Boeing has never publicly specified a date for any milestones aside from the June 30th deadline for first flight, though the time available to accomplish the required milestones after leaving the factory continues to narrow.
ZA001 remains in Building 40-24 and was recently conducting "wag the dog" tests. This test deflects the control surfaces in high-frequency, low-amplitude movements to measure the effect of the movement on the aircraft structure. In this particular case, the rudder was swinging back and forth quickly with limited displacement and "gets the whole airplane shaking nicely," said one source.
ZA002 is close to beginning ground vibration testing at the head of the 787 line, two doors down from Dreamliner One. Because of the high level of static charge built up during the vibration testing, the wingtips, rudder and APU cone are draped in a wire mesh. These static discharge points on the aircraft connect to plywood and wire mesh that is underneath all parts of the aircraft, including the tires, to safely ground any electrical discharge. In addition, the engines are closed up and the flap canoes have been installed on the wings.
At the rear of 40-26, the wings for ZA100 were moved to the pre-integration area along side position one on Tuesday night using the ceiling crane system, usually reserved for the legacy aircraft programs. This was first time a ceiling crane has been used [to move major structure] on the 787 program, though Boeing maintains that there are no plans to incorporate the crane system into regular production operations. Boeing added that the crane provides factory flexibility and might occasionally be used to "transport a piece if that is the most efficient way to do it."
UPDATE 11:22 PM ET:
Aviation Week's Guy Norris reports that things are moving swiftly with daily developments across the six flight test aircraft in preparation for ZA001's first flight:
Overnight on Apl. 15, ZA001's fuselage was loaded with ballast, an essential pre-requisite for test flight. As well simple weights, the ballast system will be made up of tanks which are filled with water for flight tests.
Water in the beer-keg like tanks, which on earlier test campaigns were often adorned with labels from local breweries, is used to simulate passenger, cargo and interior loads. The water can also be pumped forward and aft within the aircraft via a system of interconnecting pipes to produce various center of gravity conditions for specific flight test conditions.
He adds that preparations are also underway on ZA005 and ZA006 for their respective first flights to certify the GEnx powered Dreamliners:
Work to prepare for flight tests is also ramping up in "ZA Zero" - the 787 integrated test vehicle, and systems testing complex located close by Boeing Field. Using the flight deck engineering cab, or e-cab, flight test teams spent yesterday and today (Apl 16), going through dry-runs of the first flights of ZA005 and ZA006, the first two aircraft to be powered by General Electric's GEnx-1B engine. Current work on ZA005's first flight rehearsal is focused on aspects such as engine operating characteristics, while the ZA006 team is believed to be running through aborted take-off procedures and simulations.
Mr. Norris is unofficially the Dean of Boeing commercial airplane flight test reporting, his blog - packed with his vast institutional knowledge - is one to watch for 787 coverage.