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.
Boeing Everett Factory
The Boeing 747-8 Freighter took to the air for its first flight today from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., at 12:39 p.m. PST, marking the start of a flight-test program scheduled to last until near the end of this year. The first of three 747-8 prototypes built for the program took off some two and a half hours later than originally planned due to a low cloud ceiling over Paine Field this morning.
Boeing delivered 481 commercial airplanes last year, matching its guidance of 480 to 485 units, the company announced today. The Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) backlog now stands at 3,375 airplanes. Boeing registered 263 gross and 142 net commercial orders for the year as air travel and freight declined and carriers worldwide experienced what Boeing described as severe economic “challenges.”
Boeing completed high-speed taxi tests on the first 787 Dreamliner on Saturday, marking the last in a series of functional tests planned in preparation for first flight. Boeing’s “window” for flying the airplane opens tomorrow at 10 a.m., when, depending on the weather, the 787 could fly for the first time, from Paine Field in Everett, Wash.
Boeing, Shanghai Airport Authority and Shanghai Airlines have opened a new two-bay hangar at their joint venture, Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services. Located at Shanghai Pudong Airport, the new hangar is a major element of Boeing Shanghai’s plan to become a significant aviation services provider in China.
Since Boeing 747-8 vice president and general manager Mohammad “Mo” Yahyavi assumed leadership of the program in February, the former head of the 737 P-8A Poseidon team has overseen a quiet transformation from an organization in a near state of disarray to one that Boeing Commercial Airplanes suddenly appears keen to promote as a model of efficiency.
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.
Boeing announced today that it expects the first flight of the 787 Dreamliner to occur by the end of this year and first delivery in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Boeing has finally confirmed the inevitable by announcing today that this year’s two-month machinists’ strike and further problems with fastener applications would delay the 787 Dreamliner yet again. The updated schedule now calls for first flight in the second quarter of next year and first delivery in the first quarter of 2010. The announcement marked the fourth major delay of the new design, leaving it almost two years behind schedule.
Boeing last Thursday moved the 787 prototype designated for fatigue testing (aircraft No. 4) from the final assembly factory in Everett, Wash., to another production bay at the facility, where assembly work will continue. The move paves the way for the second flight-test airplane (aircraft No. 3) to advance to the next position in the production line today.