I've found my way on board Singapore Airlines A380-800 (9V-SKA) for the second of my two flights to Asia. This particular airplane was the first production A380 (MSN003), which carried the maiden commercial superjumbo service in October 2007 between Singapore and Sydney. I'll be airborne for about 12 hours then I'll hit the ground for a busy, busy week. Catch you on the other side of the world (from the East Coast). Next stop Singapore!
January 2010 Archives
Good morning from London Heathrow! I'm here on the ground during my layover and I thought I'd take this quiet moment to provide a brief update and good round up of all that is going on for Boeing's two primary development programs.
Ground operations consisted of control sweeps of the flight control system. Perhaps the biggest advance on the -8 is the lateral flight controls (ailerons and spoilers), which are now driven by a fly-by-wire system, the first time such a flight control system has been flown on a 747. While "in flight", Imrich cycled the flaps and landing gear and then "returned" to PAE via the JAWBN intersection with flaps to 25 and a Vref speed of 155 kts to land on runway 16R.
In other news, 850 Renton-based engineers are transferring to Everett to work on 787 and 747 derivatives, while ANA says it is planning to take delivery eight 787-8s between first delivery in the fourth quarter of this year and March 2011. Presumably, the aircraft would be registered JA801A through JA809A, Airplanes 7-9 and 11-15.
Sitting at seat 23J on 777-222ER (N216UA) I'm getting ready to depart
on my first leg to Singapore. This T7 will take me across the Atlantic
on United 918 by way of North Atlantic Track X to Heathrow. I'll be in
London for about five hours before transferring terminals to fly the
A380 for the first time with Singapore Airlines. When it's all said
and done I'll be in the air for about 22 hours crossing three
continents and over 9000+ miles to Southeast Asia. I'll see Singapore
Sunday morning. Next you'll hear from me it'll be first thing in the
morning in the UK and just after midnight on the East Coast. Catch you
on the other side of the pond!
Boeing forms advanced development teams for 737 and 777A day after Boeing CEO Jim McNerney announced additional research and development allocated for 777 and 737 upgrades, the company has announced the establishment of advanced product development teams to study the future of both aircraft.Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO, Jim Albaugh, has appointed Mike Bair, current VP of business strategy and marketing for commercial airplanes, and original chief of the 787 programme to head the 737 team. Lars Anderson, former 777 programme VP and general manager will come out of retirement to lead the 777 team."Defining Boeing's airplane product strategy is critical to our future growth. We need a clear vision and roadmap for both our single-aisle and twin-aisle offerings for the future," says Albaugh. "Also, in the global environment in which we operate, we need a sharpened situational awareness of macro-economic and geopolitical realities."
ZA002, Boeing's second 787 flight test aircraft, concluded a two week visit to Everett for an aqueous wash of its fuel tanks and departed Paine Field at 11:32 AM PT for a test flight that should have the aircraft flying for about six hours. The aircraft departed to the south, turned west, climbing to 25,000 feet then turned South down the Pacific Coast toward Oregon and on to Northern California.
The aircraft will spend the day testing the twin Trent 1000 engines and the oxygen analysis system (OAS), which is intended to measure the oxygen content in the fuel tanks while the nitrogen generation system (NGS) is in use. Guy Norris has an excellent rundown of the system and its origins.
The aircraft is expected to be back on the ground at Boeing Field, site of the company's flight test center, around 5:30 PM PT.
|Deliveries||4th Quarter ||Full Year ||2009 Orders |
|737 Next Generation||92||372||174|
Here's a completely unrelated video I uploaded last night. I filmed this is a jump seat arrival into Sao Jose dos Campos last September during my visit to Embraer.
Air New Zealand's Game Changing Seat
2010 Top 25 Engineer's Terms and Expressions(What we say versus what it means)1. A number of different approaches are being tried.
We are still guessing at this point.
2. Close project coordination.
We sat down and had coffee together.
3. An extensive report is being prepared on a fresh approach.
We just hired three punk kids out of school.
4. Major technological breakthrough!
It works OK; but looks very hi-tech!
5. Customer satisfaction is believed assured.
We are so far behind schedule, that the customer will take anything.
6. Preliminary operational tests were inconclusive.
The darn thing blew up when we threw the switch.
7. Test results were extremely gratifying!
Unbelievable, it actually worked!
8. The entire concept will have to be abandoned.
The only guy who understood the thing quit.
9. It is in process.
It is so wrapped in red tape that the situation is completely hopeless.
10. We will look into it.
Forget it! We have enough problems already.
11. Please note and initial.
Let's spread the responsibility for this.
12. Give us the benefit of your thinking.
We'll listen to what you have to say as long as it doesn't interfere with what we have already done or with what we are going to do.
13. Give us your interpretation.
We can't wait to hear your bull.
14. See me or let's discuss.
Come to my office, I've screwed up again.
15. All new.
Parts are not interchangeable with previous esign.
Don't plan to lift it without major equipment.
Rugged, but more so
18. Light weight.
Slightly lighter than rugged
19. Years of development.
One finally worked
20. Energy saving.
Achieved when the power switch is off.
21. No maintenance.
Impossible to fix
22. Low maintenance.
Nearly impossible to fix
23. Fax me the data.
I'm too lazy to write it down.
24. We are following the standard!
That's the way we have always done it!
25. I didn't get your e-mail.
I haven't checked my e-mail for days.
Santiago-based carrier LAN is set to make a major acceleration in its delivery of its first Boeing 787 after a slot swap with Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA), say sources close to the Latin American carrier and the US airframer.
Two delivery slots from the early batch of aircraft scheduled for delivery in late 2010 and early 2011 have been reallocated from ANA to LAN, the same sources tell ATI and FlightBlogger.
According to a source at the airline, the first 787-8s were intended for delivery to LAN in 2015 after accumulating more than two years of delays.
LAN declined to discuss the change, as "there exists a confidentiality agreement with Boeing. The company will inform about this issue if and when it is appropriate".
Boeing also declined to discuss the shift as a matter of policy to not comment publicly on delivery schedules, saying that "occasionally we and our customers make order adjustments that better support their overall fleet needs, while allowing us to successfully manage our production plan".
Program sources add that the 10th and 16th aircraft built will now be delivered to LAN. ANA assumed ownership of several early delivery slots after five Chinese carriers deferred their orders in early 2009.
LAN, which selected Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, first announced in July 2007 its intent to purchase 26 787s and lease six more, marking the largest 787 order from a Latin American carrier.
The order included 18 787-8s and 8 787-9s and an additional lease of 6 787-9 aircraft from ILFC.
The 787-9s leased from ILFC were initially intended to be the carrier's first aircraft to replace Airbus A340-300s on long-range routes. The first 787-9s were supposed to be delivered in 2011, the same year as entry into service of the type.
After two years of delays, the 787-9 will now enter service with launch customer Air New Zealand in late 2013.
As part of its contingency plan for the 787 delays, LAN purchased an additional four 767-300ER aircraft in November 2008 from Boeing and was seeking a fifth, while installing winglets on its 767 fleet to improve performance.
Airplane 7, the first production 787, is set to be delivered to ANA in the fourth quarter of 2010 following a planned 8.5 month certification campaign which began in December 2009 with the aircraft's maiden flight.
While the early batch of 787s are believed to be over target weight, which will impact performance, the company has already begun incorporating weight saving techniques into early airframes.
Program sources say weight savings on early aircraft, Airplanes 7 through 19, have focused on the wing skins.
Starting with Airplane 20, Boeing will introduce a higher MTOW of 502,500lb - up 18,500lb from the initially planned 484,000lb - to "help us to meet the expectations of our customers".
Airplane 10, which entered final assembly in September 2009 is currently in the paint hangar at Boeing's Everett, Washington facility, while the forward fuselage and wings for Airplane 16 have arrived from Kansas and Japan, respectively.
Photo Credit Boeing
External factors are more often than not blamed for causing aerospace downturns, but I close on a much broader question: If Boeing and Airbus are solely responsible for their production rates, do aerospace industry downturns rest in their own hands if the market is oversupplied?
Debris forces second 787 back to Everett
Boeing's second flight test 787 is set to make its second flight, a return trip to Everett, for a thorough cleaning of its fuel tank following the discovery of foreign object debris (FOD).The FOD was found trapped in the fuel filter following the aircraft's 22 December first flight to Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington.Boeing confirms that "crews discovered very small amounts of debris" inside the aircraft's fuel tank during a planned non-operating period following first flight. Programme sources say a piece of cheese cloth left in one of the aircraft's fuel tanks is said to be responsible for the return to Everett, where the facilities to accomplish the cleaning are located.
I'll have a complete status update on the first month of 787 flight test tomorrow.
We have today, more than 3000 Airbus engineers working on the program, plus another 3000 engineers with our partners. It is clear we need further ramp up in resources, we need further reinforcements, particularly in the fuselage and wing areas. We have important milestones ahead of us. Manufacturing has started, as you would imagine, as such a stage that program has a lot of challenges for us: New materials, processes, weight, schedule, just to mention the usual suspects.
Video Capture Credit Airbus
The video also covers the flight testing of the 707-320 Intercontinental and high-speed 720, as well as the MATS 707 tasked with transporting President Eisenhower overseas.
Guggenheim cancels orders for two Boeing 747-8Fs - FlightGlobal
Boeing received its 15th 787 centre fuselage on 5 January, marking the arrival of the last centre wing box requiring a full side-of-body modification and reinforcement that will be completed at the company's Everett, Washington facility
FlightBlogger on Tumblr
Keeping with the 'In Beta' policy for FlightBlogger, I've added a new channel for content for the blog that I hope will really further enhance and streamline this site. I've tried for a while to pull together the disparate social media multimedia services into an integrated package while still making sure that this page is still for comprehensive written content. I've created a new page at Tumblr (http://flightblogger.tumblr.com) that allows me to record and share and upload audio, quick video, links, quotes, photos on the fly. Tumblr is designed for speed. It will be put into full effect during the Singapore Air Show early next month and we'll see how it goes.
That might be a more practical product line that will have a wider application with more customers than the -3 and we're encouraging Boeing to come up with a 787 derivative to address that middle market which has wide global appeal to airlines in North America, European airlines, Middle East, China and South America and intra-Asia and US trans-con market and so forth. The -3 doesn't quite do it. It seems too heavy.
Airbus has moved closer to launching a revamped A320 family after signing agreements with CFM International and Pratt & Whitney which will lay the groundwork for re-engining the twinjet, FlightBlogger has learned.
While the scope of the agreement - which was signed within the past week - remains unclear, multiple industry sources say that this step is more technical in nature. The agreements are aimed at formally establishing specifications, performance and fuel burn requirements for such an engine, rather than any new A320 version's commercial viability. Additionally, the sources add that the agreement is a clear signal of the seriousness by Airbus to re-engine the A320.
Airbus chief operating officer of customers John Leahy said at the Dubai air show in November that "The more you convince yourself it is 2024 for the next-generation single-aisle, the more you realise you must do something with the existing aircraft."
Although Airbus did not explicitly confirm or deny such a formalized agreement exists between itself and CFM and P&W, the airframer says it "is constantly in technical dialogue with all the major engine suppliers".
P&W declined to address the existence of such an agreement, saying that "We are in discussions with all aircraft makers about the benefits offered by the [PW1000G] with its geared turbofan technology."
The engine maker adds: "Our preferred channel to market for the next generation or re-engined Airbus and Boeing single-aisle aircraft is through our successful partnership International Aero Engines (IAE). We will continue to work with our existing technology partners to bring this engine to market for our customers."
IAE says that it "continues to discuss all potential future engine developments to enhance the aircraft's performance". P&W and Rolls-Royce are major partners in the IAE consortium that offers the V2500 engine on current A320 models. CFM engines power both A320 Family and Boeing Next Generation 737s.
During the 2009 Paris air show the head of IAE partner MTU Aero Engines Egon Behle told Air Transport Intelligence that as IAE crafts its strategy for an engine to power A320 and Boeing Next Generation 737 replacements, "There are certainly some obstacles to remove." Behle noted Rolls-Royce and Pratt "do have different proposals" to narrowbody development.
Airbus says of its future relationship with IAE on the A320 that "our aim, as we have clearly stated previously, is that any such offering(s) should come to market via the established CFM and IAE partnerships respectively".
Airbus and P&W partnered in 2008 to test a PW1000G demonstrator under the wing of an A340-600 at the airframer's Toulouse base. While the move ignited speculation about the future application of the engine, both parties were quick to say it was not a sign of a formal plan.
While CFM denies there is a legal agreement signed between itself and Airbus, the joint venture between General Electric and Snecma says that it is in "constant negotiation" with Airbus and continues to supply the European airfamer with data for potential "study engines" for the A320.
The LEAP-X1C was selected in December by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) to power the C919 aircraft, a direct future competitor to Airbus and Boeing in the 150-to 200-seat narrowbody market expected to enter service in 2016.
A December 2009 report by AirInsight concluded that "Airbus will decide to re-engine the A320, and make that announcement and engine selection early in 2010." Adding that, "We expect both LEAP-X and the P&W GTF, the latter offered through IAE, will be selected as the candidate engines."
Last month, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) selected the CFM (GE & Snecma) LEAP-X1C engine to power the C919, the nation's entrant into the 150 to 200 seat market. The selection of the next generation CFM engine gives the LEAP-X a launch customer that comes with a guaranteed market: China.
"Boeing should have killed this upstart. If Boeing had produced a clean sheet of paper the A320 never would have become Airbus's bread and butter."
If you look closely, all those red marks on the ZA001's wing, flaps and engine pylon are pieces of yarn. All the computer models running on all the super computers in the land are no match for seeing it with your own two eyes in flight.
When Mike Carriker discussed the new instrumentation added to ZA001 between first and second flight, the addition of yarn to the left wing was exactly what he was talking about.
The yarn will demonstrate how the airflow moves over the wing of the 787 and validate (or challenge) the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models developed for the program.
|/T||Transponder with no Mode C|
|/U||Transponder with Mode C|
|/B||Transponder with no Mode C|
|/A||Transponder with Mode C|
|/N||Transponder with no Mode C|
|/P||Transponder with Mode C|
|AREA NAVIGATION (RNAV)|
|/Y||LORAN, VOR/DME, or INS with no transponder|
|/C||LORAN, VOR/DME, or INS, transponder with no Mode C|
|/I||LORAN, VOR/DME, or INS, transponder with Mode C|
|ADVANCED RNAV WITH TRANSPONDER AND MODE C (If an aircraft is unable to operate with a transponder and/or Mode C, it will revert to the appropriate code listed above under Area Navigation.)|
|/E||Flight Management System (FMS) with DME/DME and IRU position updating|
|/F||FMS with DME/DME position updating|
|/G||Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), including GPS or Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), with en route and terminal capability.|
|/R||Required Navigational Performance (RNP). The aircraft meets the RNP type prescribed for the route segment(s), route(s) and/or area concerned.|
|Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM). Prior to conducting RVSM operations within the U.S., the operator must obtain authorization from the FAA or from the responsible authority, as appropriate.|
|/J||/E with RVSM|
|/K||/F with RVSM|
|/L||/G with RVSM|
|/Q||/R with RVSM|