Wednesday, June 10, 2009

787 First Flight Now Targeted for June 24

UPDATE (6/12/2009): Jon Ostrower wrote an article that appeared on Flight International's web site where he says that ZA001's first flight is days away. Could it be that it's 12 days away from today? Stay tuned!
787 flight is imminent by Jon Ostrower

Sources have told me that first flight for 787 is being targeted for June 24th. I am trying to confirm. This is all contingent upon Boeing finishing up all needed ground testing and no unexpected problems crop up as a result.

Please remember that this date is a moving target and not set in stone.


Ian Kluft said...

I don't think anyone can or should try to confirm such a rumor. Well, maybe unless it includes the right words like "no earlier than". They still have more ground testing to do - and the purpose of testing is to try to find things which are different from design and expectations. It's a part of the engineering process that just has to be allowed to run its course. So even though I don't know, engineering experience tells me that anyone who does would know that a date can't possibly be set yet. It isn't ready for flight testing until the ground testing results say it is.

Anyone who observes a flight test program has to take this into account. Otherwise they're likely get in a similar mismatch of expectations mess as what FlightGlobal did recently with their widely-criticized commentary on Scaled Composites' flight tests of WK2.

Uresh said...

Well that's why it's a target date and not set in stone.

Gorbi said...

What's a "Flirst" flight?

Anonymous said...

Any indication as to when final flight gauntlet will start?

Also, how many days under normal circumstances does the taxi test take?

Gorbi said...

What's a FLIRST flight?

Uresh said...

That where the pilots flirt on the first flight!

Gorbi said...

Gotcha Uresh ... that's what I thought!!!

Seriously, I am planning on attending the first flight in person, hopefully with my wife. I am following your blog here, along with Flightblogger and's Guy Norris as you always note.

Do you know when the Final Gauntlet tests will begin and how long they might last? I have no clue when first flight will be, other than "before the end of the month", the famous Boeing mantra.

I actually have some internal contacts on Boeing who work on the program, one good friend who works on the ITV (Integrated Test Vehicle) at the Renton facility.

It is used to 'pre-test' the avionics and flight control systems prior to actual testing on the real plane, namely ZA001. I keep "bugging" him and he doesn't have any clue, and he's working daily with the rest of the "Dream" team.

Keep up your good work Uresh. I think your 'targeted date' of the 24th sounds very reasonable, because they HAVE to get the plane flying by the end of the month, and this allows an additional 5 or 6 days to make it happen should there be any unforseeable delays.

Anonymous said...

Above, if your friend doesn't know and he works with the "Dream team" it must be hard to establish a date.

It would seem appropriate for Boeing to get the plane in the air during the Paris Air Show but jusging from the lack of activity and commencement of final gauntlet, it appears that nothing is guaranteed.

Boeing has screwed up so many times that in the back of all of our heads is the possibility that will screw up again. I hope not but it is disheartening that ZA001 has not advanced further at this point but we keep our fingers crossed and are counting days.

Perhaps Uresh's contacts know more

Anonymous said...

Boeing did say in the recent past that the final gauntlet would be shortened by some of the testing that took place around the intermediate gauntlet. I believe Randy Tinseth announced that at some juncture.

That may give us a surprise once it is commenced. There are twelve days remaining before Uresh's target date...enough to accomplish everything if all goes smoothly ...and I expect the taxiing part is fairly perfunctory but necessary.