Thursday, August 20, 2009

Flightblogger: Boeing preparing revised 787 plan

On the heels of ZA002 performing it's slow and medium speed taxi tests (last such tests for a few months), Flightblogger revealed today that Boeing is in the final stages of preparing a document called Z18 (18 for the 18th revision) which outlines construction and schedule of each 787 in the pipeline for Boeing and each one of it's partners.

Flightblogger reveals that first flight for ZA001 may take place between late November and early December. This would equate to a five month delay to the 787 program on top of the other delays. First delivery to ANA would be 4th quarter of 2010. Boeing has yet to reveal it's schedule and should do so in about 5 weeks or so.

The Z18 document is intended to make sure that everyone (Boeing, suppliers, and even customers) are on the same page with regards to assembly production and delivery of each of the 787s that Boeing is committed to delivering including all financial considerations.

The wrinkles are not going to put a wrinkle in Boeing's 787 plan.

With regards to the wrinkle issue, Flightblogger says Boeing is applying the fix to the affected airframes while it has stopped winding fuselage barrels for airplane 30 on out. The permanent fix has yet to be developed though in my communications with Boeing it seems that they would need add additional plies to the affected areas when applying the composite tape before autoclaving the structure. The affected area is the stringer edge step. Until the permanent fix is determined, the resources in Grottaglie will be reallocated to preparing the 13 sections at that worksite for shipping to Global Aeronautica. This will accelerate the preparation of the existing barrels and when Boeing and Alenia are ready to start winding barrels for airplane 30 on out, those resources will be shifted back again to get that work flowing again. It looks like that there won't be any schedule disruptions due to the wrinkle issue.

Flightblogger also says that starting with airplanes 11, 12 or 13 Boeing and it's partners will implement NC 5 (for Net Change 5). This is a standardization of the structural, wiring and systems design across all the suppliers so that travelled work is kept to a minimum and commonality is maxed out when the parts arrive in Everett for final assembly.

It is here where Boeing is hoping (I believe) that there will be no more travelled work in the production system going into Everett and this would form the basis of the production ramp up. Flightblogger says that parts for airplane 10 (LN10) should start arriving at the end of this month. I would expect that airplane 4 and 5 which are in 40-26 would be moved soon to another location so that LN 7 and LN 8 can move down the line and LN 9 can start final assembly though this is be slowed until the side of body fix in installed and tested. Boeing still wants to modify as few planes as possible after the wing-body join.

Flightblogger: What is Z18?

No comments: