Just out from Boeing:
Boeing has readied ZA002, the 787 flight test airplane that experienced an electrical fire on Nov. 9, to be flown from Laredo, Texas, to Seattle. Maintenance technicians replaced the damaged P100 power distribution panel, repaired damage to interior composite structure and installed new insulation material.
The team in Laredo, Texas, has completed a series of ground test operations and inspections to validate the repairs. The flight, which is expected to occur soon, will not include test operations.
Boeing says ZA002 will ferry to Boeing Field, joining ZA001, ZA003, ZA005 and ZA006. ZA004 flew to Everett for maintenance operations on November 21. ZA002 is scheduled to depart Laredo at 2 PM local time for a return to Boeing Field at 4:24 PM PST, though departure, enroute and arrival times tend to vary greatly.
In other 787 production news, JA822J, the third aircraft for JAL was fitted with its twin General Electric GEnx-1B engines. This will make it the first production 787 with GE engines.
The fitting provides a good indication of the potential delivery order for the early aircraft, with program sources saying Airplane 23 will likely be the third or fourth production aircraft to fly in with the pack of Airplanes Seven, Eight and Nine for ANA. The aircraft’s destination: Lackland Air Force Base for activation of Boeing’s 787 change incorporation and refurbishment operation in San Antonio, Texas.
Though, production flights are farther down a short but non-negotiable to-do list for Boeing, which first has to establish a new schedule for the program while designing, validating and implementing its electrical system software and hardware changes, while satisfying the FAA that the 787 test fleet can return to flight operations.
“We have another several weeks of work to do to get the fix in place,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh told Reuters today. “Once we understand the fix, we’ll be able to tell you what the impact on the schedule.”