Boeing begins installation of 787 wing fix

Boeing has announced it has begun modifying two 787 Dreamliners as it pushes toward meeting its goal of flying by the end of 2009.

The company’s first 787 to fly, ZA001, along with the static test airframe, ZY997, are currently undergoing modification to return full static strength to the upper stringers of the structure that joins the wing to the side of body of the aircraft.

Boeing says the entire process of preparation, installation and restoration will take about three months, with program sources indicating that the installation itself will take roughly 30 days to complete.

After the installation is complete, Boeing will have to restore ZA001 to flying condition which includes a thorough aqueous wash to remove any debris accumulated during the work inside the fuel tanks.

Boeing says that to gain access to the area being modified, some systems and access doors were removed and will have to be reinstalled.

Following the completion of the installation, Boeing will first analyze the fix on ZY997 through a series of static tests that will validate the design, ultimately clearing ZA001 for flight.

After being in the shop for three months, ZA001 will go through a “warm up” process by repeating some gauntlet testing and taxi testing to prepare the 787 for it’s maiden flight, says Boeing.

The company announced June 23rdthat it had discovered that the upper stringers of the wing to bodyjoin were not strong enough to meet FAA certification requirements forstatic strength, curtailing plans to fly by the close of the second quarters.

4 Responses to Boeing begins installation of 787 wing fix

  1. WingedMigrator September 24, 2009 at 12:11 pm #

    “return” full static strength to the wing? The wing never had it in the first place: “achieve” full strength is more like it.

  2. Wes September 24, 2009 at 4:15 pm #

    There is no way in hell this plane will fly before years end. It will fly sometime in January would be my guess.

  3. JE September 24, 2009 at 8:14 pm #

    Carson said it all. It will fly when it’s ready to fly. The rest is an educated, if not wishful, guess.

  4. JayPee September 25, 2009 at 1:53 am #

    Hi Jon,
    in your post last week, you indicated that ZA001 and ZY997 would be finished in early October. If the rework takes 30 days and they have just started, that would imply that it will be near end of October until the rework is done. Does this mean another slip of 2-3 weeks?
    Another question is how much time is estimated for the post rework phase? i.e. The cleanup, the wash, the closing up of all panels etc.
    Are we talking a few days or a few weeks?
    I assume the static rig will not require near as much post rework cleanup and should be ready to go earlier than ZA001. Is that a correct assumption?