Thursday, March 22, 2012

JAL to receive first 787 this weekend, possibly two more next month

UPDATE: I have just got confirmation that both JA822J and JA825J will be formally delivered to Japan Airlines on Sunday, March 25. I still don't know if fly away will occur for both the next day or not and I'm still not sure if Boeing is delivering JA806A on the same day.

Japan Airlines is preparing to take ownership of its first and possibly second 787 this weekend. I'm still trying to find out but ZA177 (JA822J, L/N 23) and ZA179 (JA825J, L/N 33) are supposed to be delivered this month with at least one to be delivered this Sunday (March 25) and possibly both being delivered on the same day. Fly away is scheduled for Monday March 26th at 4PM local time. It does seem certain that both ZA177 and ZA179 will be delivered this month.

According to sources, JA806A (ZA117, L/N 40) for ANA is scheduled to be delivered on March 25th as well. It would be an unusual delivery day for Boeing with the company delivering 787s to two customers that are competitors. This is not yet final though and I am trying to confirm. This airplane should also be delivered in March nonetheless.

For April, Boeing is planning to deliver 3 more 787s also all to ANA and JAL. ANA is tentatively scheduled to receive ZA105 (JA808A, L/N 42) around April 17th. Boeing has pulled out two more 787s to the Everett flightline, JA826J (ZA180, L/N 37) and JA827J (ZA181, L/N 38). Both are tentatively scheduled to be delivered to Japan Airlines but the date is uncertain. Again all this is tentative.

One observation which is unsurprising is that most of these airplanes are late build 787s (L/N 33 and higher). Boeing is expecting to work on the early builds and deliver them from now until early 2014. Boeing's first delivery to Air India is also a late build airplane, VT-ANH (ZA236, L/N 35). This airplane was flown to San Antonio for unknown reason though I suspect it is to probably do some last minute work. This airplane should deliver in May. Going forward into the summer we should start seeing deliveries made to Qatar in addition ot AI, JAL and ANA. United will come later in the fall as will LAN, Ethiopian and China Southern.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

GE powered 787 receives FAA type certification

Boeing's 787 powered by the GEnx-1B engines received it's type certification from the FAA today clearing way for deliveries to start to those customers who ordered the GE engine. Japan Airlines is expected to take two 787s powered by this engine at the end of next week. Air India was expected to be the first customer but that has been pushed back due to the compensation issue between AI and Boeing. The government of India now says that Air India will take all the 787s ordered. I anticipate the first one will be delivered in May.

Boeing is planning to deliver one Rolls Royce powered 787 to ANA this month.

Boeing's Press Release:

Boeing Receives Certification for 787 Dreamliner With GE Engines
EVERETT, Wash., March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) received an amended type certificate today from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the 787-8 Dreamliner equipped with General Electric GEnx engines.

"This is a great day for our customers and for our team who worked tirelessly to ensure the Dreamliner offers breakthrough fuel efficiency, unprecedented performance and new levels of comfort," said Larry Loftis, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. "We are pleased to accept the FAA's confirmation of the safety and reliability of this airplane."

The amended type certificate from the FAA formally recognizes that the 787 with GE engines has demonstrated compliance with rigorous federal regulations. The achievement caps off the most robust flight and ground test program ever conducted in the company's history.

"This milestone completes the certification of the 787-8 airplane, and allows airlines to now operate the GE engine-powered 787 with both the baseline Block 4 engine and the PIP1 engine upgrade," said Mike Sinnett, vice president and chief project engineer for the 787 program. "It also represents the success of a remarkable partnership with the regulatory agencies around the world."

"This is the culmination of extraordinary work by teams from GE and Boeing," said Chuck Nugent, general manager of the GEnx engine program for General Electric. "GE Aviation is honored to power the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with its new GEnx-1B engine, and we look forward to seeing the aircraft-engine combination flying the skies around the world."

Initial type certification of the 787 with Rolls-Royce engines took place in August 2011. Each new combination of an airframe type and engine requires additional certification to validate the integrity of the design.

60 customers around the world have ordered more than 870 Dreamliners.

With the this achievement, Boeing is now complete with the inital flight testing and certification activities for the 787, the Trent-1000 and the GEnx-1B. Boeing will still be conducting further company test flights in support of activities to find additional efficiencies in the aircraft as well as in support of further weight reduction efforts and testing of Trent and GE engine improvements (GE's PIP 2 and RR package "C" improvements). Of course flight testing and certification activities will start a new some time next year for the 787-9 and later in the decade on the proposed 787-10X.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Update to March 2012 787 deliveries

UPDATE: Boeing will be sending one of the 787 built for Air India to an Airshow in Hyderabad which is to take place next month. It will have a full interior as ordered by Air India but it won't be delivered as the Government of India is still debating, apparently, whether to accept the 787 into Air India. As such these aircraft, already built are in limbo due to the financial situation at Air India as well as AI's demands for $1bn in delay compensation. Again it seems that Air India is trying to get Boeing to pay for its own gross mismanagement of the air line. The 787 order is being held hostage due to this situation. ZA236 is goingto be flown to Boeing Field, ostensibly to prepare it for the show but also to help free up space at Everett. I can see Boeing flying more service ready 787s there in order to free up space at Everett.

I just got some updated delivery dates for 787 deliveries this month.

ZA117 (LN 40, JA806A) on March 21 for ANA
ZA177 (LN 23, JA822J) on March 29 for JAL
ZA179 (LN 33, JA825J) on March 29 for JAL

The two JAL deliveries moved up 2 days while the ANA delivery slide by 5 days. Again this information is preliminary and may change as conditions change at Boeing. Again no word on delivery to Air India of ZA236 (LN 35, VT-ANH). Special thanks to Snooze Control. I would also like to ask Snooze Control to send me an email to ureshs at aol com

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Good news for the 787

The last week or so has provided some welcomed good news for the 787s. First was Boeing's announcement that they had increased the production rate to 3.5 aircraft per month. This was sooner than planned as Boeing had expected that the rate would be increased later this sprig. Boeing is still planning to be at 5/month by the end of this year though if the supply chain continues to show this sort of improvement then it may be sooner. This is a very, very good sign for the program.

The second bit of good news came out today when Boeing announced that they had completed the certification test program for the 787 with the end of the certification program for the GEnx-1B powered version of the Dreamliner. ZA236 (LN 35, VT-ANH) had completed the final bit of F&R and ETOPs testing late last month and flew back to Everett. Boeing had also completed all the final ground tests that they needs to perform. I anticipate that Boeing should receive final type certification for the GEnx powered 787 in the next 1 to 2 weeks. This should still give the company time to deliver the first GE powered Dreamliner to Japan Airlines by March 31st. In fact ZA236 which just completed the certification test flights is back out on the flightline at Everett but painted in Air India colors this time indicating that this aircraft might soon be delivered soon.

Currently, information that I received a bout two weeks ago shows that Boeing has planned to deliver three 787s this month. They are:

ZA117 (LN 40, JA806A) on March 16 for ANA
ZA177 (LN 23, JA822J) on March 31 for JAL
ZA179 (LN 33, JA825J) on March 31 for JAL

In addition Boeing is not planning any B1 flights for any 787. The three aforementioned 787s have all had their B1 flights though they have yet to fly any subsequent pre-delivery flights. IT does seem that the shim issue has slowed down the pace of pulling out the prepared 787s to the flightline to begin the pre-delivery process. The other unknown is if ZA236 will be delivered this month. A lot of that will depend on if the airplane is ready and if Boeing and Air India have concluded negotiations on compensation for the 787 delays.

Lastly, now that the build rate has gone up in Everett, Boeing will still need to park those new 787s around Everett. Boeing has started parking 787s on the Kilo 6 (K6) taxiway at Everett. This taxiway is in the southwest part of the airport near the Flying Heritage Museum. The first one to be parked there was ZA288 (LN 53) for United Airlines. Space is becoming a premium at Everett and the pace of 747 and 787 deliveries has slowed. April will be critical as the 787s that are built at the newer rate will be pushed out the door and that means even more 787 on the Everett ramp unless Boeing starts to deliver those that are in re-work during April. As added pressure, Boeing is also upping the 747 rate to 2/month later this year.