Saturday, May 30, 2009

Guy Norris: ZA001 to go through 5 testing blocks during early intermediate gauntlet testing

Intermediate gauntlet testing is underway and according to Guy Norris, ZA001 will go through 5 blocks of tests during the early period of intermediate gauntlet testing. Additionally, the start of this testing was slightly delayed for unknown reasons. The five blocks outlines by Guy should be completed by late Sunday night. Of course this is just the start of intermediate gauntlet testing that is expected to last until next Friday.

Lastly, Guy says that there is testing ongoing on ZA002 which includes tests on the electronic bay cooing system as well as tests on some computerized maintenance tasks.

Guy's 21st 787 Report

Friday, May 29, 2009

Guy Norris: ZA001 to start intermediate gauntlet tests today

UPDATE: Flightblogger is reporting that ZA001 is powered up and engines are running possibly signalling the start of gauntlet testing. Also Jon put up a few spectacular pics of the 787 from a different perspective. Jon's latest post.

Guy Norris posted on his blog early (very early) this morning that intermediate gauntlet should start later today. According to his report Boeing should have started some engine run tests at about 3 AM local time followed by a simulated Boeing B-1 standard profile first flight which all Boeing airplanes go through before they are delivered to customers. This should be followed by a modified B-1 test along with test of the GE-developed CCS (Common Core System).

There will be other systems tests during the day as well. If everything goes well, then intermediate gauntlet testing should conclude around June 5th. It's unknown how long final gauntlet would take but I'm opining that it would be about 3 to 4 days at the most but I'm not too sure. After the final gauntlet, Boeing would undertake Hot Fire tests of the engines and then low speed and high speed taxi tests with and RTO test thrown in there the day before first flight.

Let me wrap up by linking you to Randy's Jounrnal (Randy Tinseth's Blog at Boeing). He has a great view of the first engine tests that occurred last week.

Guy's 20th 787 Update
Randy's Journal

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Flightblogger: ZA001 intermediate gauntlet to start today

UPDATE: Flightblogger is reporting that gauntlet testing along with the pre-gauntlet engine tests won't start until tomorrow. Today was "Shop Gauntlet Work" that took place.

Flightblogger is reporting that intermediate gauntlet testing on ZA001 may start as early as mid day today.

Boeing was to have some engine runs today followed by pre-gauntlet test meetings following those engine runs.

If things look good then Boeing should start the intermediate gauntlet tests today starting with a simulated first flight profile test with simulated failures of the aircraft systems. Boeing had already run through the intermediate gauntlet tests on the integrated test vehicle (ITV).

Lastly, Jon reports that ZA002 ran through its gear swing tests and ZA004 and ZA005 have their engines. That's Trent 1000s for ZA004 and GEnx for ZA005.

Also it appears that the LCF is not delivering the main fuselage section for ZA100 today.

Jon's May 28th Update

787 News - May 28,2009

Not too much to report except:

1) Boeing booked 5 orders from an unidentified customer for the 787. No word on which type (-8 or -9) though that will probably be revealed in a couple of weeks when Boeing releases its monthly order and deliviery numbers. Interestingly Boeing also booked a cancellation of 5 767s at the same time so I wonder if the cancellation has anything to do with the order for 5 airplanes? The only airlines that have the 767 on order (passenger version) are ANA, JAL and Lan. These carriers also have already placed orders for the 787 as well.

2) The LCF is on its way to Everett this morning from Charleston. It might be carrying the main fuselage section for ZA100 though we'll know a little later today.

No word on the start of intermediate gauntlet testing yet.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Flightblogger: Details on revised gauntlet testing on ZA001

Jon Ostrower revealed some of Boeing's revised gauntlet testing timetable and how it impacts the ZA001's path to first flight.

First off the maturity of the systems, given all the testing that these systems had undergone during the delays allowed Boeing to get these systems to a more mature flight ready condition than would have otherwise been possible.

Further Boeing is supposed to start intermediate gauntlet testing as either today or tomorrow and will run 7 days. Originally intermediate gauntlet wasn't going to be as long but they essentially have moved certain final gauntlet tasks to the left of the schedule and made them part of the intermediate gauntlet testing and thus shortening the time needed for final gauntlet testing.

Jon explains that Boeing is able to do this because they figured out what testing can be done concurrently and what test are absolutely necessary prior to first flight.

Lastly, Matt Cawby reported that Boeing undertook two HF radio checks as well as running the RAT twice to verify RPM and amperage as well as testing the high lift control system for the flaps and slats.

Flightblogger report

Matt Cawby's report

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Guy Norris: Intermediate Gauntlet May Start On May 28th.

UPDATE: The LCF did fly in the forward fuselage section for ZA100 (the first production 787 for ANA). All that's left is the main fuselage section and final assembly can start on this airplane.

Some news on the schedule for the 787 first flight. Guy Norris is saying that intermediate gauntlet could start as early as this Thursday (May 28th) but it seems that Boeing may still be finalizing the final content of the intermediate. Guy reported that a final pre-intermediate gauntlet test meeting has been pushed back until tomorrow from today.

Also Matt Cawby is reporting on his web site that ZA001 has undergone VHF/RF radio checks until about 2 PM Monday afternoon when they closed down for the Memorial Day holiday. Additionally, Matt reported that the APU was tested twice, once on right common motor controller starter and the other time on the electric motor pump circuit. Matt also said that full gear swing tests were conducted while the aircraft was in the air mode.

Guy's Report
Matt's Report

Finally, it looks like the LCF might be flying in the nose section for ZA100 this afternoon.

Monday, May 25, 2009

787: No rest for the weary on Memorial Day

Despite the Memorial Day Weekend, Boeing is still going full tilt is getting the 787 ready for its first flight. They have 36 days to get her in the air with gauntlet testing, low speed and high speed taxi runs still ahead for ZA001.

Guy Norris reported that VHF/RF tests were completed yesterday and today they're running verification tests of the systems test monitor devices.

Matt Cawby reports on his blog that controls surfaces were tested yesterday in the air mode using the center hydraulic system as well as cycling the right engine thrust reverser 30 times between the stowed and deployed positions.

Guy's Report

Matt's Report

Friday, May 22, 2009

Flightblogger: Road to first flight getting shorter than planned

Evidence of Boeing's increasing confidence of the maturity of the 787 systems and architecture is leading the company to push up testing of the systems of the aircraft and even shorten the gauntlet testing that is needed before first flight according to Jon Ostrower.

Jon quoted Scott Francher, VP and general manager of the 787 program saying that intermediate gauntlet testing is due to start in about two weeks but due to the maturity of the systems this testing would last about 7 days instead of 8 days. Intermediate testing involves running the engines 24 hours a day for 7 straight days and subjecting the 787 to simulated failures and challenges and observing the reactions.

Also some of the final gauntlet testing will be now moved into intermediate testing further demonstrating the maturity of the 787 systems.

Much of this maturity came about becuase of extensive systems integration testing in the Boeing labs during the production delays of the last two years.

Recently Jojn reported that the engines were run at various times on Thursday at times to 80% of thrust. Flight control hyrdaulics systems tests were conducted as well as the VHF/HF radio tests. Today (Friday) higher power tests were to be conducted.

Jon's Road to 787 First Flight Update - May 22nd

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Boeing Press Release regarding engine run

Photo courtesy of Boeing

Here is Boeing Press Release from today's engine run:

Boeing Completes First 787 Dreamliner Engine Runs

EVERETT, Wash., May 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Boeing [NYSE: BA continued to make steady progress toward the first flight of the 787 Dreamliner, completing the first engine runs on the all-new airplane. The occasion marks the first all-electric start of a commercial jetliner engine on a twin-aisle commercial jetliner; the engines had been started electronically in test facilities earlier.

Engine runs began at 9:30 a.m. (PDT) today and ended 40 minutes later. During initial engine runs, the engines are started and operated at various power settings to ensure all systems perform as expected. Today's engine run test began with the Auxiliary Power System providing power to start the two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines. Basic systems checks continued throughout the test. The engines were powered down and inspected and will be restarted following a technical review. The team completed a vibration check and monitored the shutdown logic to ensure it functioned as expected.

"We were very pleased with the performance on the engines during this test," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. "We will now get ready for our intermediate and final gauntlet tests."

Liz Matzelle's Video of ZA001 First Engine Start

Dreamliner One Engine Start from Liz Matzelle on Vimeo.

First Pics of 787 engine start

Photos courtesy of Liz Matzelle

A very special thanks to Liz Matzelle for allowing me to upload her pics.

Interesting note: Liz Matzelle told me that the engines are SILENT when they're on. The frogs 100 ft away from her were louder than the engines. WOW!

787 Pre start activities on going

Guy Norris Updated his blog with Rolls Royce confirming that the engines are on. Guy also said that Boeing is speeding up ground testing with hydraulic testing slated for tomorrow. Intermediate gauntlet testing should start very soon.

Guy's blog posting.


UPDATE: Jon Ostrower is reporting that intermediate gauntlet will start sooner than anticipated by Boeing. Good news! Also power on for ZA003 will occur very soon. Boeing is saying that gauntlet testing will be in the next two weeks and ground testing is progressing very rapidly. Also development work on the 787-9 has begun. Boeing plans to have firm configuration by the end of the 4th quarter of this year. Still planning on 10/month 787 production by mid-2012. Boeing have implemented several blocks of improvments in the production aircraft. First block has improvements mainly in the wing. Certification for lightening strikes is on going.

Pre start activities for the first start of the Trent 1000s are taking place. A fire truck has been moved up and the engine cowlings have been closed and locked. These pre start tests should soon lead to first engine start soon.

Dreamliner engines on?

UPDATE: Jon confirms that the test's last night was not engine start but the steps to engine start prior to actual ignition and start of the engines. Simply put, Boeing wanted to verify that fuel is flowing to the engines and that there are no issues prior to actually turning on the engines. Jon called it the "Braxton Hicks" engine start. Pretty Funny! Actual engine start and run at idle speeds should take place later this afternoon. I hope to have a video of it later on.

According to Flightblogger, ZA001 may have turned on it's Trent 1000 engines for the first time late last night (Thursday, May 20) and have them running at the idle setting but a comment left on Jon's post said it hadn't happened and that it was just spinning the engines and adding fuel. I'm still trying to find out what is happening.

Guy Norris also said that ZA002 is being prepared to go through factory gauntlet around this weekend and allow the aircraft ot be cleared for further gauntlet testing as well as fuel pad tests and roll out to the flight line.

Guy also reported that simulations are on going in the ITV (Integrated Test Vehicle) including simulations of the intermediate gauntlet tests that will take place shortly. Crews are also undertaking practice for ZA005 and ZA006 test flight in the ITV as well as testing the connection to the telemetry system that will download test data from the 787 test flight fleet to be processed and analyzed by the 787 flight test engineers.

Jon's Engine Report
Guy's 787 Update

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Flightblogger: Engine pre-run tests on going, engine start test very soon

UPDATE: Jon is saying that it's looking more likely that the engine start will take place within the next 24 hours and odds are it'll be tomorrow.

Jon is reporting that Boeing has started engine pre-run tests on ZA001 and, depending on the results of those tests, can see the first start of the Trent 1000s later this afternoon. Stay Tuned!

Engine First Start Test

Liz Matzelle Video: APU and navigation lights tests

787 Lights and APU from Liz Matzelle on Vimeo.

Video Courtesy of Liz Matzelle

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Flightblogger: First 787 engine start tests may be hours away

Jon Ostrower just posted saying that the first engine start tests may just be hours away as the road to 787 first flight continues on it's current pace. Roll Royce staff is on hand to assist Boeing with the engine start tests which is usually signaled when the residual oil is burnt away resulting in a cloud of white smoke.

Currently the limiting factor is the weather around the Everett area.

Additionally, Matt Cawby reported that ZA001 went through functional tests including APU fire shutdown, RAM deploy and thrust reverser deploy (for the right side). Each of these functional tests were conducted 10 times each.

Things are picking up at Everett.

Jon's Road to 787 First Flight
Matt Cawby's 787 Functional Test Report

Randy's Journal: 787 Update

Randy Tinseth, at Boeing, updated his blog "Randy's Journal" letting us know what is coming up next for the 787 on the road to first flight.

Also Matt Cawby reported that Boeing is/was troubleshooting a high current rate on the APU inlet door actuator motor. The electrical current is to high for some reason but it seems to be a minor issue. Also it has been reported by another blogger that a hydraulic line was accidentally broken by a worker allowing for a leak inside ZA001. The break has been repaired and there are no other issues. This run contrary to a rumor saying that was major problems with the fueling tests of the aircraft as well as the hydraulic tests.

These were nothing but false rumors. The plane is still continuing to an engine first start on either this Thursday or Friday.

Randy Tinseth Blog.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Guy Norris: Dreamliner 1 moved to parking stall on flightline

Guy Norris confirmed Dreamliner 1's move to parking stall 105 on the Boeing flightline. This is an important milestone prior to starting of the engines and the contiuation of gauntlet testing indicating that first flight is drawing closer.

I still continue to feel that mid June (June 19th) is a strong possibility for first flight though all that depends on how well the rest of the gauntlet testing goes in the weeks and days ahead.

Guy's Road to 787 first flight, part 14.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Liz Matzellle: 787 moved to parking spot on flightline

Pictures courtesy of Liz Matzelle
Liz Matzelle reported that Dreamliner 1 moved from FD-3 (fuel dock) to the flightline (it supposed to be spot 105).

Liz said she went inside the Future of Flight Cafe to upload pictures (ZA001 was still at the fuel dock) when she came outside, it was moved to the parking spot on the flightline. She also saw the lights on on the airplane and was on external power so evidently power was not coming from the APUs. You could see a couple of pictures above. Next would probably be more pre engine start tests this week. According to Jon Ostrower, first engines start should be around Thursday or Friday.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Flightblogger: First 787 engine start around May 21st or 22nd

UPDATE: Jon has updated his blog to reflect new information he got. Dreamliner 1 will be at spot 105 as early as this Sunday but the engines won't actually be spooled up until next Thursday or Friday (May 21 or 22) at the earliest. They'll continue engine run tests through Memorial Day weekend gradually building up the thrust levels in the engines and testing the systems at different power setting on the engines. It is my belief that soon after Memorial Day, Boeing will be starting the intermediate gauntlet testing.

Jon got a lot of juicy details but the most important one is that Dreamliner 1 is due to turn on its Trent 1000s as early as this Sunday.

Right now it's going through final fuel tests along with fuel draining tests. It will then be fully fueled and towed to a remote parking spot by Sunday for the start of engine tests which should last about a week and a half according to Jon which will include high power engine runs that would take place around Memorial Day weekend.

Towards the end of these test, Boeing will initiate the intermediate gauntlet testing verifying the closed loop system of the 787s electrical architecture using both engine and APU power.

Lastly, Jon gave an update on ZA002 and ZA003.

ZA002 is back inside 40-24 where it is finishing up additional tests and then will be moved outside by the end of May to start that airplane on the road to its first flight. Jon says it's tracking closely behind ZA001 and may fly 20 days after ZA001. That would be a huge boost to the testing and certification plan.

ZA003 is now starting to get its passenger interior fitted inside (sounds like they're done with fastener reinstallation) this weekend.

Flightblogger May 15th Report

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Flightglobal's 787 Photo gallery

Flightglobal has a special 787 photo gallery with some great pics from the first rollout almost 2 years ago to the pics of ZA002 painted up in ANA colors.

Flightglobal's 787 photo gallery

787 update

UPDATE (7:30PM EDT): Found out that hydraulic testing is on at 11 PM tonight and prep work in for those tests are on going.

Jon Ostrower just Tweeted that it appears that hydraulic testing on ZA001 is getting under way.
I do believe that ZA001 is still all alone at the fuel dock which I believe that first engine start is very close to taking place over the next couple of days. There probably won't be any other aircraft around when that happens (Boeing acting out of an abundance of caution).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Short update on 787 testing

Looks like there may not be a hyrdaulic test today. Not sure why but also it looks like they moved ZA002 away from the fuel dock. There was a picture on Matt Cawby's web site for a Delta 777 (taken today) and in the background you could only see ZA001 no other aircraft at the fuel dock. Perhaps they moved the other airplanes in advance of the engine tests? Not sure where ZA002 went.

Matt Cawby's picture today (look in the background)

Guy Norris: Hydraulics sytems activation may start soon; paves way for first engine tests

According to Aviation Week's Guy Norris, Boeing may activate the hydraulic systems on Dreamliner 1 as early as tonight which will pave the way for the first engine tests of the Trent 1000 and the start of intermediate gauntlet testing.

There has been a flurry of activity with the first APU start and now the hydraulic systems tests. We will know in the next few days if the engines are on...Look for white smoke to come out of the Trent 1000s when they're spooled up for the first time.

Guy's latest posting.

Dreamliner 2 Rollout

Dreamliner Two Rollout from Liz Matzelle on Vimeo.

Special thanks to Liz Matzelle for permission to embed her video.

Everett spotter Liz Matzelle got great video of the rollout of Dreamliner 2 out of the paint hangar to the Boeing Everett flight line (fuel dock). This is the first Dreamliner to be painted in a customer scheme and it looks fantastic. Looking closely at this video, it appears that the aircraft doesn't have it's engine nacelles on but rather the engines looked to be protected by some sort of plastic overwrap.

Matt Cawby also got a picture of Dreamliner 2 at the fuel dock near Dreamliner 1.

Fuel dock picture with the 787s.

This all follows Dreamliner 1 first APU start yesterday where it ran for 15 minutes.

UPDATE: Here are a couple of pics of ZA002 after it rolled out of the paint hangar. ZA002 has since been rolled into building 40-25 (767 final assembly) and ZA001 is all alone at the fuel dock. Special thanks to Chris Fotos for his help.

All photos courtesy of Boeing

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Flightblogger: ZA001 has APU start!

Jon Ostrower is reporting that Everett area photographer Matt Cawby has gotten pictures of Dreamliner 1's APU stat. If so this is another major milestone taken on the road to first flight.

ZA001 APU start.

Matt Cawby's report

Monday, May 11, 2009

Go Atlantis!

Yesterday Atlantis lifted off for the 5th and final mission to service the Hubble space telescope. Here's a wonderful video of yesterdays spectacular liftoff.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

ZA001 finally fueled up.

Flightblogger reports that Dreamliner 1 has been fully fueled for the first time. No word on if there were any issues but test are continuing on the fuel distribution system.

ZA001 first fueling.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Detective Flightblogger: 25 787s are from Royal Bank of Scotland

Jon Ostrower put on his detective hat and figured out the customer who had cancelled the order for 25 787-8 on April 30th. It was Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

Read it below:
Jon's Detective Work

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Guy Norris: Fueling test to start very early Friday Morning (May 8)

According to Guy Norris, Boeing engineers will start the fuel pad tests, which were delayed from early this week, during the wee early hours of Friday (around 1am local time). If successfully completed the tests will pave the way for APU and engine run tests prior to the start of the intermediate gauntlet. Boeing had hoped to have started the intermediate gauntlet by now but I think it will be pushed to late next week.

Also Guy has reported that the ITV is getting quite a workout by the Boeing test flight team preparing for first flight of ZA001 and the test to be undertaken by the crew of ZA006.

Guy's Road to Flight First part 12

Boeing losses another 25 787 orders

Boeing released it's weekly order update and the news isn't good. There was a cancellation of 25 787s in the past week. It is not known whom the order(s) are from but I will try to find out.

See Boeing's Weekly order update here.

This is more shocking than learning that Manny Ramirez is taking 'roids.

UPDATE: ok I got more information. Apparently, the customer who placed an order for 23 787 in January 2008 (and for an earlier two in July 2006). This customer may not be an airline customer. This customer is in a bit of trouble which is leading to speculation that it could be ILFC.

UPDATE 2: I got a message from a very knowledgable industry source that it is NOT ILFC who cancelled the order.

UPDATE 3: Jon Ostrower is reporting that the customer who had cancelled the 25 787-8s was quite possibly an unidentified customer when the order was originally placed. Read Jon posting.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Guy Norris: Fueling tests to start soon; Flightblogger: fuel lines hooked up

Guy Norris, in a posting last night, said that the fueling tests should late tonight but that the schedule is slipping. An industry watcher told me that the fueling tests schedule is starting to slip again and may not occur until tomorrow.

Also Guy writes that General Electric is developing a new low pressure turbine for the GEnx 787 engine (GEnx-1b) to bring its specific fuel consumption (sfc) back into line with what was promised to customers. Right now the GEnx sfc is about 2 to 5 percent over what was promised. The Trent 1000 engines are about 5 percent over and Rolls Royce is also developing a new low pressure turbine to bring the sfc back into spec.

Rolls Royce new LP turbine is expected to be delivered this fall and fitted on ZA004 (I don't know if its also going to be on the first 787s to be delivered though). GE's LP turbine should be ready for delivery starting in the 1st quarter of 2011.

You can read Guy's article here.

UPDATE (May 6, 2009; 3:40pm) Jon Ostrower that fuel trucks are parked next to Dreamliner 1 with fuel lines attached to both fuel panels on either side of the airplane. Boeing will also pump in nitrogen to test the fuel inerting system which was designed into the 787. Fill 'er up!

That fat bloated feeling

After all the positive news about the 787 including rollout to the flightline, Bernstein Research issued a report out on Friday which threw a little cold water on the fire. Their main conclusions are as follows:

  1. Weight issues on the first few 787s will limit the range on those aircraft by as much as 15%
  2. First delivery won't occur to ANA in 1st quarter 2010 (indication of Boeing being overconfident in their certification schedule)
  3. Boeing won't be able to ramp up to a production rate of 10/month until mid 2013 at the earliest. Boeing has said they plan to be at that rate by the end of 2012.

Guy Norris wrote an excellent piece on these issues in an Aviation Week Article

Jon Ostrower posted an great bit of analysis of the weight problem on the 787 essentially verifying Bernsteins' conclusion on the range effect. Jon's 787 Weight Analysis

Lastly, Air Transport World reported on Boeing's response to all this whereby they maintain that the range on the 787-8 will be about 8000 nm rather than being under 7000 nm from Bernsteins' report. Read ATW's Boeing Response Article.

UPDATE: Jon Ostrower posted a great article on the 787 weight issues and Boeing's response:

787 weight/Boeing responds

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Flightblogger: No gas yet and other musing.

Some real good information came from Jon Ostrower today regarding the progress of the 787 program.

Jon was able to post that Dreamliner 1 has not yet started fueling tests but that final checks are being done prior to the start of those tests.

Dreamliner 2 will be painted in ANA colors ('m wondering about the other 4 test airplanes now) and will be going back to the factory (building 40-24) around the middle of he month. It'll be super cool to se a Dreamliner is a customer livery!

Dreamliner 5 will have its GEnx engines hung soon. the engines were delivered last Friday. I saw a picture that Jon had posted showing Dreamliner 4, at the time without its engines but with a Trent 1000 behind the aircraft. I opining that those Trents are now hanging off Dreamliner 4 by now.

There should be a line move coming very soon allowing for Dreamliner 7 (ZA100) to begin final assembly once the two remaining fuselage sections arrive into Everett.

Jon's May 5th 787 Update.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Road Ahead

Now that the 787 is out on the flightline ready for fueling test, what is the road ahead for the 787 and first flight. I talked to a leading industry journalist and we speculated as to what is ahead and how long it will take to get through the tests. All this assumes that the 787 passes each test and gauntlet. This is a best case scenario and there is a good chance that this scenario is too good to be true.

We all know that fueling tests should occur later this week, perhaps by Tuesday, May 5th (Happy Cinqo de Mayo). Assuming that there are no issues with the fueling and calibration tests, the 787 should be ready for APU and engine run up tests to take place possibly sometime between May 6th and May 8th. This will lead to intermediate gauntlet testing, possibly as early as this weekend (May 9th or 10th). Lastly, final gauntlet could take place by around mid May which would take a little bit more than a week which would lead to taxi and braking tests around late May and first flight soon thereafter.

Please be reminded this is all speculative and all this assumes no show stoppers or need for retests. Is it possible, yes but as we saw with the landing gear swing tests, there is plenty of potential for glitches or unknown unknowns to show up.

Boeing's recent 787 statements

Aside from the blogger and aviation journalists talking about the recent progress in the 787 program, Boeing obviously has something to say.

First off is a link to Boeing press release announcing that ZA001 is out at the fuel dock ready to proceed to the next round of tests.

Boeing Press Release

Next up is a couple of posting from Randy Tinseth first one is showing some photos of ZA001 in the paint hangar:

In the paint

and the last is Randy's posting on ZA001 coming out to the flight line at Everett:

Dream On

That's Boeing's recent words on their composite creation!

787 Rollout video

Dreamliner Rollout Full from Liz Matzelle on Vimeo.

Jon Ostrower has linked to Liz Matzelle's video of Dreamliner 1 rolling out to the fuel dock. Here it is and it's agreat video that last about nine and a half minutes. Enjoy!

More 787 movement

When it rains, it pours...I've been using that comment more often in the last few weeks for many reasons. The reason today in this posting is because Dreamliner 2 (ZA002) has left building 40-26 yesterday and made its way to the same paint hangar that Dreamliner 1 had until recently had occupied.

It's getting its paint job though I'm not sure what paint scheme it'll be painted in. There is also no word on where it will go after the paint could go to the flight line, building 40-24 (767 line) or even back to 40-26. It will have to go through the same set of gauntlet tests that Dreamliner 1 is going through.

This also opens up a spot on the 787 (assuming it doesn't go back to 40-26) for Dreamliner 7 (ZA100). It's not known if Dreamliner 4 through 6 have move down one spot on the line or not though I do think that the last two sections for ZA100 should be in soon.
Charles Concklin is gracious enough to allow me to link to his pictures of Dreamliner 2 being rolled to the paint hangar.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dreamliner 1 coming out today

Above three photos courtesy of Boeing

The next three photos are courtesy of Jon Ostrower of Flightblogger

Photos courtesy of Jon Ostrower at Flightblogger.

Well it finally looks like that Dreamliner 1 is leaving the paint hangar (that was for you Chris) and proceeding to the fueling dock. According to tweets from Jon, the door are wide open so Dreamliner should be out soon.

Further, Guy Norris just posted an update stating that fueling tests now won't start until May 5th (Tuesday). The dueling tests will be used to calibrate the fuel quantity indicating system and the fuel quantity data concentrators. There also maybe a a final round of hydraulics testing for later in the week which may explain the delay in the fueling tests. Read Guy's posting.

UPDATE: Guy has a second post regarding the roll out to the fuel dock as well as Boeing's statement. Read it here.

Read Boeing Press Release Below:

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Moves to Flight Line for Testing

Wash., May 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Boeing (NYSE: BA - News) 787 Dreamliner that will fly later this quarter has moved to the flight line. Fuel testing -- the first in the next phase of extensive checks the airplane must undergo -- will begin in the next few days.

"We are making great progress, and moving ever-closer to first flight," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 Dreamliner program. In recent weeks, the 787 (designated ZA001) completed a rigorous series of tests including build verification tests, structures and systems integration tests, landing gear swings and factory gauntlet, which is the full simulation of the first flight using the actual airplane. With Chief Pilot Mike Carriker at the controls, the simulation tested all flight controls, hardware and software. The simulation also included manual and automatic landings and an extensive suite of subsequent ground tests. "These results give us confidence in our ability to move into further gauntlet testing using either ground power or the airplane's engines or auxiliary power unit. This is a significant milestone on the path to first flight," Fancher said. All structural tests required on the static airframe prior to first flight also are complete. The final test occurred April 21 when the wing and trailing edges were subjected to their limit load -- the highest loads expected to be seen in service. The load is about the same as the airplane experiencing 2.5 times the force of gravity. "We continue to analyze the data, but the initial results are positive," Fancher said. On April 13, the leading edge of the wing was subjected to its limit load while the rest of the airplane was subjected to loads expected at cruise. And in September 2008, the "high blow" high-pressure test was completed on the static airframe. During that test, the airframe reached an internal pressure of 150 percent of the maximum levels expected to be seen in service -- 14.9 lbs. per square inch (1.05 kilograms per centimeter) gauge (psig). Ground vibration testing, which measures the airplane's response to flutter, also concluded on the second flight-test airplane, designated ZA002, at the end of this week. All the necessary structural tests required prior to first flight are now complete. Now on the flight line, ZA001 will undergo additional airplane power and systems tests as well as engine runs. After completing final systems checks and high-speed taxi tests, the airplane will be ready for first flight, which is on schedule for later this quarter.

The 787 Dreamliner has orders for 886 airplanes from 57 customers.
Contact: Yvonne Leach, 787 Communications, +1 206-854-5027 or;_ylt=AiHnGa965drDITnLEzrd5tmuMncA

Friday, May 1, 2009

Major 787 Update

With Boeing briefing the media over the last couple of days regarding the 787, there has been a lot of information coming out of Everett.

First Jon Ostrower got an amazing amount of pictures especially of Dreamliner 1 in the paint hanger at Everett. Check out his Flickr page here and scroll through photos he took this past week which includes the 747-8 final assembly as well as the 787.

Also there is a nice video from the Seattle Times of the 787:

Now on to the meat. Dreamliner 1 is still in the paint hanger after having it's fuel tanks under go the aqueous wash to remove the dirt and debris. Technicians are now installing the final test flight instrumentation and wiring as well as closing up access panels they needed to remove in order to wash the tanks.

During the day today (Friday, May 1st) Boeing will rerun electrical systems tests to make sure the glitch that showed up last weekend doesn't reoccur. All this work is expected to be completed today.

It is expected that Dreamliner 1 will be towed to the fuel dock just outside the paint hanger on Saturday where the fuel loading instrumentation will be tested and calibrated and the first load of fuel is pumped into the 787s three large tanks (one in each wing and one in the center wing box).

Soon after the fueling, Boeing will start up the APU and the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines for the first time and kicking off the intermediate gauntlet. The intermediate gauntlet should kick off sometime next week. Part of the intermediate gauntlet testing is to replicate the factory gauntlet tests but instead of being hooked up to an external power cart power will be provided by the 787's engines and APU. This will be key test to make sure that the 787 will be able to generate all the power it needs for flight.

Meanwhile work is continuing on the other 5 test flight airplanes with Dreamliner 2 finishing up ground vibration tests yesterday. One person there told me that Dreamliner 2 looks fantastic. Dreamliner 3 still needs some work and the engines have yet to put on Dreamliner 4 through 6 and are still in varying stages of work. It is expected that Dreamliner 2 will be flying within three weeks of Dreamliner 1 though it is not known yet when the other 4 test flight airplanes will be ready to fly or in what order.

As far as intangibles, people I've talked to feel that there is a huge amount of optimism at Everett with the 787. One very knowledgeable industry watcher told me:

"Yes, there’s an optimism there I haven’t seen since 777 days again – no
doubt about it. Now they’ve started to discover the 787’s “little ways” (ie –
how different it is to test an aircraft with fully-integrated avionics/systems),
I think they’re feeling a lot better."

There are several sources for all this information so here are the link and enjoy the very informative read:

Guy Norris' 8th report

Guy Norris' 9th report

Flightblogger report

Seattle Times Report

Airwise Report

Seattle Post Intelligencer