Tinseth: Dreamliner Mods Underway

 - September 24, 2009, 7:55 AM

Boeing has begun installing the reinforcements for the side-of-body modifications to the first 787 Dreamliner test airplane and on the static airframe, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of marketing Randy Tinseth revealed in his blog entry yesterday. Specifically, engineers have begun mounting new fittings at stringer attachment locations within the joint where the wing attaches to the fuselage.

Work, he said, will get under way on additional flight test airplanes “in the coming days.”

Last week the sixth and final test airplane, ZA006, joined ZA004 at the company’s temporary facilities at Aviation Technical Services in Everett, Wash. Meanwhile, ZA001 sits in the Boeing paint hangar, ZA002 occupies the temporary structure on the Boeing flight line, ZA003 and ZA005 occupy open space in the factory.

“In a message to employees today, our Commercial Airplanes president and CEO, Jim Albaugh, reminded us of something, and I think it’s worthwhile to share it here,” wrote Tinseth. “He said it’s important to remember that the 787 is truly the first new airplane of the 21st century. It’s a game-changer. And as such, it’s a departure from all commercial airplanes produced since Boeing launched the commercial jet age with the 707…

“Yes, we’re pushing the envelope with this all-new airplane. Anytime you work with new technologies you run some risks. As Jim pointed out, we haven’t performed on the 787 program as well as we would have liked. But our team understands what needs to be done, from now through first flight and on into flight test and deliveries.”