Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Flightblogger: 787 FAL Picture

Picture Courtesy of Boeing

Flightblogger got a great picture on the blog of the 787 final assembly line as of a week ago. Click here to see it!
UPDATE: I got further confirmation that Boeing is still planning to power on LN 2 later this week and move the aircraft to 40-24 within the next two weeks. The word on LN 1 is that it's still being worked on in building 40-24 with numerous access panels still opened. Inside building 40-24 there is a 767, 787 (LN 1) and a 777F having it's cargo door rigged (all 777Fs are having their cargo doors rigged in building 40-24 for now). LN 2 has to move out to 40-24 before the remaining parts for LN 6 are delivered. That means that either LN 1 has to move out (presumably to the paint shop) or the 777F will have to the flight line.

Monday, February 23, 2009

787 Progress Review

Saj Ahmad over at Fleetbuzzeditorial.com wrote a great review of the 787 program on his web stie. Read it here. The article is in two parts with part 2 coming out next week.

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's all about the numbers

Yesterday Airbus announced that they're cutting back on their production output for the A320 and A330/A340. The A320 cut is from 36/month to 34/month and the A330/A340 production will be maintained at 8.5/month.

Now comes this insightful piece of analysis done by Saj Ahmad of fleetbuzzeditorial.com that basically claims that the numbers that Airbus released yesterday isall smoke and mirrors.

The main point...Airbus is already producing A320s at about 32/month based on last years' actual deliveries of A320s and the A330/A340 at 7/month.

Read Saj's analysis here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dreamliner 2 to move within weeks

I got word from independent sources that Dreamliner 2 is to be moved out of the 787 final assembly building as early as Feb. 27th but may take place as late as March 6th. The move will take this airplane to building 40-24 to complete assembly tasks. The move will allow the final assembly to start on Dreamliner 6 whose parts have already started to flow into Everett.

Additionally, power on for Dreamliner 2 is scheduled for around the end of this week though that may take place by Feb. 27th.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rear fuselage for Dreamliner 6 heading to Everett?

UPDATE: I got confirmation that the rear fuselage for Dreamliner 6 is on board the Dreamlifter.

A Boeing Dreamlifter is flying to Everett this morning possibly carrying the rear fuselage for Dreamliner 6. It should arrive by about 3:15PM EST. I hope to have some confirmation a little later.

Monday, February 9, 2009

ATW's Geoffrey Thomas gives update on 787

A great short article on where the 787 program is and it's immediate future. Here's a summary:

ZA002 - Fastener rework should be completed by this weekend and power on should be in about 10 days.
ZA003 and ZA004 - fastener rework is on going.
ZA005 - still in fuselage-wing join.
ZA006 - Wings arrived totally completed and painted. As reported here the tail feathers arrived last week (the horizontal stabilizers). Fuselage sections should arrive by Feb. 27th with no open issues when they arrive in Everett. The rear fuselage could arrive by the end of this week.
ZY997 (static test airframe) - fastener rework should be completed next week and wing load test will restart immediately. That should take about two months to perform.
ZY998 (fatigue test frame) - Should be turned over for the start of fatigue testing on June 1st.
Geoffrey also says that Boeing's internal target for first flight is the last week of April.

Read Geoffrey's article here.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

FAA loosening lighting protection standards, helps 787

A great article by Dominic Gates of the Seattle Times. In it he states that the FAA is quietly loosening standards governing lighting protection around the fuel tanks. It was the TWA 800 crash that bought about the revised standards in 2001. How it looks like the FAA is backtracking on those. The 787 will benefit from these revised standards.

Read the article here.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Another 787 cancellation

LCAL calcelled most of it's 787 order that they had placed over the last few years. They cited the current world economic recession and future economic uncertainty as the cause. Prior to the cancellation LCAL had orders 9 787-9 and 12 787-8. They cancelled all the -9 and 7 of the -8s.

While this is a poor turn of events for Boeing, LCAL did have some early delivery slots thus Boeing might be able to mitigate some of the delays with other airlines. Clearly, in this environment new orders are going to be very hard to come by, but if Boeing can hold on to many of their "blue chip" customers, then they can be in a good position to weather the storm.

At the end of the day Boeing needs to get the 787 into the air along with the other 5 test airplanes.

A bit of good news for the program, an LCF flew in today from Grottaglie, Italy. I believed it was carrying the horizontal stabilizer for airplane #6.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Pictures of Dreamliner 1 and Dreamliner 2

Click this link to see the other pictures.

All Pictures Courtesy of http://www.fleetbuzzeditorial.com/

Picture is Copyrighted Fleetbuzz Editorial

Saj Ahmad of fleetbuzzeditorial.com released a few great pictures today on his website, Fleetbuzzeditorial.com. the pictures showed Dreamliner 2 with it's engines newly installed as well as with a lot of scaffolding around the aircraft. There was also a picture of Dreamliner in the 767 assembly hall. It appears that Dreamliner 1 still needs to have it's wing-fuselage fairing attached. The pictures were taken last week.