Wednesday, September 12, 2012

787 flight test activity picks up speed

UPDATE: ZA263 (LN 71, ET-AOR) and ZA238 (LN 54, VT-ANJ) both made their first flights today (9/12/12)

During the past few day, flight test activity at Everett has picked up with 787s destined for ANA, JAL and United all taking to the air to continue Boeing/customer test flights. This is being done with eyeing deliveries of these airplanes later this month.

Additionally re-work activity looks to be increasing as two more 787s, one for Qatar and one for ANA have just moved into the paint hangar, signalling their readiness to start the pre-flight program.  There are now 6 787s outside of the EMC hangar that are in various phases of re-work with another 5 aircraft inside the hangar.  Among these 11 airplanes at the EMC include 4 airplanes for United Airlines.  All assembled 787s are now out of the 40-24 surge line and are either parked outside or are at the EMC.

Speaking of production, interestingly the last two positions in 40-26 are unoccupied while there is only the one position in the 40-24 surge line occupied (position 1).  The next 787 won't be loaded into position 1 in 40-26 until Sept. Monday.  I'm not sure of the reason but it might be due to a short break before Boeing starts production at the higher rate of 5/month during September.  They also may want to ease the bottleneck on the flightline with many of the positions already full with 787s waiting to be delivered.

Lastly, the first 787 for Hainan Airlines finally broke cover and is now at the Everett fuel dock.  No doubt it is waiting for a spot to open up which should happen in the next few days.

Looking at the 787 production and disposition chart, Boeing strategy is obvious.  Get the late build 787s out the door and into customer hands while at the same time assembly and delivering post LN 65 airplanes thus increasing the delivery rate.  As time goes on deliveries should hold steady as the increase in the production rate from 3.5 to 10 offsets the decrease in the number of 787 airframes that need change incorporation and pre LN 65 airplanes are delivered with increasing frequency in the next 12 to 18 months. There are about 18 787s that are still in storage around Everett but that is quite an improvement as many airplanes are going through change incorporation or are in various stages of pre-flight or Boeing/customer pre-delivery test flights.

However, the key to this strategy is clearing the bottleneck of airplanes that are complete and ready to be delivered both in Everett and at Charleston.  So far two have been delivered this month but at least 5 more should be delivered this month possibly reaching as high as 8 more including 787s for Air India at Charleston.  Another question mark is deliveries to Qatar Airways which seemed stalled.  There has not been a test flight of any of the 2 787s for Qatar recently though a 3rd one is now in paint.  There could be slippage of this into October.


petera380 said...

Hello, just spotted a minor typo in your list for LN 062, should be A7-BCC and not A7-BC ; )

No need to post this.


Uresh said...

Not a typo, don't know what the reg is going to be.

greg said...

It's great to see 10 Dreamliners for various airlines on the flight line at Paine Field. As of yesterday, there are
* 2 for ANA
* 1 for JAL
* 1 for Ethiopia
* 1 for LAN
* 1 for United
* 2 for Qartar
* 1 for China Southern
* 1 white tail
* 10 total

greg said...

One more:
* 1 for Hainan
* 11 total
787 on the Paine Field flight line.

Capt747ret said...

Any info on LN6 in San Antonio?

greg said...

Plus Charleston, SC:
* 3+ for Air India
* 14+ total

The 3 include one made in WA and two in SC. Not sure if the third plane on the SC line is out, yet, hence the + sign.

Just heard that the second 787 produced in SC took its first flight today. This is the one that had the engine incident back on July 28. That's a one-and-half month delay attributable to GE. Perhaps Boeing should ask for compensation from GE, too ;-)

Uresh said...

Nope, no info.

Anonymous said...

2 B1s and one C1 today? UAs frame seemed to have a C1 or C2, I just guess however.

Good to see two more frames in flight testing!

johnv777 said...

Uresh, some interesting statistics regarding time between B1 and Delivery.
There have been 21 frames delivered. If we eliminate LN9, (ANA), LN23 (JA) and LN35 (AI) which had very long extenuating circumstances, we are left with 18 frames with an average time between B1 and Delivery of 26 calendar days, with the longest being LN40 of 51 days, and the shortest being LN42 with 13 days.
If we further limit the scope to the 12 frames delivered since April 1, 2012, the window shrinks to 24 days.
For the 3 frames after LN66 that have been delivered, the time between B1 and Delivery drops to 20 days average.

Uresh said...

Interesting, thanks for sharing. Hopefully the time will continue to shrink between the time the airplane is rolled out and when it's delivered. Mind you that there are still assembly tasks that these planes haveto go through but it sounds like the number of tasks are shrinking thus spending less time there.

Andrew Munsell said...

Hey isn't JA-814A (ZA119) supposed to deliver today? Does anyone know what the estimated delivery date is supposed to be for VT-AND (ZA233)?

Uresh when you get enough information can you do another estimated delivery schedule for the aircraft in September in October?

Uresh said...

I try to post information as I get it. ZA119 (LN 71, JA814A) probably didn't deliver today as it has only had two Boeing test flights. Word is that ZA233 will be delayed to early next week though it's unconfirmed.

Anonymous said...

I saw an article regarding royal air maroc and that they have deferred there deliveries till 2014. From what i can gather they were meant for deliverary this year,have you heard as to who will be getting these aircraft?

Anonymous said...

Did ZA238 stay in Jacksonville overnight? Was that planned or did an issue come up? I am sure there are worse places to stay at..nice beaches close by etc :)

Anonymous said...

Holy CFRP Batman if LN75 does a B1 today, that must be a record from roll out? Ethiopian seems to have fast frames or being a smooth customer? Same with JAL, fast deliveries.