of posts about todays 747 events:
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Also yesterday, the main fuselage for ZA177 (LN 23) and the wings for ZA116 (LN 24) arrived into Everett. All the major parts are now in building 40-26 and will be moved into position late Sunday night/early Monday morning. There will be a line move tomorrow where ZA100 (LN 7) will be moved out to building 40-24 (Later ZA1001 will be moved into the same building).
There is an unconfirmed rumor that I'm working to verify that ZA005 will fly as early as Monday, June 14th. Stay tuned ad I hope to have more information on this soon.
Lastly, Matt Cawby got pictures and video of G-STBA, the first 777-300ER for British Airways coming out of the Boeing paint hangar.
Matt Cawby's Blog Posting - June 11, 2010
Matt Cawby's BLog Posting June 12, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
To start ZA006 the last test flight aircraft and the second to be equipped with the GEnx-1B engines will be pulled out of building 40-24 tomorrow night and taken out to the Boeing flightline to be prepared for its first flight expected around July 13th.
ZA100 (LN 7) will be moved out of building 40-26 on Sunday June 13th and will be placed inside 40-24.
After the line move ZA101 will occupy position 4, ZA102 will occupy position 3 and ZA115 (LN 22) will be moved to position 2 all inside building 40-26. This will make room at position 1 for ZA177 (LN 23) to start final assembly on June 14th.
ZA005 will conduct its first flight on June 16th and will create on empty spot on the flightline (their going to need it)
After a couple of weeks, there will be another line move with ZA101 being moved to 40-24 on June 27th. The aircraft that are in 40-26 will be moved one position to make room for ZA116 (LN 24) to start final assembly on June 28th.
After about another two weeks there will be another move with ZA102 being moved out directly to the flightline on July 12th. On July 13th ZA230 (LN 25) will start final assembly.
Interestingly when Boeing put the temporary halt into effect ZA175 and ZA176 were moved into the ATS Hangar and they will remain there. The aircraft are not finished and I think Boeing will probably finish them at ATS.
Lastly, all the completed 787s and 747-8 are going out to the flightline without engines and interiors. This is so Boeing will not have to pay the suppliers for these items until they're needed to be installed which is closer to their first flight dates.
Check out the Flightaware live flight tracking for this flight.
According to Guy Norris, the approval needs to be completed in three steps. The first is systems which has been completed. The second is handling qualities...both aircraft should have similar handling qualities. It is this second step that has been completed and approved. The last step is validation of the training course for pilots which includes the 787 check rides with the FAA. There is no word on when the third step will be completed but I have to assume that Boeing would like to have it done prior to first delivery to ANA who is a large 777 operator.
ZA001 is still in layup after having its engines changed out and should fly again towards the end of the month. Boeing is also adding artificial ice shapes to the leading edges for tests and then the airplane should be at Edwards Air Force Base later this summer for Vmu (velocity minimum unstick) testing. Here ZA001 will basically drag its tail on the ground and see what the slowest speed the 787 can take off at. ZA004 is also expected to be back in the air by the end of June for flight loads testing. It is currently getting additional instrumentation in order for them to conduct the testing. ZA002 and ZA003 are currently flying with the Boeing test fleet accumulating over 938 hours.
Guy Norris : 787 closer to 777 commonality approval
Flightblogger : Carriker: 787 designed with 777 handling in mind
Flight testing appears to be going very well for the 787. So much so that Boeing is closer to deciding to send the 787 to Farnborough. As I had reported earlier, Boeing will most likely not make a decision until early July but odds are that they will send ZA003 to Farnborough. Flightblogger reported yesterday that Boeing is planning to send both ZA003 (787) and RC503 (747-8F painted in Cargolux livery) to Farnborough. Later Boeing tweeted that they're "planning on the 787" but "the 747-8 is looking less likely." This is pretty much true in my opinion as Boeing is behind in flight testing of the 747-8F. I don't think they could spare the aircraft or the time to send the aircraft to Europe.
Flightblogger : Boeing's Farnborough Outlook ZA003 and RC503
Lastly, Boeing showed solid proof of the progress of the 747-8I. The first fuselage panels of the aircraft are now in Everett. The first airplane should be rolled out towards the end of this year with first flight early next year.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Airbus is still struggling to execute its production plan and it remains to be seen if they could achieve their goal of 20+ A380 deliveries this year.. The program continues to be a cash drain on EADS/Airbus' earnings overall and even with the 32 air frame order, the company is far from breakeven on this program.
More ominously, dark clouds are looming for Airbus' other major widebody program, the A350. Saj Ahmad has been poking around and this morning said that the A350 program could find its schedule pushed back by as much as one year from the current mid-2013 delivery of the first A350 to Qatar Airways. Airbus is still struggling with weight issues on the aircraft with some estimates that the airplane could be overweight by as much as 6+ tons overweight and fuel burn impacted by as much as 1% or more according to Saj. Airbus has produced a few composite fuselage panels but because they have to attach the panels to a skeletal structure the fittings used to attach the panels are turning out to be heavier than anticipated. Airbus has acknowledged that they have used up almost all their schedule margin in the program and delays on this airplane along with resources needed to tackle the problems in the A380 and A400M program will undoubtedly present a huge schedule an monetary risk to Airbus as it attempts to pay suppliers, finalize the designs and ramp up production of the A350. Even though Saj is saying up to a one year delay is in the offing...my personal feeling is that it would be 18 to 24 months.
Saj Ahmad: Airbus A350XWB “Delays Inevitable”
Flightblogger: The curious case of 90 A380s
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
ZA002 flew a 2 hour and 35 minute mission this morning (June 8th) out of Victorville. In completing this test flight, the 787 test fleet has completed over 30% of the required 3,100 test flight hours for the program. ZA005 continues its gauntlet testing ahead of a planned first flight on June 16th.
Monday, June 7, 2010
UPDATE: Cargolux has more pics of their new 747-8F on it web site. Click HERE to see them.
Boeing has painted the first 747-8F for delivery to Cargolux, the 747-8F launch customer. The first 747-8F is still scheduled for delivery at the end of the year though there is some concern that the test flight program is running behind schedule. Here's Boeing's Press Release:
News Release Issued: June 7, 2010 9:01 AM EDT
Emerges From Paint Hangar in New Cargolux Livery
SEATTLE, June 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The first Boeing (NYSE: BA) 747-8 Freighter painted in customer livery emerged today from the Boeing paint hangar in Everett, Wash. The airplane sports an updated livery for launch customer Cargolux. The Luxembourg-based cargo operator has a total of 13 Boeing 747-8 Freighters on
Boeing delivered the last Cargolux 747-400 Freighter with a unique transition paint scheme featuring fading stripes. The new livery on Cargolux's 747-8 Freighter is an evolution from the current design and marks the start into a new era for the company.
"The design stands for continuity and commitment while confirming the fundamental principles that made Cargolux successful. The red, white and blue stripes symbolize the company's roots in Luxembourg, its hub and home base," said Ulrich Ogiermann, chief executive officer of Cargolux. The new livery features a distinctive new red tail and an additional logo on the belly further promotes the brand.
Boeing will deliver the first 747-8 Freighter to launch customer Cargolux in the fourth quarter of this year.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Guy Norris : 787 - composites under the hammer and more tests
This weekend was very eventful for the 787 program. First ZA002 flew an eleven and a half hour test flight on June 5th (Saturday) out of the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville. Both ZA002 and ZA003 flew this weekend with ZA001 and ZA004 undergoing installation of additional instrumentation and in the case of ZA001 a change out of it's Trent-1000 engines.
Today, June 6th, the first 787 with the GEnx-1B engines started gauntlet testing as I had reported earlier in the week. These tests are taking place in the run up to ZA005's first flight which is expected to take place around June 16th. Matt Cawby posted a great video on his blog of ZA005 engines running at high RPMs:
Matt Cawby's June 6th 787 Update
Friday, June 4, 2010
Boeing and ANA will test the 787 in Japan this fall. No word on when this fall it will take palce but theDreamliner will be spending a week flying around a select few Japanese airports and allowing ANA staff to perform maintenance during the testing.
Dreamliner Test Flights to Start This Fall in Japan
In a related story, ANA is planning to start flying the 787 on international revenue service in March, 2011 after taking delivery in November, 2010. Prior to next March international debut for the ANA 787, the airline plans to fly the airplane on domestic service. There you have it folks...ANA is expecting first delivery in about 6 months. ANA also plans to start pilot training in September.
All Nippon Plans First 787 Overseas Flights in March
Flightblogger: ANA sees November 787 delivery, January EIS, March International Debut
Yesterday, ZA002 performed a 12 hour test flight out of Victorville. Sources have told me that testing during this flight included, NGS/Tank Thermal Testing, airspeed calibrations, and TEVC (trailing edge variable camber) cruise optimization testing. The same sources said that testing went so well that additional test conditions were also completed during the same test flight. Both ZA001 and ZA004 are still undergoing work on the ramps. ZA005 will start the mini-gauntlet on June 6th (this weekend) and then start the run up for first flight on June 16.
RC521 (747-8F) in tug collision, Boeing details test flight program for the fourth 747-8F, and engineers fix the flap buffet issue on the 747-8F. Flightblogger has a great update including the imminent start of NAMS testing on RC521 as well as what roles the 4th test flight aircraft (RC503) will in the 747-8F flight testing.
Flightblogger: Boeing details role of fourth 747-8F flight test aircraft
Lastly, some news about the 787 competitor. Louis Gallois, CEO of EADS is saying that much of the schedule margin in the A350 program has been eaten up and that from a scheduling perspective, the program is "tense." The program has already delayed final assembly and first flight on the first A350 though they have not delayed the first delivery which is scheduled for 2013.
Bloomberg: Airbus A350 Timing ‘Tense’ as Gallois Takes Cue From Dreamliner
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
ANA - 15 787s
Air India - 10 787s
Japan Airlines - 8 787s
China Southern Airlines - 3 787s
LAN - 2 787s
RAM - 2 787s
Ethiopian Airlines - 2 787s
Continental Airlines - 1 787
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
787 flight testing slowed down this past weekend (Memorial Day Weekend) with only one airplane flying, ZA002. This airplane surpassed 250 flight hours this past weekend. ZA001 is swapping out it's Trent 1000 engines and is about midway through that exercise. It is not, as far as I have learned, a swap out of the Trent package "A" engines (which was what this aircraft has been flying with since December) with the improved package "B" engines. The fourth 787, ZA004 will receive the improved package "B" Trent 1000 in September. The package "B" engines is supposed to deliver a specific fuel consumption that is within 1% of what was promised to customers. These engines incorporates design improvements to get that fuel consumption close to what is contractually promised by Rolls Royce. ZA004 is receiving some APU updates and additional instrumentation and ZA003 was given the weekend off for the Holidays. The 787 test fleet has flown the most hours in the program during the past one month, logging over 330 hours spread across over 100 flights. The per flight utilization also went up to 3.2 hours per flight. Most of this is attributed to ZA004 performing Nautical Air Miles Testing over the eastern Pacific just west of the Baja Peninsula.
To date the 787 test fleet has accumulated over 880 flight test hours during more than 280 flights.
So far so good with flight testing. ZA002 flew to Victorville this morning (June 1) and is joining ZA004 in flight test duties. The two airplanes will be testing independent of one another. ZA002 will undertaking NGS (nitrogen generating system) tests as well as some other small testing duties.
ZA005 is still scheduled to fly around June 16th and ZA006 will be flying around July 13th.
On the production front, look for LN 23 to start final assembly around June 14th. Boeing held up final assembly of 787s for one month to allow the supply chain to get caught up in work instead of sending the fuselage sections to Everett along with travelled work. Look for parts for this airplane to start arriving next week though some parts are already in for this airplane.
Lastly, I asked Boeing about sending the 787 to the Farnborough Air Show. They said no decision has been made yet and it will depend on the progress of flight testing. They anticipate that a decision should be made closer to the time of the air show in mid July.
Flightaware track for ZA002