Tuesday, February 16, 2010

787 & 747 Tidbits

Well know that Boeing has two major programs in test flights here's some updates.


Boeing announced that the fourth Dreamlifter is now in service after the 747-400 underwent major reconstructive surgery (like it's 3 sisterships) in Taiwan. Here's Boeing's Press Release:

News Release Issued: February 16, 2010 2:51 PM EST

Final Boeing 747 Dreamlifter Enters Service
EVERETT, Wash., Feb. 16
/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The fourth Boeing (NYSE:BA) Dreamlifter – the final airplane in the fleet of specially modified 747-400s – entered service today. Dreamlifters transport the large composite structures of the 787 Dreamliner from partners around the world to Everett, Wash. for final assembly. The unique airplane, which was modified by Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corp. in Taipei, Taiwan, took off from Paine Field in Everett early this morning. Bound for Wichita, Kan., the Dreamlifter is returning the equipment used to transport the forward fuselage section known as section 41. The airplane's registry is N718BA.

I heard a couple years ago that Boeing may need as many as 6 Dreamlifter to support the higher production rate. With the Charleston Assembly Line due to start production middle of next year Boeing may have to procure two more low mileage 747-400 for conversion to LCFs to meet the higher expected output.

In the meantime ZA003 underwent more ground testing as does ZA004. Both aircraft still are expected to be in the air by the end of the month with ZA005 in the air by March and ZA006 flying by the end of April.

Flight testing continues with ZA001 starting flutter tests on February 14 with this testing expected to last a few weeks. Soon after that the 787 should receive its TIA (Type Authorization Inspection) which will be the formal start of certification flights with FAA inspectors on board the test flights.

Guy Norris has a great blog post detailing the 787 flutter tests.

787 - Forward to Flutter

On the production front, Boeing has sent airplane 13 to the paint shop after it had completed final assembly activities in building 40-26. Airplane 17 moved into position 1 for the start of final assembly and parts for airplane 18, destined for ANA, has started to arrive in Everett.


Since conducting first flight of the 747-8F, Boeing has been conducting further ground tests on RC501 as well as checking out the aircraft in preparation for the next flight speaking of which should occur as early as this coming weekend. RC521 is continuing its preparations for its first flight which should occur after RC501 as completed initial airworthiness flights. In the meantime, Boeing released some very spectacular images of RC501's first flight around the Seattle area.

All photos below are Boeing Photos:

No comments: