An intensive Five-day series of simulated airline operations with the third Boeing 737-700 (YA003) was successfully completed on 19 July. The aircraft achieved 100% dispatch reliability for on-time departures and arrivals, says Boeing. The 737 was flown for 50 flights to 24 cities in the Southwest Airlines network, ranging from Los Angeles and Oakland in California to Baltimore in Maryland, Chicago in Illinois and New Orleans in Louisiana. Most of the first two days of operations were concentrated on routes within Texas, with the subsequent three days spent flying the longer-range operations within the airline's network. Boeing says: "Total flight squawks for the 50 cycles were two burned-out light bulbs on the flightdeck and a windshield-wiper blade that needs a tension adjustment." Meanwhile, the first flight of the stretched 737-800, which was rolled out on 30 June, is expected to take place around 30 July. Pre-flight tests on the first -800, YC001, are progressing "ahead of schedule", says Boeing, which was conducting autopilot and autothrottle checks on 22 July following the start of engine tests five days earlier.

Source: Flight International