Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Flightblogger: 787 Update for 2009

Jon Ostrower has posted a great updates for the near term milestones that Boeing hopes to accomplish with the 787 on the road to first flight.

Please read it here.

Here is a summary:

Dreamliner 1 will leave the 787 final assembly bay in 40-26 and will go to a spot in the 767 final assembly building in 40-24. It will occupy a spot that the 787 fatigue test frame occupies. ZY998 will be towed to the Everett flight line where it will be completed and towed to the fatigue test area.

Dreamliner 1 will be in 40-24 for one month to finish up fastener replacement and minor assembly tasks. It will then start the first of three gauntlet tests. The first is the factory gauntlet where the flight test division puts the 787's systems through its paces.

After that Dreamliner 1 will go through the aqueous wash and the repainting as reported on this blog earlier in December.

By the end of March Dreamliner 1 will start the 2nd gauntlet test which is the starting of it's RR Trent 1000 engines for the very first time. The last guantlet is the running of all the 787 systems for 8 days straight to ensure that there aren't any issues.

Presumably, taxi test and RTO (rejected take off) tests will occur soon after the third gauntlet followed by first flight.

Dreamliner 2 is continuing fastener replacement which should be concluded by mid February. Then this aircraft will conduct ground vibrations testing presumably from late February to late March. There is still no word on when Dreamliner 2 will finish assembly and join the flight test program.

With the first 787 leaving the factory floor, this will now open up a spot in the final assembly hall for Dreamliner 5. The aft section of which will probably be delivered to Everett by the end of January. The wings, horizontal stab and vertical stab are all at Everett. The main fuselage section is being paced by the fastener replacement work that is on going. No word on the forward fuselage section but I presume that there is still on going fastener work with that airplane as well.

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