Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Move along, nothing to see here

Boeing's first 787, ZA001 returned to the skies yesterday to the relief of many (both in the program as well as many outside observers). In recent months Boeing has taken measures to be more transparent about BCA's flagship program.

They started a 787 flight test tracking web site, something that Airbus didn't even have when it was conducting the A380 flight tests. Then Boeing had an issue with an uncommanded loss of engine thrust in one of the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 which forced an early termination of one of the flutter test flights on February 19, 2010. Boeing took the extraordinary step of informing the world of the issue and the steps they had taken to resolve the problem. Boeing is taking these steps to not only have more openness about a program that is under such intense scrutiny but to make sure there voice is heard and the wrong information is not decimated via outside bloggers (like myself), media or Wall Street analyst. If Boeing had not been forth coming about the situation then many outside Boeing would have said the that the sky is falling on the 787 program and use the diversion to Moses Lake as proof that Boeing is biting off more than it can chew and the 787 is doomed to failure. Boeing should be commended for improving its transparency of the 787 program.

To be clear this issue seems to be a non event. So much so that Boeing flew ZA001 on a 3 and a half hour flutter test flight yesterday and is planning to fly ZA004 today from Everett to Moses Lake and then on to Boeing Field where it will remain through out the test flight program. There will be issue and squaks but as long as Boeing has a plan to deal with them then it shouldn't impact the test schedule or planned deliveries.

It's time to move on, there's nothing to see over here.

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