Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Production and Delivery

The 787 flight test program is going well, so well that Wall Street Analyst, in a survey, said that they believe that the 787 will be delivered on time by the end of the 3rd quarter, though many believe that end of July, 3 months from now, will see the delivery of the first 787 to ANA.

Susanna Ray: Boeing’s Delays on 787 May End as Analysts See On-Time Entry

To that end Boeing announced this afternoon that the first 10 pilots from ANA have arrived in Seattle to start training in Boeing's simulators (why they didn't go to the Boeing 787 training center in Tokyo is unknown).

Boeing Begins 787 Dreamliner Pilot Training with Launch Customer ANA

Start of 787 flight training marks significant milestone toward first delivery

SEATTLE, April 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) has started 787 Dreamliner pilot training with launch customer ANA (All Nippon Airways). Ten pilots from ANA began the training program with classroom instructions in Tokyo earlier this month. Training on simulation devices began April 23 at the Boeing Flight Services training campus in Seattle, Wash. First delivery of the 787 is scheduled for the third quarter of this year.

"The start of customer training is an exciting milestone on any new airplane program," said Sherry Carbary, vice president, Boeing Flight Services. "In the case of the 787 Dreamliner, we're seeing the results of a special working relationship between Boeing and ANA. We worked side by side with ANA for more than four years conducting simulator evaluations, curriculum reviews and cross-training so that each team learned from the other. It has truly been a collaboration between committed individuals dedicated to ensuring success," Carbary said.

The Boeing 787 flight training program uses an innovative suite of training devices including a full-flight simulator, flight training device and desktop simulation station to ensure that pilots are ready to fly the Dreamliner.

With the 787 pilot training courses, pilots can transition to the new airplane in five to 20 days, depending on pilot experience. Boeing 777 pilots can qualify to fly the 787 in as little as five days, given the high level of commonality between the two airplane types.

"This is a significant milestone for our company," said Hideyuki Shibuichi, senior vice president of Flight Operations for ANA. "Getting our pilots trained and prepared is essential to being ready to take delivery of the airplane later this year."

In order to bring training closer to customers around the world, Boeing has installed a network of eight 787 training suites at five global campuses: Seattle, Singapore, Tokyo, London Gatwick and Shanghai.

This clearly shows the confidence that Boeing and ANA have in meeting the first delivery of the 787 in a few months time. What is unclear is deliveries of the 787s that are in the process of being re-worked and have the required changes incorporated into them. Dominic Gates published a damaging article that puts into doubt Boeing's ability to delivery up to 20 787s this year with one engineer calling the change incorporation and re-work "a mess." Of the major tasks that are taking long to complete is the removal of sealants from the wings and resealing them. Apparently this process is taking weeks and requires gutting the aircraft. The computerized inventory system that Boeing is using in the program is also causing trouble and extending out the re-work schedule on the planes.

Read more of Dominic's article:

Dominic Gates : Boeing Still Struggling with the 787

Right now modifications are on going in building 40-24 (former 767 assembly line), ATS Hangar 3 and in Boeing San Antonio, Tx. facility. There are two 787 (both for Royal Air Maroc) in 40-24, 5 at ATS and the one JAL 787 in San Antonio. The problem is so severe that Flightblogger is reporting that JAL's first 78 which was supposed to be delivered in October of this year may be pushed out to November or December depending on which source you believe from Flightblogger's article. It does point to trouble on the horizon with getting these airplanes prepared for delivery and EIS.

Fllightblogger : The arrival of JAL's first 787 prompts a tangle of delivery dates

In an earlier post Flightblogger described the work that is on going within the ATS Hangar 3 and also reports that Boeing will be there for some time to come (looks like ATS will be making out handsomely from this). Boeing is so entrenched there that the Hangar has been dubbed "Boeing South." There are 5 spots at this hangar and currently Boeing has 5 787s, all for ANA, occupying all 5 spots within the hangar undergoing rework:

Spot 1: LN 9, ZA102
Spot 2A: LN 31, ZA117
Spot 2B: LN 7, ZA100
Spot 3: LN 24, ZA116
Spot 4: LN 8, ZA101

According to Flightblogger, ZA102 (which should have been completed this month) is due to finish rework by middle of May though it is unknown about the other aircraft.

Flightblogger: A tale of two factories: Boeing set to expand
787 mod operation

Guy Norris also has put out an update on both 787 and 747-8I testing thus far (RC021 the 2nd 747-8I flew for the first time today). In his article he reports that ZA001 was testing failure scenarios and back up systems certification testing. ZA001 is expected to continue with this testing extending it to fuel vent systems and controlability limits with a simulated engine out.

ZA002 will start certification testing on the package "A" EIS standard Trent 1000 engine.

Guy Norris: 747-8 and 787 flight test update

Finally, ZA004 which was to have started the switch to the improved Trent 1000 engines last week apparently will start the conversion process on April 27th (tomorrow). It is currently flying from Yuma MCAS back to Boeing Field. I am assuming that the engine change out will occur at Boeing Field.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

747-8I and 787-8 together at last

Boeing Photo

How's this for the ultimate photo in aviation geekdom, the 787-8 and the 747-8I flying in formation together while in test flight during this past weekend? Boeing photographed the pair together and will release it as a poster for purchase.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Home Stretch

Boeing Photos

As 787 flight testing continues, Boeing and its customers are starting to prepare for delivery and EIS of the 787 which should take place this summer.

With much of the test points already completed (90+% on the Trent 1000) Boeing is preparing for the final phase of flight tests. ZA004 will have its package “A” Trent 1000 engines switched out in favor of the improved package “B” engines starting on April 20th with the left engine. That process should be completed by April 30th followed by the right engine removal and replacement between May 2nd and May 11th. The aircraft should resume test flights soon after the remove and replace of the Trent 1000 engines though no new flight date has been revealed.

The much anticipated functionality and reliability testing and ETOPs testing will start in June and should take up that month and into the early part of July and wrapping up the 787 flight test program. In the meantime Boeing announced that approval has been given by regulatory agencies (FAA, CAA, EASA, JCAB, and the CAAC) to start 787 flight training by Boeing developed training devices including full flight simulators.

Concurrently, launch customer ANA announced that they are starting flight training for the first group of 787 pilots and should have 80 trained pilots by March 31, 2012. This adds more confidence that the 787 should be delivered within the summer time frame though it all depends on how remaining testing goes as well as the pace of re-work and modifications on the 787s that have been built.

Lastly, two early build 787-8 that had been allocated for Korean Air were allocated to other customers on the heels of Korean Air’s decision to take 787-9s instead of the -8 model. LN 54 is now going to Air India while LN 59 is now going to ANA. Here's Boeing's Statement on the start of global 787 pilot training:

Boeing Ready to Deliver 787 Pilot Training on Global Scale

Network of training devices qualified in five locations, three continents

SEATTLE, April 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) has achieved multiple qualifications for its worldwide network of 787 training campuses. The qualifications mean Boeing Flight Services has training devices that are ready to be used with an approved training course in locations around the globe. "The innovations of the 787 Dreamliner don't end with the airplane itself," said Sherry Carbary, vice president, Boeing Flight Services. "Boeing is changing the game through continued innovation in our advanced suite of training technologies. By bringing this cutting-edge training directly to airlines in the regions of the world where they're based and serve their passengers, we're offering our customers the flexibility and efficiency of flight crew training where they need it, when they need it," Carbary said. Full-flight simulators and other flight training devices for commercial pilot training require qualifications from each airline's home country regulatory agency. Boeing is qualifying its network of 787 training devices with multiple regulators in order to allow airlines the maximum options and regional locations for training their crews. "Providing our airline customers with cost effective flexibility is a top priority," said Roei Ganzarski, chief customer officer, Boeing Training & Flight Services. "We've invested in world-class courseware, trained a global team of experienced instructors, and now have certified a worldwide network of simulators, all to provide 787 operators an efficient and effective 787 training solution." Boeing operates 787 training campuses in five locations: Seattle, Singapore, Tokyo, London Gatwick and Shanghai. As part of the qualification process, Boeing demonstrated, with the regulators' concurrence, that the training devices located at the five campuses around the world were similar or identical in the way they operate. The qualifications from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on behalf of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) will allow Boeing Flight Services to deliver the same quality of training at all locations. Last month the CAAC qualified the Shanghai Boeing training campus for 787 training including the full-flight 787 simulator and the 787 flight training device. With this achievement, Boeing has received more than 20 separate qualifications in five locations on three continents in support of 787 entry into service beginning later this year.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

ZA001 flies to Canadian East Coast

On April 1st, ZA001 flew to Gander in New Foundland and I just founds out that she's in town to perform cross wind landing tests. Right now that's all the information I have and will try to dig to get some more.

ZA001 is closing on 1,000 flight hors flown and by my estimate has about 996 hours as of April 2, 2011. It can conceivably break through the 1,000 hour barrier tomorrow or Monday...Watch this space.

In the meantime, I am attempting to keep the 787 location database up to date so if anyone has anything to contribute, I appreciate any information you can send my way!