Monday, February 18, 2013

Updated 787 firing order to L/N 160

I have updated my 787 tracking spreadsheet to reflect the firing order from L/N 131 to L/N 160.

A couple of interesting things stand out. All three flight test 787-9s will be assembled on the Everett surge line in 40-24 and during the final assembly of these 3 test flight aircraft, no other 787s for customers will be assembled.  This is not too surprising as Boeing needs to retire risk associated with assembling the newest version of the 787 and doesn't want to run the chance of unforeseen issues with assembly of the 787-9 to hold up assembling the 787-8 for customers.

Another interesting item is the increasing number of airframes being built at Boeing Charleston. The current monthly assembly rate is 1/month but with this firing order Boeing is looking to go to 1.5/month.

Back to the 787-9, the list also shows ZB197 (LN 146) a 787-9 going to ANA.  Why Boeing is building this aircraft for ANA before Air New Zealand, which is to take the first 787-9, is a mystery.

There are some notable airlines whose first 787s are on this list including: Air Canada (ZA610, LN 160), Kenya Airways (ZA655, LN 157) and Norwegian Air Shuttle will be getting its first non-leased 787 (ZA650, LN 136).

There are a couple of airplanes being leased from ILFC but I don't have the customers yet.  The Boeing customer codes is ABD (Air Berlin perhaps) and KBL (absolutely no idea who this is).

There is also one 787 whose identity is completely unknown and I'm working to try and figure out who the customer is for ZA778 (LN 149).

In this batch of 30 aircraft here is the breakdown:

5 for ANA
1 for Air Canada
1 for Air India
1 for China Southern Airlines
2 for Hainan Airlines
4 for ILFC (various customers)
2 for JAL
1 for Kenya Airways
1 for Norwegian Air Shuttle
3 for Qatar Airways
2 for QANTAS (Jet Star)
1 for Royal Brunei Airlines
1 for Thomson
2 for Boeing (2 787-9 for flight test)
2 for United Airlines
1 unidentified

All this would be meaningless if there isn't any progress on the 787 lithium ion battery issue.  In an article in the Seattle Times, reporter Dominic Gates reported that Boeing is prepared to propose a short term interim fix to the FAA for the battery which encompasses a titanium or steel enclosure for the battery with high pressure venting for gas and electrolytes which would be released in the case of the thermal runaway.  Also included is enhanced monitoring. 

All this would allow (if the FAA approved) for Boeing and its partners to completely redesign and re-certify a new lithium ion battery for use on the 787.  However, it seems that the FAA is going to prolong this and will grill Boeing very hard on this interim measure.  Boeing is aiming to get the 787s flying again by end of May as they will need time to refine the short term fix, test it and certify it for airline use.  The FAA will have a lot to say about what kind of test results they want to see from Boeing.


tommy said...

one of the mystery ones could be the plane going to Michael Dell via ILFC due 2014...

HK Expat said...

I'm pretty sure LN149 is Xiamen Airlines which has yet to get Chinese Government approval for its purchase of 6 frames with slots protected for delivery starting Q1-2014.

Unknown said...

Air New Zealand : required ETOPS 330 is missing

Anonymous said...

theres stories from Japan saying that the other battery for the APU showed signs of swelling on two cells. After a bit of research of what it could be... either a manufacturing defect or a sign of overcharging or I could be wrong all together.

I have not heard anything from Air NZ regarding to the 787-9 and any changes, they still say they will be the first. I can only perhaps think that the 787-9 for ANA may be doing some testing?? and then go through any changes and refurb before being delivered...just a guess

Andrew Munsell said...

A simple search on google news brought this up:

Kevin Flanagan said...

And the only shock with the head line is how long it took.

Air India Will Seek Compensation From Boeing For 787 Disruptions

Steven Lau said...

Charging frozen lead acid battery will cause explosion, I wonder if charginging frozen lithium ion batteries in winter will cause any problem.

Steven Law said...

Sort-of-good-news: JTM has reported that the APU battery in the NH 787 that made an emergency landing was improperly wired to the main battery. And if it happened once, it could happen again. Fingers crossed that the electrical issues all happen to be this simple.

Andrew Munsell said...


Piotrek_ said...

LN26 VT-ANB is in the EMC, undergoing change incorporation/re-work
I don't see LN36 B-2726, it could be inside now.