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Boeing targets late December for 787 first flight

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

Boeing declines 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 a 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.

 © Boeing

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 set 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, reinstallation 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.

  • Spirit AeroSystems will deliver 10 787 shipsets to Boeing by the end of 2009. The Wichita-based company supplies the 787’s forward fuselage section, engine pylons and wing-leading edges. To date, Spirit has shipped eight 787 shipsets in 2009, including two flight test units and six production barrels. Chief executive Jeff Turner says that Spirit will restart regular composite barrel fabrication before year-end as it prepares to meet Boeing’s 787 production ramp-up.
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