Boeing early last week launched function and reliability (F&R) testing and extended operations (ETOPS) demonstrations on the 787 Dreamliner, marking the start of the final phase of flight testing before certification.
With some 30 airplanes in various stages of completion parked outside the 787 production line in Everett, Washington, Boeing’s goal to deliver at least a dozen of the carbon-fiber jetliners after it gains expected certification this year might seem as remote as its aim to meet each of its customers’ mission requirements.
Building on a strong upturn in global airline traffic, Airbus is ramping up production of all its models–A320 family, A330 and A380–while keeping a careful eye on possible supply chain issues that could hit increased output rates for these models and also for the new A350 XWB widebody. Meanwhile, costs and an uncompetitive euro-dollar exchange continue to give headaches to the European airframer’s top management.
Boeing won't consider submitting the 787 Dreamliner for certification in the third quarter without Etops capability, notwithstanding differences in qualification testing the FAA has instituted since the 777 earned its FAA ticket–complete with Etops approval–in 1995, CEO Jim McNerney said during the company's January 26 fourth-quarter earnings call.
The newest Boeing 787–designated ZA102–flew for the first time yesterday, a Boeing spokesperson confirmed. The airplane took off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., at 3:53 p.m. local time and landed just over an hour later at the same location, per plan. ZA102 will serve as a temporary member of the flight-test fleet, tasked with helping to demonstrate 787 extended twin-engine operations (Etops) and complete function-and-reliability testing.
Boeing won’t consider submitting the 787 Dreamliner for certification in the third quarter without Etops capability, notwithstanding differences in qualification testing the FAA has instituted since the 777 earned its FAA ticket–complete with Etops approval–in 1995, CEO Jim McNerney said during the company’s January 26 fourth-quarter earnings call.
Southwest Airlines expects to take delivery of its first Boeing 737-800 in March 2012, the company’s chairman, president and CEO, Gary Kelly, revealed during a Wings Club luncheon in New York City today. The airline plans to substitute order position on twenty 737-700s for slots on the same number of 737-800s. It remains in negotiations with Boeing over the precise terms, including configuration and equipment options.
Hamilton Sundstrand’s Power Systems business has successfully completed ETOPS (extended-range operations) testing of its APS5000 auxiliary power unit (APU) for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Boeing has added the fourth 787 to its flight-test fleet with yesterday’s first flight of Dreamliner ZA003. The airplane departed Paine Field in Everett, Wash., at 10:55 a.m. local time and landed at 2:01 p.m. at Boeing Field in Seattle.
Captains Ray Craig and Mike Bryan piloted the airplane on its three-hour, six-minute flight. ZA003 is the final 787 with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines to enter the flight-test program.
A third airplane–Dreamliner ZA004–joined the Boeing 787 flight-test program when it took off at 11:43 am local time yesterday from Paine Field in Everett, Wash. Boeing said the program plan called for ZA004 to fly before ZA003 because the program needs the data from ZA004 more quickly both for certification and development of the next Dreamliner variant–the 787-9.