January 27, 1967The crew of Apollo One, Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee, were killed when fire swept through their Apollo One capsule in Florida during a ground test. The mission was intended to be the first in-flight test of the Apollo Command and Service Module.January 28, 1986Twenty-five years ago this past Friday, the crew of STS-51L, Dick Scobee, Michael Smith, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Christa McAuliffe and Gregory Jarvis were killed, when Space Shuttle Challenger solid rocket booster ruptured causing the spacecraft to disintegrate a 72 seconds after liftoff.February 1, 2003Space Shuttle Columbia, flying as STS-107, was destroyed on re-entry over Texas during its 28th mission. Rick Husband, William McCool, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Michael Anderson, Laurel Clark and Ilan Ramon, were killed following a 16-day Spacehab microgravity research mission. The accident was traced to an external tank foam strike on the leading edge of the shuttle's wing during liftoff that damage the spacecraft's heat shield.
January 2011 Archives
If we could come up with the right airplane in roughly the 2019, 2020 timeframe, I personally feel that there's a strong argument that the market will wait for us, not withstanding the re-enginging. Most of the feedback we're getting from customers is alignment with that, but we've got to work through this year what the airplane, more precisely, will look like.
Putting our backlog at risk twice, only makes sense if the airplane wants to be developed in 2025 or beyond. I think what we're learning today about what our customers need and what technologies we have available to us, we are leaning toward development in the 2020 timeframe, but we're going to confirm that as we go through it this year, reserving the option - if we're wrong - as we go through the analysis to re-engine. But I don't think it's going to go that way.
New airplane developments, except for the possible derivatives, a -10 would be an example of that, I think those interests tend to be...the derivatives would tend to be in the second half of the decade and then new airplanes would be at the end.
Boeing holds firm to 787 production ramp-up
Boeing aims to deliver a dozen or more 787s in 2011, with industry sources pointing to September for first delivery, while the airframer maintains its original plan of building 10 aircraft per month by the end of 2013.
The airframer declined to elaborate on its the third quarter guidance or confirm the September delivery target. However, while reporting its full year earnings, Boeing says it intends to deliver a combined total of between 25 and 40 747-8s and 787s this year, with a roughly 50-50 split in its guidance. Boeing says these deliveries will be a part of the 485 to 500 aircraft produced in 2011.
8:18 AM ET: Boeing shares are down around $3.25 in pre-market trading on the 35% drop in fourth quarter profit and overall 8% decline in full-year revenue due to research and development expenditures for its 787 and 747-8 programs, as well as lower deliveries from a year ago. This comes despite a $3.3 billion in full-year 2010 profit up 152% over the previous year.
9:06 AM ET: A quick closer look at Boeing's estimate for the 25-40 747-8 and 787 deliveries in 2011. Currently, 747-8 production is running somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.5 airplanes per month, heading to 2/month in 2012, with 10-12 production aircraft already built. Based on these figures, Boeing could deliver (at most) 30 747-8Fs this year, but this assumes a very low level of post-certification rework required on these aircraft.
Earlier today, Boeing's fifth 787, ZA005 left Albuquerque, New Mexico enroute to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The first GEnx-powered 787 landed around 5pm local time at the airport, which features the longest runway in the Caribbean. ZA005 is currently undertaking a campaign of high altitude tests at varying temperatures also known as Lapse Rate Takeoff (LRTO) testing, which sources say is being undertaken in three phases.
What this is is an economics issue. When these bad repairs are caught, the part must be repaired/replaced on site (so the flight is delayed) or at a repair facility (so the passengers need to be put on another airplane). This ends up costing more than the original botched repair, plus the cost of not efficiently making profit from that planeload of passengers.
But, if the money consistently saved by sending most jets to cheaper MROs is greater than the money occasionally spent in the consequences of the improperly-done repairs, then hey, it's worth it. Especially if the airlines trust that [the protective layers] will be enough to keep the repairs from causing an accident, and that this system of double-checks is all that the FAA can reasonably require.
In the dogma associated with lean manufacturing, the Andon Cord holds particularly venerable position in industrial circles. The Andon Cord, coined by Japanese car maker Toyota, places the power of stopping a production line in the hands of each and every employee.
According to Toyota, pulling the cord is done when "a problem on any vehicle is spotted...Only when the problem is resolved is the line restarted. This process involves every team member in monitoring and checking the quality of every car produced"
Airbus, in essence, has pulled its own Andon Cord by pushing back the start of final assembly of MSN001, the first A350-900, to the end of 2011.
Seeking to avoid the production debacle that delayed the A380 two years, chief operating officer Fabrice Bregier says: "when you're not ready, you don't move from one step to another."
According to reporting by Flightglobal, Bregier added that no milestones would commence before maturity. In an aerospace world fixated on concurrent testing and production, such a statement echoes a different approach than we've seen in recent years from many manufacturers, including Boeing and the 787.
A similar Andon-style Cord has been installed on both the Boeing 737 and 777 moving lines for exactly the same purpose. While the moving line instills urgency in the fix, the act of stopping an assembly line is a daunting action, and it places the responsibility for quality at all levels.
In the early years of A380 and 787 production, both Boeing and Airbus found themselves mired in traveled work, the antithesis of lean manufacturing, that required jobs to be performed out of their originally intended assembly sequence while the design was still in flux.
Boeing in particular still struggles with the rework required to prepare 787s for delivery as it aims for a third quarter certification, though the airframer keeps pulling the cord - halting deliveries to final assembly. Even as it heads well past two dozen airframes still performing rework, have the stops accomplished their stated objective?
Airbus may push back final assembly further and first delivery may slip into 2014 as many expect it to, but Bregier bluntly identifies the choice at hand: "Perhaps it's a bit too demanding but, if we do that, it will be much simpler, and I prefer to take a couple more months at this stage to avoid potentially big problems."
Original Schedule - May 08, October 07 - 4Q08, January 08 - 1Q09
April 08 - 3Q09, December 08 - 1Q10, August 09 - 4Q10,
August 10 - mid-1Q11, January 11 - 3Q11
- Beyond first delivery, how many 787s is the company aiming to deliver in 2011?
- Will 180 minute ETOPS certification be achieved along with initial FAA/EASA certification? When will the first 787-9 be delivered?
- Is Boeing's plan still to reach 10 deliveries per month in 2013?
- How long will it take to rework the existing 787 fleet beyond the electrical hardware and software changes?
Boeing Sets 787 First Delivery for Third QuarterEVERETT, Wash., Jan. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) announced today that it expects delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner in the third quarter of this year. The new delivery date reflects the impact of an in-flight incident during testing last November and includes the time required to produce, install and test updated software and new electrical power distribution panels in the flight test and production airplanes.
Boeing will restart 787 certification operations, the first of three major milestones slated for Monday.
Currently based in Yuma, Arizona, ZA004 will re-launch Federal Aviation Administration certification operations for the 787 with a validation of the fuel jettison system, sources tell FlightBlogger. This will be the first flight test for certification credit since ZA002's November 9 fire that placed the regulatory validation of Boeing's new flagship on hold.
Monday will also feature the first flight of a production 787, ZA102, the ninth 787, which wears a white fuselage and All Nippon Airways tail. The aircraft has been re-registered at N1006F, formerly N6066Z, and will fly a standard B-1 production flight, which includes a checkout of the airworthiness of the aircraft and the actuation of the landing gear. This is the seventh 787 to fly since the flight test program began on December 15, 2009.
While it is first slated for a shakedown of all its systems, ZA102 will join the test fleet for the extended twin engine operations (ETOPS) certification before it is delivered to ANA. ZA101, the eighth 787, will primarily operate as a ground test aircraft for the system functionality and reliability testing as part of the ETOPS certification effort.
Lastly, the formerly fire-stricken ZA002 is also expected to rejoin the test fleet Monday with a checkout of the electronic engine control system.
Boeing has yet to announce a revised schedule for first delivery to ANA.
UPDATE 1/17 2:34 PM ET: Program sources say ZA102's first flight has slid to Tuesday at the earliest due to some last-minute trouble-shooting on board the aircraft.
Photos Credit Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company
Of the fifty-two weeks last year, more than two of them were cumulatively spent airborne covering 165,000 miles over 17 countries on five continents passing through 45 different airport. This page produced 374 posts, 29 videos, 3,033 photos and a potentially obscene number of tweets.
It is with that I say thank you for everything in 2010. I've said it before, but without all of you I'm just a guy talking to himself on the internet. Your unending passion for aviation fuels my own and never fails to inspire me to try and bring you a small slice of the commercial aerospace industry.
So with the two weeks airborne in 2010, I'm going to take the first two weeks of 2011 to stay on the ground. I'm going to be on vacation starting today, stepping away for a much needed breather. I'll return to work on January 18.
Though no exciting destination is planned for this vacation, I intended to reintroduce myself to the city that I call home. I've been estranged from Washington, DC for far too long and being at home is exactly what I need. In fact, in my brief professional life I don't believe I've ever taken off for this long.
I've had my vacations where I (try to) ignore the news and the happenings in aviation and social media, but those attempts at quitting cold turkey tend not to relax me at all. Yes, I know that makes me an addict. So, that being said, I won't be far if you'd like to drop me a line.
I'm looking forward to spending the first two weeks of 2011 eating normally, sleeping normally, catching up on reading, movies and all that stuff. I'll also be starting work on a new personal project that I'll be sharing more information about as things unfold.
2011 will be the year of the CSeries, the A350 and the MRJ as they see their first units moving into final assembly, setting the stage for their 2012 first flights. 2011 will also be the year of the 787, and perhaps its most challenging yet.
Again, just let me say thank you for another amazing year. This page turns four in March and it continues to challenge and surprise me in ways I never could have imagined.
With deepest gratitude,
The aircraft, registered RA-89001, is a SSJ100-95LR with a range of 2,110nm and can accomodate up to 98 seats and cover routes from Moscow as far away as Lisbon, Keflavik and Dubai. Granted, those are larger markets where a 100-seater would be too small, but it provides a sense of the cities within the SSJ's range.
The second decade of the 21st century is about all these new market entrants and 100-seat jets is the first battleground.