Boeing 787 Line Number 86 took off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., at 11:19 am local time today for a “routine” test flight to address ongoing systems upgrades separate from those related to the airplane’s battery.
Jet Aviation St. Louis received its first Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) last month, and a second is scheduled to arrive later this spring. Both aircraft will undergo maintenance and minor interior upgrades. Construction of a hangar sized for single-aisle bizliners, training of technicians and investment in infrastructure paved the way for the BBJ projects. The MRO sent technicians to its sister facility in Basel, Switzerland, to gain first-hand experience working on BBJs. The cooperative work program began in early 2010.
Last year the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) in Shanghai was reborn on a wave of growing confidence in China as an emerging market for business aviation goods and services. It drew 156 companies to the 43,000-sq-foot exhibit floor.
As experts struggle to identify why the crew of Air France 447 lost control of their A330 over the South Atlantic Ocean nearly four years ago, the industry is also still struggling to develop the precision data needed to accurately reproduce a stall in a Level D simulator. The lack of accurate stall data limits entry and recovery practice because the computers running the simulators have no idea how the aircraft will actually perform.
Airbus and Boeing each secured major commitments for their respective narrowbodies last week, potentially helping to quiet some of the debate surrounding the extent of their production rate increases.
Jet Aviation St. Louis welcomed its first Boeing Business Jet last month and its second BBJ is scheduled to arrive this spring, the company announced today. Both aircraft will have maintenance and minor interior upgrades performed at the facility. To capture BBJ completions and maintenance work at the St. Louis outpost, the company built a hangar sized for single-aisle bizliners and invested in other infrastructure. It has also sent St. Louis technicians to Jet Aviation’s sister facility in Basel, Switzerland, to gain first-hand experience working on BBJs.
Boeing technical workers have approved a new four-year contract that maintains annual 5-percent salary increase pools and guaranteed minimum wage increases each year. Of the 4,898 workers who submitted ballots, 4,244 voted to accept the same deal a narrow majority rejected on February 19.
Boeing executives expressed what they consider a “reasonable expectation” that the 787 Dreamliner would return to service in a matter of a few weeks at a briefing last Friday in Tokyo during which they detailed the company’s plan for certifying a solution to the “issues” surrounding the airplane’s lithium-ion batteries. However, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner and 787 chief program engineer Mike Sinnett acknowledged that the timing will depend completely on the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s certification schedule and a smooth execution of the testing.
Although the precise reason for the Boeing 787’s battery overheating problems has not been identified, “there is growing scrutiny of the FAA’s practice of letting manufacturers self-certify the safety of critical aircraft systems,” according to a March 4 story in Roll Call. The FAA began a push for more self-certification in 2005 to allow agency personnel to make better use of limited available resources.
Airbus has managed to infiltrate once undisputed Boeing territory by closing a firm order from Indonesia’s Lion Air for 234 A320-family narrowbodies. Signed Monday during a special ceremony attended by French president François Hollande at the Elysee Palace in Paris, the contract calls for delivery of 109 A320neos, 65 A321neos and 60 current-generation A320s.