Wednesday, February 24, 2010

ZA004 taxi tests to start soon

UPDATE 2 (11:45 AM ET): Ok lots going on today: RC501 flying out of Moses Lake at 9:25 AM, ZA002 flying out of Boeing Field at 9:40 AM, and finally ZA004 flying out of Everett at 10:00 AM. All times are Pacific Time.

UPDATE (11:36 AM ET): In addition to having 787 ZA004 in the air today at 10:30 AM PT, Boeing will also have 747-8 RC501 in the air about an hour before ZA004 will fly. It will be interesting if they join up later on today for a photoshoot. Here is RC501's flight plan:

RC501 flight plan

According to Guy Norris, ZA004 will start taxi tests soon followed by a 10:30 AM PT departure from Everett. ZA004 entry into flight test is highly anticipated as it will test the high speed performance of the aircraft as well as the fuel efficiency of the aircraft.

Currently ZA004 is equipped with package A Trent 1000s. ZA004 will be equipped with improved Trent 1000 later in the test program. The newer engines will have improved specific fuel consumption over the older version because the Trent 1000 initially were not achieving promised fuel consumption guarantees. Rolls Royce redesigned the low pressure turbine among other changes and improvements and it is now expected that the package B Trent 1000s engines will be closer to fuel consumption specs if not meeting them. There's no word on when the the aircraft will be re-engined but it should be well before the end of the test program as Boeing and Rolls Royce will want to compare fuel consumption improvement on the 787 between the two engine packages. All Trent 1000s going to customers will be delivered with the package B improvements.

Guy Norris : Third 787 Gets Ready To Fly

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