Boeing targets late December for 787 first flight

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Installation of the wing fix for the first Boeing 787 - ZA001 - is now complete, with programme sources telling ATI affiliate FlightBlogger that flight test schedules have readjusted to target late December for first flight just before Christmas.

Boeing declined to confirm the completion of the installation but says it is "satisfied with the progress being made with the modifications and are on-track to fly before the end of the year".

As part of the Z18 programme schedule, Boeing initially targeted late November for first flight, but the ongoing pace of engineering design, the availability of the machined fittings, and the installation of the wing fix has slid 787 first flight roughly a month to late December.

The latest target holds 787 first flight within Boeing's latest revised target of flying by the close of 2009.

Sources also indicate that the wing fix is slated to undergo full-scale testing on the static airframe in late-November. Once complete, Boeing engineers will study the results to validate the wing fix and clear ZA001 to begin its certification campaign.

Additionally, as a result of the completion, ZA001 restoration work is scheduled to begin today in Everett.

Restoration consists of a thorough cleaning of the work area inside the side-of-body, re-installation of systems and complete panel close out.

Certification and first delivery to Japan's All Nippon Airways is expected in the fourth quarter of 2010.