Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Possible Delivery Delay for GEnx powered 787?

Given that the delays to the 787 for ANA are well documented, Boeing is pushing hard to get three more Dreamliners into the hands of the airline before the end of the year. The revised delivery schedule for this month shows that ZA116 should deliver around Dec. 27 with ZA104 and ZA102 delivering on Dec. 30th. Of course this is all subject to change.

The knock on effects maybe felt to the GEnx powered 787s. Let's review first. Boeing has flown almost all the test points for FAA certification of the GEnx-1B powered version of the 787. The remaining test points that need to be completed is functionality and reliability testing and ETOPs testing. Now Boeing completed some of this testing on the flight test version of the aircraft but the FAA requires that some portion of this testing to be done on a production version of the plane. Boeing has assigned ZA236 (L/N 35, VT-ANH). When Boeing ran the F&R/ETOPs testing on the Trent-1000 version of the airplane it was done on ZA102 (which is being prepared for delivery) and lasted about 300 hours.

I am assuming that Boeing will have to fly a similar number of hours for the GE powered machine but some of those hours have been done on the test flight birds (ZA005 and ZA006). It is unknown how many more hours will be needed to finish certification testing.

ZA236 has yet to fly and it seems that resources have been diverted from preparing this airplane for flight to preparing the three aforementioned ANA 787s for delivery. Flightblogger had reported that Boeing was to fly ZA236 by the middle of this month but it's now looking that it will be later this month. For the Trent-1000 version, Boeing conducted the 300 hour F&R/ETOPs over a 51 day period during this past summer. Assuming that Boeing has to only fly half that amount (150 hours) with ZA236 (with the rest already done by the test aircraft) which means about 3 to 4 weeks of flight tests and that testing starts soon after the New Year, the test program can wrap up around the end of January. Figure a couple of weeks before the FAA issues the amended type certificate (middle of February) then deliveries can take place start in middle to late February. This is assuming that there aren't any production issues holding up these airplanes and no unexpected issues that are revealed during the final F&R/ETOPs testing.

Boeing's delivery forecast for the GEnx-1B was very early 2012 (January) and internal documents up until last week had Boeing delivering the first to Japan Airlines in January 2012. This is now not the case as the situation is still very fluid.


Jim said...

See Munch's existential "Scream".

johnv777 said...

Hello Uresh,
Need clarification on a picture that Matt published today showing a United/Continental frame with engines installed identified as LN# 47. You list LN# 47 as an ANA aircraft.
Thanks for all the recent updates.

MeisersMeinung said...

any news about ZA116???