Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Post Thanksgiving Cornucopia of 787 News

Now that the Thanksgiving Holidays are over 787 production and test flights are starting up again in a race to  finish off the year with the 500th 787 delivery.  Here's some tidbits of 787 news that's come out.

ZB813 (LN 512) is in the process of being repaired and should roll out in about two and half weeks on Dec. 16th.  It should have its B-1 flight on Dec. 28th and a B-2/ferry flight (for painting) on January 4th.  It seems like Xiamen approved of the repairs to the damage to the aircraft and I believe it should take delivery by the end of January.

ZC001 (LN 528), the first 787-10 should enter position 1 for the start of final assembly around Dec. 5th and the start of wing/body join.  No word on a roll out date but I suspect it'll be a little longer to build and roll out than a production 787-9 given that there'll be some testing done inside 88-30 during and after assembly.  I am guessing that roll out should occur by mid January at the very latest.

ZB246 (LN 500, F-HRBA) Air France's first 787-9 (being leased from AerCap) was delivered today and will fly to Paris tomorrow.  The carrier should receive 4 to 5 more 787s by the end of next year.

Lastly, Juneyao Airlines is the latest Chinese airline to order the 787-9.  Actually it's an MoU for 5 787-9 with an option for another 5 aircraft.  This is part of a buying spree by Chinese airlines for the 787.  One hopes that the new President doesn't fuck things up and start a trade war with China.  If that happens then all bets are off that these airplanes will be delivered except for the ones that are in production.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Assembly accident may force Boeing to scrap 787-9 under construction

According to sources, an assembly mishap during the wing-body join for a 787-9 destined for Xiamen Airlines may force Boeing to scrap the left wing of the aircraft and possibly the fuselage itself as well.  The aircraft in question, ZB813 (LN 512) entered final assembly on November 1, 2016 in North Charleston and was due to be delivered in January 2017.

The mishap came when manufacturing techs drilled holes into the stack up of the wing/body join. They drilled a 7 degree angled hole, and also drilled an over sized hole straight through the test (angled) hole which didn't clean it up. It produced an eyebrow crack on both sides.  

Boeing engineers will have to look at putting in a large expansion plug (or freeze plug) but it is a large hole that has to be plugged.  

Xiamen will have to approve of the repair but if they don't then Boeing may have to scrap the wing and fuselage.  Currently the aircraft is in position 6 in the 88-30 assembly building with both wings attached.  As the line pulses the aircraft under assembly has to be pulled out so that they can be properly positioned in the next line position for continued assembly positions. LN 512 is essentially a large road block in the middle of the 787 final assembly hall.  I'm not sure what impact this will have to the start of final assembly of ZC001 (LN 528) which is the first 787-10.  I don't think it will have an effect as the aircraft is due to start final assembly around December 6th or December 7th.

I hope to have more information on this development.

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Trip to the Steven Udvar-Hazy Center, National Air & Space Museum

I took a little break from work this weekend and visited the Steven Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va.  To say that this museum is awesome is putting it mildly.  I've uploaded my pictures for your enjoyment.  I'll be back soon with another 787 post very soon.