Thursday, May 3, 2012

787 production update - May 3, 2012

787 production is starting to get interesting as there will be another line move tonight at Everett.  Boeing will push out ZA462 (LN62 for Qatar Airways) allowing the four positions to be occupied by airplanes 63, 64, 66 and 67.  The later two are planes that should not have to go through any change incorporation and will go direct from the assembly line to the flight line at Everett.  The main fuselage for airplane 67 should have been delivered last Friday night after Boeing had pushed out the first 787 to be built at Boeing Charleston.  That 787, ZA237 (LN46) is on its way to finishing the 96 assembly tasks that are left before entering gauntlet testing and first flight which is projected to take place between May 18 and May 5th.  Delivery to Air India should take place by June 30th.  Also I got confirmation that ZA239 (LN 60) and ZA240 (LN65) are both for Air India and both are being assembled at Boeing Charleston.

In other production news, I got wind of Thomson Airways deliveries of their first 3 787s.  The first airplane for Thomson will be ZA317 (LN92) which should start assembly late this year for delivery in January 2013.  This will be followed by ZA318 in February 2013 and ZA319 in March 2013.  The first and third airplanes will be based in Manchester while the second airplane will be based out of Gatwick all to support training and EIS of the company's 787.  These airplanes will carry 291 passengers of which 47 will be premium seating in 38 inch pitch seating while there will be 244 in economy in 36 and 33 inch pitch seats.

As far as deliveries this month, I fully expect 1-2 787 for ANA and 2  airplanes for Air India.

LAstly, I came across some interesting analysis with regards to deliveries of the 747-8 and 787s this year.  It is estimated that Boeing will have built, through the end of this year about 50 747-8 airplanes (F and I).  Of those 50, 9 were delivered last year leaving 41 potentially to be delivered this year.  Of those 41, 3 were for Atlas Air Cargo which they have stated that they will not take...that brings the number of deliverable aircraft to 38 for 2012.  However this number includes test airplanes that have yet to under go refurbishment including 2 for Cathay Pacific Airways and the second 747-8F built which is for NCA.  That brings the number down to 35 747-8 aircraft.  If Boeing is projecting between 70 to 85 747s and 787s to be delivered by the end of this year that means that Boeing can be in a position to deliver between 35 and 50 787s.  This is entirely possible as is starting to produce 787s that will go straight from the production line to the flight line and into testing.


Henman said...

This is great as always Uresh. Are these the 3-4 frames you're expecting for May then?

LN 29 Air India
LN 35 Air India
LN 56 ANA?

Michael Lowrey said...


A couple of points:

1. One Air India delivery in May, not two. The press reports on ZA237 (LN46) in Charleston describe it as the second 787 for Air India. The first would be ZA233/LN29/VT-AND.

2. My best guess is that ZA236/LN35/VT-ANH is down in San Antonio for a post test flight refurbishment. So presumably we should expect her back in a couple months.

3. On April 23, Matt Cawby had a picture of a 787 being fitted with GE engines in the EMC.

4. Possibly the same aircraft shows up in the big flight line shot for that day at the fuel dock. You can kind of see the engines -- and in any case, the black tape over the windows has been pulled. I haven't seen a photo of this aircraft since, so presumably it's been in getting painted. The tail is blue -- one of the United aircraft?

Uresh said...

Thanks Michael,
1) I think LN 35 is more or less ready as it undertook ETOPS/ F&R testing that was needed to be done on a production standard 787. It probably had some change incorporation work that needed to be done but reports were that it was to be the first 787 to be delivered to AI.

Uresh said...

Also the 787 with the Blue painted rudder could be for ANA though with no LN identification it's hard to tell.

HK Expat said...

According to the Indian press, 30 Air India pilots are currently in Singapore training for the 787.
VT-ANH has been confirmed as the first delivery. Due in second or third week of May once pilots are trained to fly it back to India!
Second will be VT-AND probably delivered in the first week of June.
My spreadsheet shows ZA506/LN47 (ANA), ZA236/LN35 (Air India) as sure bets for May.
On the cuffs are ZA178/LN27 (JAL), ZA100/LN7 (ANA) and ZA233/LN29 (Air India)

Uresh said...

VT-AND is out on the flight line along with ZA506 so those two are close to being delivered this month along with VT-ANH and probably another late build 787 for ANA but I don't think that there are any JAL frames that are ready to be delivered in the near future.

Henman said...

Great stuff. I was wondering how far along LN7 was getting. And apologies, I did mean LN 47/JA809A in first post. Nothing on LN56 though? She looks reasonably ready externally (not including paint) from matt cawby's pics on 5/2?

Uresh said...

LN7 may look ready from the outside but it's what has to be done on the inside that I don't know about. That said it does appear to be close to being done.

johnv777 said...

Thanks, great update and great discussion.
Since LN 66 & 67 will have no change incorporation after final assembly, can we expect that the engines will be hung while still in the FAL.


Uresh said...

That is the expectation. When they roll out of the building we'll know if Boeing is going to make good on their expectations of direct to flight testing.

larmeyers said...

Hi all,

great discussion. was just wondering, does ATC refer to the 747-8 as heavy or super? thanks in advance.

Will said...

3. On April 23, Matt Cawby had a picture of a 787 being fitted with GE engines in the EMC.

Based on what is in EMC it could be for a JAL LN27 or UA LN50

Joostdg said...

Hey Uresh, thank again for a great update. And what a discussion al off the sudden. Now I can't stay behind :D.

First the GE engines on april 23, Can't be ln 50 because it wasn't in the EMC.
On april 6 you can see it leave the EMC and be moved to the flightline. It disappears after a few days and so does ln55.
But I don't see them moving it back again right?
I think the one that with engines on it was l/n55 with decals removed to prep it for paint. (it was the one used when Obama was there). Where they are hiding the others i don't get :P

And you can see the difference between an ANA and UA the UA have black with blue the ANA have white with blue.

Last remark, why do the move them so often? seems like a big wast of time and resources? bit more planning and you only have to move them when you need them.

Cya guys

Anonymous said...

Boeing seems to have gotten over the hump with the 787 program. Hopefully it'll mostly be smooth sailing from here. Though those early makes are still a thorn in the side.

TurtleLuv said...

found this blog, and love the detailed information. I wish you had a similar chart detailing delivery status for 777 and 747-8.

johnv777 said...


ATC refers to any aircraft over 300,000 max gross weight as Heavy, as in Delta 456 heavy. This terminology was implemented both to advise other aircraft of possible increased wake turbulence, and also because different runway separation standards are applied when an aircraft follows a "heavy" on takeoff or landing.

Henman said...

There's a great page on the 777 here:
and 747classic does a great job with the 747-8 here:
(although I don't know if he has a blog)

Rob said...

After line 66 when there is no change incorporation, how long is it estimated from rollout until delivery?

Uresh said...

In my opinion it should take them about 3-4 weeks to from rollout to flight line to final delivery but I think they'll get that down to about 2-3 weeks.