Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dreamliner 1 moved to paint shop

Dreamliner 1 entering the Boeing paint shop in Everett on March 10, 2009
Thanks to Tony for permission to use this picture.

After almost two years of disassembly and reassembly, Dreamliner 1 made the short trip to Boeing's paint shop for repainting and its aqueous tank wash. This should be the last few steps prior to the aircraft being turned over to the flight test division to start gauntlet testing leading to first flight (in about 10 days according to Jon Ostrower in his latest blog post). Since Scott Carson pronounced Dreamliner 1 "essentially" factory complete there might be some small assembly tasks remaining as the aircraft goes through ground testing and gauntlet tests.

The gauntlet tests will be driven not be schedule but by accomplishing each milestone before proceeding to the next test. I anticipate that gauntlet testing should take about 2 months. During that time Dreamliner 2 should complete ground vibration testing and the static test airframe should complete the required load testing prior to first flight.

Now that Dreamliner 1 has moved on I anticipate that the 787 line move should occur either today or tomorrow. It was supposed to occur on March 8th but was delayed. in conjuntion with this line move I also anticipate that final assembly on Dreamliner 6 should start late this week or this weekend. The forward fuselage for this aircraft may have been delivered yesterday but I am still trying to get confirmation on this. Saj over at also put out a post describing the upcoming 787 milestones. Read his blog post here.

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