Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Boeing increases 787 production flight testing

Over the past few weeks, Boeing has been aggressively flying production 787s on Boeing and customer flight tests.  In June, Boeing has conducted seven B-1 flights on the production 787s and I do think that they can fly at least 4 more before the end of the month. This should include one aircraft for British Airways, ZA456 (LN 187, G-ZBJG), a BBJ for the Saudi Ministry of Finance, ZA779 (LN 193, HZ-MF8), one for United Airlines, ZB167 (LN 181, N38950) which will be used for 787-9/GEnX F&R/ETOPs testing and one for Qatar Airways, ZA474 (LN 188, A7-BCO).  ZA456 did file a flight plan on June 17th but the aircraft did not fly).

There was a large up tick in flight activity during the last week or so which leads me to believe the Boeing is going for an all out push to deliver around 14 787s this month.  They have already delivered 6 this month including the last 787 for China Southern Airlines from their order of 10 aircraft.

As for deliveries for the rest of this month, in my opinion this is the aircraft I see being delivered in the next 12 days:

ZA267 (LN 168, ET-AOV) for Ethiopian
ZB003 (LN 169, ZK-NZE) for Air New Zealand (1st 787-9 delivery)
ZA473 (LN 176, A7-BCN) for Qatar Airways
ZA580 (LN 183, EI-LNG) for ILFC/Norwegian
ZA656 (LN 184, 5Y-KZB) for Kenya Airways
ZA541 (LN 185, CC-BBF) for LAN
ZA295 (LN 186, N28912) for United Airlines
ZA588 (LN 190, HS-TQA) for ILFC/Thai (may not deliver until July)

Boeing does need to deliver many of these planes as ramp space is quickly being filled at both Everett and Charleston. There are about 30 planes that are outside on the flightlines, paint hangars and other spots at the two assembly locations but if the current pace of flight activity continues then much of that ramp space should be cleared over the next couple of weeks and occupied by aircraft that will be coming out of final assembly.  It does seem that Boeing has a pretty good handle on the assembly aspect but the build quality still has to improve a bit in order to avoid inventories from creeping higher again. 

Lastly, one additional note to my previous post regarding the 787-9.  The FAA has certified this aircraft for ETOPS 330 thus fulfilling Boeing's promise to Air New Zealand to deliver the ETOPS certified aircraft.




graeme77 said...

There was also an intention of Qantas to take an aircraft on June 30, after pushing their deliveries back into the next financial year so as to doctor their financial performance figures. Not sure if they will still manage that date.

Hiromichi Notake said...

ZA140(L/N243)for ANA will be registered as JA835A.

1coolguy1 said...

Qatar typically requires 11 flights so I don't see this delivering until July.
With the AZ -9 ready for delivery it would be great to see it fly away next week. I am sure they are interested in getting it there ASAP.