Boeing: April 2009 Archives
With this in mind, I brainstormed a bit and came up with what follows below. What better way to display the 787s than with a visual homage to the seven-series aircraft that came before?
From top to bottom: 787 Dreamliner, Dash 80, 757/767/777/717, 747, 737, 707
(Yes, I know there's no 727 - It was between Dash 80 and 727, and I picked Dash 80.)
Upon hearing of the incident, I was immediately reminded of a feature built into the 777 fly-by-wire system that automatically that provides added stability and reduces pilot workload in the event of an engine emergency. The system, called Thrust Asymmetry Compensation (TAC), automatically applies rudder if one engine is producing more thrust than the other, as would be the case in the event of a shutdown.
The system doesn't fully eliminate all aircraft yaw, and requires the pilot to compensate manually with additional rudder inputs to ensure they're aware which engine has failed.
Here's a video from a 777 simulator that demonstrates the functionality of TAC.
What Boeing has achieved here is interior commonality across all its products. Each new aircraft takes design elements first developed for the 787 and adapts them for the wider and narrowbody product offerings. Here are some photos from Tuesday's event.
I just shot this inside Boeing new mock up of the 737 Sky Interior which will enter service with FlyDubai in the 4th quarter of 2010. The video demonstrates the new LED lighting transitions of the cabin and shows the comparison between LED and fluorescent bulbs currently in use on 737s.
**Note: My lens automatically adapted for the change in lighting as the lights were dimmed, though I tilted the camera to compensate. The video captures accurately what you as a passenger would see on board.
RENTON -- Boeing has launched a new interior and upgraded CFM engine for the 737 Next Generation family of narrowbody of aircraft.
CFM will introduce the CFM56-7B Evolution engine in conjunction with a new interior to deliver a 1% improvement in overall aircraft efficiency. Boeing will also make minor tweaks to the aerodynamics of the aircraft to contribute to a 1% improvement as well.
Overall, Boeing hopes to deliver around 2% of overall improvements for 737 Next Generation customers.
Boeing believes that customers will see the benefit of these changes the longer the aircraft remains in cruise.
CFM & Boeing will introduce changes to the engine nozzle and plug, remove 9% of engine airfoils reducing maintenance costs by an expected 4%. CFM will also deliver the improvement by increasing airflow through the engine and reducing overall temperature.
The technology changes represent a $100 million investment for CFM.
CFM will flight test the CFM56-7B Evolution on General Electric's venerable Boeing 747-100 in February of 2010. Boeing will utilize a Continental 737-800 to flight test the changes at the end of 2010 ahead of entry into service.
Launch customers include FlyDubai, Continental Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Tui, Norwegian and GOL.
Entry into service for the engine and aerodynamic enhancements are scheduled for mid-2011. The interior will enter service in 4Q2010.
FlyDubai will be the launch customer for the Boeing 737 Sky Interior which features new LED lighting, larger 777/787 style pivot bins and a host of other changes. The interior improvements mark the most significant change to the 737's cabin since the type was introduced with Southwest Airlines in 1998.
The weight-neutral interior will be a priced option for existing 737 customers and be a mandatory priced "option" for new customers. Boeing declined to discuss the adjustment in price of the new features.
The issue was first discovered during a gear swing test conducted under ground power. During the cycling of the gear, the aircraft was switched from ground to internal power, and subsequently suffered an unexpected shutdown of the aircraft's systems, according to a source familiar with the test.
Power was quickly restored to the aircraft and the landing gear were fully lowered to allow the aircraft to complete additional swing tests on Sunday evening.
The completion of these tests cleared the way for ZA001 to depart Building 40-24 around 4 AM local time for the paintshop to complete
Boeing underscores that it is "not concerned about the overall performance of the electrical power system. It has been robust in its operations heading into these recent tests."
The American airframer intends to continue to collect additional data to "more thoroughly understand the problem." Adding, that this issue is considered to be a normal "blip on the screen" and has no impact whatsoever on first flight.
Boeing, however, did not conduct the additional diagnostic testing during the weekend as completing the swing tests for ZA001 took priority.
The company explained the fault as possibly originating from, "An airplane protective feature...sometimes keeping the power from being applied."
Boeing did not elaborate on the specifics of the 'protective feature' and its role in the testing of the electrical systems.
Aviation Week reports that the gear swing tests successfully completed two of three main configurations, though did not specify what the configurations entailed. The final configuration, presumably one that requires the aircraft to switch power sources during gear retraction and extension, will be conducted while the aircraft is on the flight line.
Photo Credit Boeing
On Saturday Boeing decided it would have a special test to trouble-shoot the issue on Sunday afternoon, but by the morning of Apr 26th it was decided to indefinitely delay the electrical system test. No word as yet on what exactly the issue was, or whether it will delay the start of intermediate gauntlet tests - the next big milestone on the road to first flight.This page has no additional details beyond what has been reported by Aviation Week, though I was reminded of a quote from then 787 Program Manager Pat Shanahan in May 2008 that puts this situation in the appropriate context for understanding the road forward.
Mr. Shanahan, now Vice President of Airplane Programs, said of gauntlet testing:
"That's really when the fun starts, we can really see how stable the airplane is. So, are there any problems that need to be resolved? Guess what, there will be lots of those, and the idea is none of them will be severe...I expect people run in every half hour and they'll drop their grenade, then we'll dispatch the right people and we'll go resolve those issues."
The modified 737-800 aircraft, equipped with a 737-900ER wing and raked winglets, operating as call sign Boeing Papa Eight Experimental, departed Renton Municipal Airport at 10:41 AM PT according to a time line compiled by airplane spotter Andrew Sieber.
The three hour and thirty-one minute flight saw the Navy's new sub hunter, accompanied by two T-33 chase plane aircraft, touch down at Boeing's Military Flight Center at Boeing Field south of downtown Seattle at 2:11 PM PT.
Boeing has built two P-8A flight test aircraft - T-1 and T-2. The former is the unpainted aircraft that made its debut flight. T-2 has not yet flown, but has been painted in USN colors.
The P-8A Poseidon will be ready for operational deployment with the US Navy in FY2013.
P-8A Poseidon First Flight Time Line - All Times Pacific
(N541BA - YP001 - T-1 - Boeing Papa Eight Experimental)
0727 - A number of BCA employees begin working on the plane
0750 - Radio transmission on BOE RNT freq. Hydraulic testing at the time.
0830 - Flight test pilots conduct walk around
0843 - Pilots report they are on schedule for a 0930 departure from RNT
0846 - YP001 conducts VHF radio checks
0906 - Pilots report engine starts will be at 0945
0957 - Still doing flight control tests. Will start engines at new time of 1015.
1009 - YP001 calls into Renton tower for IFR clearance. No flight plan available.
1011 - Air stairs removed from plane
1016 - IFR clearance received for Boeing 9 Experimental
1021 - Boeing P8 Experimental Engine starts
1030 - Calls into Renton Ground requesting permission to taxi.
1033 - T-33 chase planes, N109X & N416X, contact Renton tower and enter the pattern.
1035 - Takes the runway for taxi test.
1040 - Liftoff with BCA chase planes in hot pursuit on Runway 15.
1411 - YP001 Touches down at Boeing Field (KBFI)
*Source & Photo Credit - Andrew Sieber
Using about 4 million lines of code, and a myriad of supporting systems, ZA001 raised and lowered its landing gear in concert with the nose and main gear doors.
Following this final ground-based validation of the landing gear system, the next test of the Messier-Dowty landing gear will take place in the skies over Washington when Mike Carriker and Randy Neville are at the controls. The area around the aircraft was cordoned off for the tests after jacks to raise the aircraft were installed early on Friday.
For ZA002, final preparations were underway for the ground vibration testing as additional testing equipment was being set up on Friday evening. The tests, according to Aviation Week, are slated to get underway around midnight Pacific Time.
Presuming the current testing progresses as planned, Boeing is targeting a very late Sunday night departure for ZA001 from Building 40-24. Dreamliner One will be quite visible on the flight line when the sun rises over Everett on Monday morning.
Starting this weekend, ZA002 will undergo ground vibration testing inside the 787 assembly line in Building 40-26. The testing will validate the aeroelastic and aeroservoelastic characteristics of the Dreamliner and examine flutter stability of the wing ahead of the fight test campaign.
ZA002 has had all the electrostatic discharge equipment removed and the aircraft is now sitting on shaker actuators, according to a program source. Dominic Gates of the Seattle Times also discusses the electrostatic tests that were just completed on ZA002 in an article published today.
Aviation Week also reports that ZA001 is running through additional checks of the flight control systems:
This work, which is also known by some engineers as flight controls operating tests, is a run-through of all the linkages (mechanical and electric) connecting the flight deck with the ailerons, flaperons, rudder, elevators and high-lift devices.At the conclusion of these tests, Dreamliner One will again be lifted off its landing gear for final swing tests, also planned for the coming days.
This weekend also marks two years since the LCF touched down and unloaded the first Alenia-built horizontal stabilizer for ZA001 on April 25, 2007.
If all goes as planned, Dreamliner One should roll out to the flight line on Sunday.
Photo Credit Liz Matzelle
The factory gauntlet, which took ZA001 through a series simulated flight tests, successfully demonstrated the integration of aircraft systems in a closed-loop environment. During the testing, ZA001 was attached to a "bread truck" while a flight test pilot manipulated aircraft systems from the flight deck as engineers measured the response on the instrumentation installed in the aircraft cabin.
Aviation Week reports that the first phase of the gauntlet wrapped up considerably faster than planned. According to previous schedules, Boeing had budgeted as much as three days for its factory gauntlet.
In a step toward the second phase of gauntlet testing, the the intermediate gauntlet, ZA001 will conduct final gear swing tests today (Tuesday) before being cleared to depart Building 40-24. One source indicates that Dreamliner One could be on the Everett flight line as early as this evening.
In what could be interpreted as a much-needed optimistic sign for the future efficiency of the 787 and its more-electric systems, Boeing engineers astonishingly completed factory gauntlet testing by late afternoon on Monday Apr 20. The rigorous schedule of testing, provisionally set to run in continuous cycles of 10 hour blocks with briefing, debriefing and handover hours between shifts, was completed well ahead of expectations in less than 12 hours.
Over on the 787 line, ZA002 is preparing for ground vibration testing to begin as early as tomorrow, a prerequisite for ZA001 first flight clearance. This page misreported that the wire mesh coverings on ZA002 were intended for ground vibration testing, when in fact they were a part of high intensity radiated field (HIRF) and electro-magnetic interference testing.
Follow @flightblogger for the latest details on the road to 787 first flight.Photo Credit Matt Cawby
Photo Credit Boeing
The factory gauntlet is the first phase of full integrated systems testing that sees ZA001 hooked up to an external computer and "flown" in a simulated environment to see how systems react.
The testing, which began around 6:30 AM local time, is expected to be conducted in two ten-hour blocks and wrap up early tomorrow morning, says one source familiar with the tests.
The commencement of the testing also marks the handover of the first 787 to the Flight Test team as it closely examines the performance of the integrated onboard systems.
Most of the aircraft's systems will be tested during the first phase of the gauntlet and the aircraft's power will be drawn from ground cart and battery power. The engines and APU will not be turned on during this indoor phase of gauntlet testing.
The final two phases of gauntlet testing, intermediate and final, will both take place once ZA001 exits Building 40-24 for the Everett flight line.
UPDATE 4:32 PM ET: Boeing says that the factory gauntlet does not take place in two ten-hour blocks. Previous schedules have indicated that up to three days were budgeted for the testing.
As far as the status of the current testing, one source tells FlightBlogger that the early gauntlet "is going great so far!"
Photo Credit Boeing
With systems software integration testing (SSIT) complete on Dreamliner One, which was completed faster than initially planned, the factory gauntlet will take place in two ten hour blocks and could wrap up as early as the wee hours of Tuesday morning, opening the door for seeing ZA001 on the flight line by week's end.
During this past weekend Aviation Week's Guy Norris reported that final pre-gauntlet system checks were being conducted on the aircraft.
Major system check out work now going con the aircraft, situated on the 767 line in Everett's Building 40-24, includes hydraulics, flight control and fire-detection. Another team is meanwhile working its way around the exterior of the airframe, checking to make sure the flight control surfaces are all correctly trimmed and in-line, all panels and doors are adjusted and trimmed, and that aerodynamic "smoothness" is as perfect as it can be.Another source confirms that the external panels of ZA001 have been refitted, confirming the Aviation Week report that flight test wiring is "mostly closed up and connected."
The 787 flight instrumentation test system, which is the most complex and comprehensive ever flown on a Boeing commercial product, is also due to be tested today. Designed to monitor the performance of the aircraft and its systems during flight tests, the evaluation will also require participation by a test pilot on the flight deck.
Mr. Norris also adds that the ballast tanks that were previously installed were removed to gain a, "definitive measurement of the 787's operating empty weight (OEW)."
In addition, the first production standard aft fuselage structures touched down in Everett on Sunday afternoon for ZA100. The twin-mated barrels arrived with the highest level of integration to date with 96% completion.
Photo Credit Liz Matzelle
The one-thousand four-hundred and nineteenth Boeing 747 left Building 40-22 yesterday evening, the same way one-thousand four-hundred and eighteen 747s did before it. The aircraft, a 747-400ERF is the final -400 to come off the assembly line. The side of the airplane declares that it is the second 747 freighter for LoadAir cargo in Kuwait, though its predecessor, the 1st 747-400ERF for LoadAir, is painted completely white and wears an US N-registration as it waits on the Everett flight line for an operator. The future for this aircraft, built under the backdrop of a global collapse in air cargo traffic, is quite uncertain.
As Line 1419 departed the 747 final assembly line, the 787 fatigue test airframe (ZY998) rolled back into the factory for additional structural rework. ZY998 joins ZA003 on the 747 line as the first 747-8F (LN1420) is in the wing laydown process in preparation for final assembly later this year.
Boeing has never publicly specified a date for any milestones aside from the June 30th deadline for first flight, though the time available to accomplish the required milestones after leaving the factory continues to narrow.
ZA001 remains in Building 40-24 and was recently conducting "wag the dog" tests. This test deflects the control surfaces in high-frequency, low-amplitude movements to measure the effect of the movement on the aircraft structure. In this particular case, the rudder was swinging back and forth quickly with limited displacement and "gets the whole airplane shaking nicely," said one source.
ZA002 is close to beginning ground vibration testing at the head of the 787 line, two doors down from Dreamliner One. Because of the high level of static charge built up during the vibration testing, the wingtips, rudder and APU cone are draped in a wire mesh. These static discharge points on the aircraft connect to plywood and wire mesh that is underneath all parts of the aircraft, including the tires, to safely ground any electrical discharge. In addition, the engines are closed up and the flap canoes have been installed on the wings.
At the rear of 40-26, the wings for ZA100 were moved to the pre-integration area along side position one on Tuesday night using the ceiling crane system, usually reserved for the legacy aircraft programs. This was first time a ceiling crane has been used [to move major structure] on the 787 program, though Boeing maintains that there are no plans to incorporate the crane system into regular production operations. Boeing added that the crane provides factory flexibility and might occasionally be used to "transport a piece if that is the most efficient way to do it."
UPDATE 11:22 PM ET:
Aviation Week's Guy Norris reports that things are moving swiftly with daily developments across the six flight test aircraft in preparation for ZA001's first flight:
Overnight on Apl. 15, ZA001's fuselage was loaded with ballast, an essential pre-requisite for test flight. As well simple weights, the ballast system will be made up of tanks which are filled with water for flight tests.
Water in the beer-keg like tanks, which on earlier test campaigns were often adorned with labels from local breweries, is used to simulate passenger, cargo and interior loads. The water can also be pumped forward and aft within the aircraft via a system of interconnecting pipes to produce various center of gravity conditions for specific flight test conditions.
He adds that preparations are also underway on ZA005 and ZA006 for their respective first flights to certify the GEnx powered Dreamliners:
Work to prepare for flight tests is also ramping up in "ZA Zero" - the 787 integrated test vehicle, and systems testing complex located close by Boeing Field. Using the flight deck engineering cab, or e-cab, flight test teams spent yesterday and today (Apl 16), going through dry-runs of the first flights of ZA005 and ZA006, the first two aircraft to be powered by General Electric's GEnx-1B engine. Current work on ZA005's first flight rehearsal is focused on aspects such as engine operating characteristics, while the ZA006 team is believed to be running through aborted take-off procedures and simulations.
Mr. Norris is unofficially the Dean of Boeing commercial airplane flight test reporting, his blog - packed with his vast institutional knowledge - is one to watch for 787 coverage.
Is this the opening salvo in the Air Force One replacement battle?
Photo credit Whitehouse.gov
Other program sources indicate that the start of the factory gauntlet should begin later this week, but roll out to the flight line appears to have slipped until after the aircraft is declared shop complete later this month following the tests.
The first set of production 787 wings arrived in Everett on April 14th painted white and were unloaded early in the evening from the LCF. They were first seen painted in Japan over the summer and are lighter than the previous six pairs that arrived for the flight test aircraft due to incorporated weight savings and the lack of flight test equipment packed inside. The aft fuselage could also be arriving in Everett as early as week's end as well.
In addition, airplane seven (JA801A), which will be the first Dreamliner delivered to All Nippon Airways, now wears the internal designation of ZA100 instead of ZA007. The change came after the delivery order shifted early 787s to the Japanese airline.
Holding off on orders is a safe bet for the worlds airlines, but with 2757 orders in 2007 and over 1400 last year, it appears airlines are just tapped out more than anything. Now they wait for their aircraft to be built. Airbus and Boeing can point to their strong backlogs as evidence of the order frenzy.
Both Airbus and Boeing can claim various superlatives with the launch of 787 and A350. The job for both is getting them fully designed, built, flown, certified and delivered. Though, 787 in some ways is holding itself and its chief competitor in limbo right now.
Airbus is waiting to see what happens with 787 before they firm up A350 details while Boeing waits on the A350 before figuring out what to do with a 777 refresh. All the while, engineering resources are not committed to 737/A320 replacements, pushing entry into service past 2020.
Though, something curious happened this past quarter that deserves recognition. Bombardier earned more orders for CSeries (50) than Boeing (22) and Airbus (23) did in combined gross orders. If you make it net orders, the total between the two titans is only four.
Yes, both firm orders for CSeries were expected last year, yet even with the onset of the recession, they still materialized. Though, the demand for a new narrowbody is there, with Southwest getting antsy, Air France/KLM pining for a replacement to their A320/737s, US Airways ready for a 757 successor and SAS and Air Canada jumping in as well to discuss fleet replacement. That's five airline in the last 10 days alone.
Add those five customers to American and United calling for replacements from Airbus and Boeing and you're talking about some of the largest narrowbody customers in the world.
Though, Boeing keenly understands the virtue of launching an aircraft in a downmarket, a strategy that Bombardier and Embraer are taking to heart. Both 777 and 787 were forged out of the recessions of the early 90s and post-9/11, respectively.
By most estimates, the next upswing for the global economy should be in full effect by 2013, right when CSeries will be coming online. For Airbus and Boeing, A320 and 737 will still be prominently in the picture. Is a mid-life refresh enough to hold the market until 2020?
Embraer, which has already said they wouldn't be pressured into the larger narrowbody market, is laying the groundwork for future plans. Embraer President and CEO Frederico Fleury Curado said the manufacturer will make a decision in the next 18-24 months regarding entry into the 150-seat market, going head-to-head-to-head-to-head with Bombardier, Airbus and Boeing.
The case against CSeries made by Airbus and Boeing centers on the abandonment of commonality and airplane support long built up by a combined 70+ years in the narrowbody market and the extended presence of A320/737 family aircraft in airline fleets.
Though, for Embraer, Air France, KLM, Air Canada, US Airways and United all operate E-Jets, many in mainline service, would their experience here nullify that argument?
While Boeing and Airbus are laser focused on the long-range twin market, their smaller Canadian and Brazilian counterparts are moving in to fill the void. Though, not long too long ago Boeing was planning for a 2012-2015 entry into service for its narrowbody replacement. Yet, for Airbus and Boeing, CSeries is still perceived as a fly buzzing around the head of the giants.
"The only way airlines can get that leverage back is if the Bombardier CSeries becomes a big success," says Richard Aboulafia.
For Boeing and Airbus, what's the tipping point? That psychological and strategic tripwire that signals a genuine threat to their duopoly? Malcolm Gladwell might say 150 orders. What about a certain blue-chip customer putting a stamp of approval on a new aircraft type?
Boeing and Airbus have become accustomed to looking to their left and right to see the competitive landscape. What about a glance in the rear view mirror?
- 777 production cut from 7/month to 5/month - 29% cut by June 2010.
- 767 and 747-8 rate increases will be delayed.
- 737 unaffected by current cuts.
- "delivery deferrals requested by customers in response to unprecedented declines in global passenger and air-cargo."
- Boeing overall 1Q09 earnings will be reduced by 38 cents per share. 31 cents of it is attributable to the 747 program being in a loss position.
- The remaining 7 cents comes from lower margins on deliveries on other commercial programs.
- No cancellations on 747, 777 or 767. A Boeing spokesperson added that there were no 737 cancellations as well.
FedEx's 10-Q quarterly report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on the 20th of March disclose active communications between FedEx and Boeing regarding the development of the 777 Boeing Converted Freighter, which would be built on the 777-200 and -200ER passenger aircraft.
Correspondence dated December 2, 2008 with the subject "Notification for a Boeing 777 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) Proposal" was exchanged between Richard Ochs Boeing Regional Director of Aircraft Contracts and Kevin Burkhart, Managing Director of Aircraft Acquisitions & Sales for FedEx.
The filing redacted the contents of the correspondence, providing no additional details beyond the reference in the letter's subject line, though refers to a "Letter Agreement" on the 777 Boeing Converted Freighter.
A FedEx spokesperson declined to elaborate on the reference to the aircraft in the company's financial filing but added that there are no plans to purchase a converted 777 freighter, and reaffirmed the company's intention to purchase 30 original-build 777 freighters.
FedEx holds 15 additional options for 777F aircraft.
Boeing first revealed it was undertaking cargo conversion development studies in September of last year.
Boeing said a 777 conversion program is still in the preliminary phase as a development study.
A Boeing spokesman added that there's no timeline for a program launch but suggested that a 777 BCF probably would not be available to customers until the middle of the next decade, around the time earliest 777 aircraft would be entering their third decade of service.
When first disclosed, Boeing showed the 777-200ER BCF offering cargo carriers a revenue payload of roughly 180,000lbs (81.6t), give or take about 15,000lbs, and the shorter-range 777-200 BCF a payload of roughly 145,000lbs (65.8t), again give or take about 15,000lbs.
In comparison, the 777 Freighter, which entered service with Air France in February has a revenue payload of 226,800lbs (103t).
At the time, Boeing spokesman stressed that these figures are very preliminary. "We haven't tied down the specific capabilities yet," he says. "We're working with a spread and we're not ready to discuss specific numbers yet."
Photo Credit FedEx
Forty-one years ago, Boeing's first 737-100 entered service with Lufthansa. Now, 41-years later, Boeing has built its 6000th example of the 737 family. The 737-800 aircraft will be delivered to Norwegian Air Shuttle as the 2868th Next Generation 737.
This particular aircraft, registered LN-NOL, wears a special tail sticker commemorating the milestone for the twin-engine narrowbody family. According to Boeing, the 737 family has amassed 8184 orders since Lufthansa placed the first order in February 1965 for 21 of the -100s.
Rolls-Royce also confirms to Aviation Week that the early models of the engine suffered from a "4-5% shortfall in early development tests." According to the Airbus' assessment of the Trent 1000, the specific fuel consumption target (SFC) was previously believed to be exceeded by 2-3%.
The upgraded turbofan, designated Build 4A, will first fly on ZA004 by year end after completing flight test trials aboard the company's 747 test bed in July. Aviation Week also reports that the focus will be on ZA002 and ZA004 to complete bulk of the propulsion tests. ZA004 will first flight with the standard Trent 1000 engine.
Build 4A 787-8 improvements include:
- Revised six-stage low pressure turbine (LPT) design
- High-aspect-ratio blades
- Relocation of the intermediate-pressure (IP) compressor bleed offtake ports
- Fan outlet guide vanes with improved aerodynamics
The engine maker is currently working to transition the demonstrator test elements of Build 4A from prototypes to production standard parts.
According to program sources, ZA001 will make its first flight with standard build Engines 10015 and 10016.
In addition, the Aviation Week article also inadvertently confirms the change in Boeing's 787 delivery planning.
The report quotes Andy Geer, Trent 1000 chief engineer, as saying the upgraded engine will be service ready in time for the sixth production 787 and "literally within weeks" of the first delivery in February 2010 to ANA.
The sixth production 787, airplane number 12 overall, was originally destined for Hainan/Grand China Air and was set to be powered by General Electric GEnx engines. ANA, which has inherited the majority of the early delivery slots for Chinese airlines, will power its 787 fleet with Rolls-Royce engines.
- ANA set to take delivery of 11 787s in first three months
- Chinese Airlines abandon early delivery slots
- First six flight test aircraft go unallocated to airline customers
According to documents obtained by FlightBlogger detailing information on the first 30 787s, ANA was set to take delivery of three Dreamliners in the first three months of production based on an anticipated August 2009 entry into service. The new schedule has 11 aircraft being handed over to the Japanese carrier during the same three-month production period beginning in February 2010.
The change in the delivery schedule, which will see the first 10 production 787s go to the Japanese carrier, provides a significant boost in capacity for ANA's fleet and will enable Boeing to fully make up ground lost over the delays of the previous two years. ANA initially expected to receive about six 787s per year. Royal Air Maroc is taking the 11th production aircraft, with ANA taking number 12.
Both Boeing and ANA declined specific comment, citing a policy of not disclosing or discussing individual aircraft delivery schedules.
Though, Drew Magill, director of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes speaking generally about the Boeing delivery schedule in March noted that the poor economic environment had created a "dynamic" market whereby some customers are seeking to move up delivery of aircraft on order, while others are looking to move deliveries back.
Boeing did add that, "where possible, we are making adjustments that meet our customers' fleet needs while allowing us to successfully manage our production plan."
The aircraft is approaching the commencement of the factory gauntlet, which should begin within the next ten days. The first phase of the gauntlet should last between two and three days. ZA001 will move to the Everett flight line for its official roll-out shortly after the completion of the factory gauntlet. The intermediate gauntlet should get underway by the middle of May, around the time ZA002 will join ZA001 outside.
ZA001 will take the place of ZY998 which will return to the factory for some additional structural rework in the jacked up position before moving to the fatigue test site in July.
Next door, in Building 40-23, ZY997 and completed the 1g wing loading checkout on March 20th. The test flexed the wings about 10 feet to ensure there were no gaps or interferences in the flaps or slats. The aircraft, which will never fly, is getting a final QA reconciliation to ensure the engineering definition meets the actual configuration before proceeding with the limit load test.
REFERENCE: Here to there: 787 pre-first flight milestones explained