November 16, 2007

Flightblogger RSS


Just as a reminder to those who read the old blog on RSS, the new feed is here:

November 9, 2007

Flightblogger v2.0 is live!

Good morning!

I am very pleased to announce that Flightblogger has begun its move to The move will take some time, so please bear with me as the transition will take time. It was important to get the new blog up and running in time for Dubai.

You'll also find my first story on the 747 program over there. Please feel free to start leaving comments over at the new blog.

The new blog can be found here:

Make sure to update your bookmarks accordingly.

November 6, 2007

Flight and Flightblogger

Flightblogger 2.0: is delighted to announce that we are teaming up with one of the world's leading aviation blogs - Flightblogger - to add another distinctive voice to our online portfolio.

Since its launch in May this year, Flightblogger has established a deserved reputation for providing an independent but intelligent commentary on the development of new airliners. We are happy to see its independence continue. firmly believes in supporting a diversity of viewpoints and we are keen to see alternative, high-quality opinions sitting alongside our mainstream coverage.

I want to extend my deepest thanks to Flight for supporting Flightblogger and encouraging independent coverage of the aviation industry, as well as its forward thinking approach to new media.

In addition, Flightblogger will find a new home at

For the time being, will serve as an archive of all the work I've done to date. I will be moving over to a new permanent home at later this week.

With this new partnership, I'll be able to devote my full energy to Flightblogger. I'm looking forward to increasing the scope of coverage and delving into a range of new topics inside the industry.

In the previous post, I referenced that Flightblogger was going global; both a subtle hint to the new partnership, as well as my plans for my first assignment.

At the end of this week, I will be traveling to Dubai to cover the 2007 Dubai Air Show. I'll be doing my best, jet lag and all, to deliver a unique independent viewpoint on this massive air show.

Just as I covered the 787 rollout, I will be liveblogging from Dubai. This will also provide a unique opportunity to make this an interactive experience. I want to hear from you about what you want to see and hear from DXB.

Boeing, Airbus and other aircraft manufacturers will be making major announcements during the course of the Air Show and I will be there to bring you coverage.

There will be over 140 aircraft on static or flying display. Start asking yourself this question: What do you want to see in Dubai?


Jon Ostrower

November 2, 2007

Return of The Blogger

This page has been silent for the last forty-four days.

It has not been easy to be away for that long. Flightblogger became a huge part of my life and giving it up was not easy, though it was for the best.

This blog was born in late March and accumulated nearly 400,000 visitors in its short life before its abrupt close in late September. My apologies for the lack of advance notice and thank you for all your emails of support, curiosity and encouragement. Each and every one of them meant the world to me. Without you, this blog is just one guy talking to himself.

The old saying goes that, "Sometimes in life, things are better the second time around."

Say hello to v2.0.

Within the next seven days Flightblogger will relaunch with an entirely new format, with a new look, with a new scope, and with a new home.

Stay tuned. Flightblogger is going global.

September 19, 2007

Some Required Viewing

Whatever your take on the conclusions Rather draws, this is a part of the story of this airplane one way or another. Please view and discuss.

Dan Rather's HDNet Report on the safety of the 787

Whatever your reaction to this is, you need to read the following as well.

Safety of Composite 787 questioned; Airbus sides with Boeing
By Scott Hamilton

An engineer fired by Boeing under disputed circumstances charges in an 11 page letter to the Federal Aviation Administration that Boeing’s new 787 composite structure isn’t as safe as the traditional aluminum. The engineer charges composites aren’t as crash-worthy as aluminum and will produce toxic fumes in a fire. Airbus, Boeing’s bitter competitor, says the engineer’s fears don’t measure up.

September 18, 2007

Some Required Reading

I've been away on a much needed extended vacation and lots happened this weekend. Section 44 and 46 for Dreamliner Three arrived from Italy wrapped in black plastic on Tuesday. Sections 43, 45/11 are expected early in the morning on Wednesday from Japan. Flight is operating as EIA5186.

While I stepped away there was a lot of news about the 787. Here's a good rundown if you missed any of it:

Boeing's Tall Order: On-Time 787
Wall Street Journal
By J. Lynn Lunsford
Boeing Co.'s top leaders say it is possible to overcome a nearly four-month delay in the 787 Dreamliner program and deliver the first jet on time in May. Industry observers and a number of the plane's suppliers say it would be the aerospace equivalent of hitting a hole in one on a golf course.
Fired engineer calls 787's plastic fuselage unsafe
Seattle Times
By Dominic Gates
A former senior aerospace engineer at Boeing's Phantom Works research unit, fired last year under disputed circumstances, is going public with concerns that the new 787 Dreamliner is unsafe.
Fastner problem could prove longer term hindrance to Boeing
Flight International
By Stephen Trimble

A deeper and more widespread fastener shortage than previously thought may continue to hamper 787 production long after the first aircraft is fully assembled and in flight test.

One mildly self-indulgent news item:

A jet to help Boston's dreams take off
The Boston Globe
By Peter J Howe
When Boeing Co.'s new 787 Dreamliner jet takes to the skies sometime this winter, it will represent an envelope-pushing engineering triumph for everything from fuel efficiency to advanced composite materials.

It also will represent Boston's first hope in years for getting regular nonstop service to China, India, and East Asia. By dint of its size and range - and its ability to take off from Logan International Airport's biggest runways with a full load of fuel - the 787 is expected to be the first jet that airlines can profitably fly nonstop between Boston and major Asian cities.
And a little (very important) historical context:

Making it Fly: Boeing 757
Seattle Times (1983)
By Peter Rinearson

September 15, 2007

A Busy Weekend Ahead

There's a busy weekend ahead for the LCFs. N747BA (LCF1) was spotted at PAE on Friday loading shipping fixtures for this weekend's trip to Japan and N780BA (LCF2) is in Charleston prepping for it's trip to Italy. Both LCFs are expected to leave their respective bases Saturday or Sunday and are scheduled to return around 1pm on Monday, September 17 in Charleston.

LCF2 will deliver Sections 44 and 46 from Grottaglie. Look for the outbound leg to operate as EIA5162 and return as EIA5127.

LCF1 will deliver Sections 45, 11 and 43 from Nagoya. The outbound leg to Japan should operate at EIA5109 and return as EIA5186.

When assembled together, these sections will make up the center fuselage of Dreamliner Three. Currently fuselage parts are scattered across the US. Section 41 is under construction in Wichita and Section 47 and 48 are being assembled in Charleston.

In addition, the center fuselage for Dreamliner Two is making great progress in Charleston. Work continues installing the key ceiling brackets that will hold the wiring, environmental control systems and ducting. Delivery to Everett is set for those first two weeks in October. Keep an eye out for Dreamliner Two to possibly be the first to fly, followed very closely by Dreamliner One. I am working to confirm this.

I too will be busy this weekend and don't anticipate being able to update in a significant way for several days. Feel free use the comments section here as an open thread for discussion. Not to worry, I haven't forgotten, the 747-8 update will be arriving shortly.

September 11, 2007

Tweaking The Schedule, Part Two

All is quiet tonight in Everett.

Dreamliner One is still off of its landing gear. ZY997 can't move to Building 40-23. The delay in first flight has reduced the urgency of the move. However, if the urgency was the same the aircraft would be unable to move. The spotting opportunity to see ZA001 and ZY997 together should come soon however.

As a result of the bottleneck preventing an assembly space from opening in Building 40-26, the delivery of ZY998, the Fatigue Airframe, has been postponed an additional 10 days. Shipment to Washington was originally planned for September 20. The delivery to Everett is now expected around September 30.

The pair of LCFs will be working this weekend. All major structures for the center fuselage of LN3/ZA003 will arrive from Japan and Italy on Sunday, September 16. They are scheduled to arrive at CHS within 45 minutes of one another. Parts forLN4/ZA004 should be arriving in Charleston two weeks after.

September 10, 2007

Riddle Me This, Part Five in a Series

This was WAY overdue.
L/N 23:
Q: 35 00 N, 105 00 E 90 Degrees
A: China Eastern

L/N 24:
Q: "You want me to chuck a crustacean onto a plastic doll?!"

L/N 25:
Q: Perhaps the most notoriously bureaucratic airline in the world, let alone the subcontinent.
A: Air India

L/N 26:
Q: Please refrain from yelling "Free Eritrea!" at the crew.
A: Ethiopian Airlines

L/N 27:
Q: When I go to bed at night, I like to sleep under a nice down comforter.
A: QANTAS or Jetstar

So that's LN 1 to 27. Lots of 787s, lots of airlines.

Look for my first update about the 747-8 later this week. Flightblogger is branching out.

September 9, 2007

September 9, 2007



Structural work is the primary task continuing on Dreamliner One in Everett. The aircraft is still off of its landing gear and surrounded by scaffolding. Doors three and four are not yet reattached. Once structural work is completed wiring and systems installation will commence. First flight is scheduled to take place between Mid-November and Mid-December. The structural work as well as flight control software development has delayed the first flight.

Image Courtesy the Boeing Company
The Static Airframe is scheduled to move to Building 40-23 on September 11. Though it appears that target may be changed due to the delay in first flight. One source stated, "With the delay in first flight, there is no reason to hurry the static test." The vertical tail has yet to be attached and the aircraft is still surrounded by scaffolding. Doors three and four still have yet to be installed. During the September 5 update Bair and Carson said the static airframe would move, "Later this month."


Final assembly is set to begin in Everett around September 20. Center and aft fuselages assembly are wrapping up in Charleston. The delivery date will depend in part on the movement of ZY997 to free up an assembly position in the rear of Building 40-26.

Once the fatigue rig (ZY998) is shipped to Everett, work in Charleston will refocus on Dreamliner Two. The center fuselage was moved from cell 10 to cell 20 last week to continue installing the stuffing. The center fuselage is expected to ship with the doors installed. Shipment to Washington is scheduled to take place on or around October 9.

First word on follow on shipment is slowly materializing. Production is ramping up quickly at Charleston and assembly on the center fuselage for ZA003 is expected to begin around September 16. ZA004 assembly will begin two weeks following the arrival of ZA003, and ZA005 will begin two weeks after that.


Lastly, if anyone has direct knowledge of what's going on in Kansas, Italy or Japan please feel free to get in touch with me. It would be helpful to provide an even more complete picture of the program.