Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Some 747-8 news and some 787 news

Ok switching gears for a moment. Here's some 747 news. Flightblogger is reporting that the first 747-8 will start 40 hours of final gauntlet testing later this week. Final gauntlet tests the aircraft's systems and subsystems by making the airplane think that it is flying and seeing how those systems react.

First flight is probably going to occur sometime in February though I still don't have a firm date. That date, like the 787 first flight date before it, is dependent on the results of gauntlet testing and the need, if any, for any further testing.

Guy Norris reports that Boeing is working through a long list of EWAs (Engineering Work Authorizations) which is a long name for systems checks. Boeing has been working on a series of systems to make sure they're ready for final gauntlet. Guy says that given that final gauntlet hasn't started means that first flight won't occur until very late this month to middle of next month.

Matt Cawby got a couple of nice picture of the two 747-8F on the Boeing flightline. Curiously both are registered N747EX.

Lastly, in a somewhat related note, Flightblogger says in his post that the 4th LCF for the 787 program is due in Everett next month after taking it first flight (post conversion) on Friday, January 15. In a 787 related update, ZA004 will be testing the 787's evacuation slides this week and ZA001 will hopefully start further flight envelope expansion tests with further flutter and primary flight control system tests followed by high speed stability and control testing.

Randy Tinseth, in a blog posting on Friday, January 15, talks about the 787 achieving its Initial Airworthiness testing milestone and notes that the 787 fleet has accumulated 59 hours and 15 minutes of flight test time. Using flightware I've calculated 59 hours and 40 minutes of flight time which is close.

Flightblogger's Week Ahead Post

Guy Norris: 747-8 Flight Test Update

Matt Cawby: January 15 747-8 Update

Boeing Prepares 747-8 Flight Test Program

Randy's Journal: Initial Airworthiness

787 flight tests off to a promising start

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