Boeing, ANA Complete 787’s Service Readiness Trials

 - July 11, 2011, 8:50 AM
Boeing and ANA conducted a number of validation exercises with 787 flight-test airplane ZA002 at Itami Airport in Osaka, Japan, on July 5. (Photo: Boeing)

Boeing’s 787 service-readiness validation in Japan has drawn to a close, following nearly a week of flying and ground exercises at five airports.

During the week of drills, Dreamliner ZA002 flew a pair of round trips between Tokyo Haneda Airport and the Kansai region, first on July 5 to Osaka’s domestic gateway, Itami Airport, then on July 6 to Kansai International Airport–one of ANA’s main hubs for Asia. The following day, on July 7, it flew two more round trips from Tokyo, to Okayama and Hiroshima. On July 10, it completed its final validation mission in Japan, when it landed in Tokyo on a return flight from Nagoya.

Throughout the weeklong program, ZA002 underwent the same maintenance regimen and flew under the same dispatch rules that ANA’s first production 787 will operate under after Boeing delivers it to the Japanese airline in August or September. The only airline to take part in such a validation with Boeing, ANA holds firm orders for 55 Dreamliners.

Following the airplane’s arrival in Tokyo on July 3, ANA employees practiced such tasks as refueling and towing the airplane, and performed inspections to confirm its fit at the maintenance hangar stands and gates. Meanwhile, ground handlers practiced loading containers in the forward and aft cargo bays.

In the flight deck, ANA conducted pre-flight procedures, such as checking flight control surfaces, while, in the cabin, airline engineers used Wi-Fi to download and install the airline’s unique software packages, ensuring they worked together properly with the 787’s systems. All told, Boeing and ANA filled the week’s schedule with more than 100 test conditions.

Plans call for the 787 to next fly to New Delhi and Mumbai, before returning to Seattle. Air India, scheduled to take delivery of its first Dreamliner by the end of the year, holds an order for 27 of the airplanes, while private Indian carrier Jet Airways has placed an order for 10. Boeing forecasts a $150 billion market for 1,320 new passenger airplanes in India over the next 20 years.