Horizontal stabilizers of ZA003 and ZA001 being reworked, ZA002 on deck for Farnborough

Boeing’s first and third flight test aircraft, the latter of which is currently slated to represent the company at the 2010 Farnborough air show, are undergoing rework of it horizontal stabilizer following the discovery of a quality issue that threatened to reduce the fatigue life of the structure, Boeing confirms.

ZA001 and ZA003 were scheduled to be in a planned maintenance layup at the moment and the rework is being done concurrently, says Boeing.

ZA002, Boeing’s second 787 flight test aircraft which wears the colors of launch customer All Nippon Airways, is on reserve for the mid-July air show in case ZA003 is not out of rework.

However, Boeing estimates that the ZA003 will complete the rework by Friday, July 9, eight days before the aircraft is set to depart Boeing Field for Farnborough airport in the UK on July 17.

Meanwhile, ZA004 kicked off its flight loads survey today from Victorville Airport in Southern California after nearly a month of being outfitted with fresh instrumentation that will compare and measure the loads on the aircraft’s structure against design expectations.

ZA005 is currently undergoing flutter testing that began on July 2 to evaluate the airframe engine combination of the GEnx-1B engine. Additionally, first flight of the sixth flight test aircraft has slipped into early August, says program sources.

11 Responses to Horizontal stabilizers of ZA003 and ZA001 being reworked, ZA002 on deck for Farnborough

  1. Niyoko July 7, 2010 at 8:44 pm #

    I really don’t see why Boeing wouldn’t pull out the big guns for a surprise visit of ZA001 and ZA002 to show up with ZA003 at the show! How cool would that be?

    I think Boeing has a big chance to show off to the plane loving public and buyers at Farnbourgh. Airbus has been pimping out it’s A380 to much. Time for Boeing to step in. :)

    It’s an exciting time to be an enthusiast I think. :)

  2. Anon July 7, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

    Flight Loads survey kicked off on Sunday, not today.

  3. Aerio Ninja July 8, 2010 at 2:29 am #

    Let me guess. With all these “minor” delays, they still claim a first delivery in 2010?

    Yeah, righhhht!

  4. BA Investor July 8, 2010 at 6:50 am #

    It sounds like the stabilizer remediation issue has been succesfully incorporated into the maintenance layover schedules of the test planes and , hopefully, testing will resume and continue to go smoothly.

    Of course, we have our fingers crossed that this was a minor oversight and workmanship issue and the inspection system will be reinvigorated so delays like this will not happen. It should be pointed out that this problem was not so evident because it was not picked up in flight testing and did not effect any safety issue.

    There are always gremlins in the flight testing period. The question is how many and how serious. It appears that this gremlin was defeated without much delay and credit should be given for this.

    Worries will persist until certification is achieved. Lets try to be optimistic as things were going very well before this incident and a 787 will be in Farnborough as promised. One learns from mistakes and reduces the possibility of them happening again

  5. Tom July 8, 2010 at 7:59 am #


    that means one of these 787 will be in Farnborough from the 19th on, right? That s great news!

    I am booked on the AF 380 on from Paris to London to have a look at the 787 in Farnborough…

    How cool is that?

  6. John in CA July 8, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    The real question is…..will the pilot do a barrel roll over the crowd when he does his fly by….

  7. Scoreboard July 8, 2010 at 1:02 pm #


    Don’t get too excited about seeing the 787 at Farnborough – I believe it is only staying a short while – perhaps just the first day.

  8. Howard July 8, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    So, Aero Ninja you have some special insight into the delivery schedule?

    I believe that Boeing said they would still deliver the first one this year. After all of the public missteps, screw ups, humiliations, and down right incompetence exhibited on the 787, I’m inclined to be skeptical, but I also don’t believe they are so dumb as to try pulling those stunts again. If they say they can deliver this year, given their past track record, I would say trust but verify.

  9. Daniel July 8, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    Dear Jon,

    Does that mean ZA004′s rework has already been completed?

    How about ZA005? Have its stabilizers been inspected & reworked yet?

  10. Froggy the Gremlin July 8, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    Arlington Air Show fly by by ZA005: http://yfrog.com/gi3llz

  11. KMAN July 9, 2010 at 4:05 am #

    Delivery date is still solid? Yea right! About as solid as their dream of a second assembly line in Carolina is on schedule! Kinda like Obama is on schedule for a rude awakening with his euro economy!
    They don’t know what a schedule is!