August 8, 2007

The Dreamliner Learns To Fly

Updated: September 19, 2007 - 12:00 AM EDT (Updates in blue)
Following the on-time roll out of the first Dreamliner, the 787 team will be switching gears to prepare the aircraft for its first flight during the early fall of 2007. This page will track the progress of final systems installation and pre-flight testing of ZA001 as it prepares to take to the skies for the first time.

Photo Courtesy Charles Conklin

Part 1: Where in the world is the 787 Dreamliner?
- Last Update May 16, 2007
- Tracked the arrival of all the major 787 components to Everett.

Part 2: Building the Dreamliner
- Last Update July 5, 2007
- Followed the final assembly and roll out to the paint shop

Please enjoy the archive of these posts to provide a great deal of detailed background on how the Dreamliner arrived to this point in its young life.The first two parts in the series are now considered closed and will not be updated.

Key Tests on Dreamliner One prior to first flight

'Gauntlet' Test
The 787 will be hooked up to an external computer to simulate every imaginable failure. The aircraft software will take its first flight and will be "fooled" into thinking it is flying.

'Wag the Dog' Test
The flight test team will test and measure the "equal and opposite reaction" of all of the moving parts on the exterior of the aircraft to see the structural effect on Dreamliner One.

High Blow Test
In order to test the pressure seals, the cabin will be pressurized to 14.2 PSI simulating maximum possible pressure inside the aircraft. Note that the 787 will be pressurized to an altitude of 6000 feet versus 8000 feet of aircraft currently in service.

High / Low Speed Taxi Tests
High and low speed taxi tests will demonstrate the integrity of the braking system. This test, at its max speed, will take the aircraft right up to just before V1 speed. This will be the last test before first flight, which historically has taken place on the following day.

Editor's Note: If I have misrepresented any tests or forgotten any, please let me know.


September 9, 2007
Updates from Everett and Charleston

September 4, 2007
Temporary Fasteners Causing Major Problems for 787 Program

August 27, 2007
Updates from Everett and Charleston

August 20, 2007
Boeing faces hurdles, opportunities on the road to an on-time 787 entry into service. Flightblogger coverage in the Seattle Times.

August 10, 2007
According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Dreamliner One is expected to fly for the first time no earlier than October. The final pieces (section 44 and 46) for the Fatigue Test frame center fuselage arrived in Charleston August 9 from Italy.

August 8, 2007

LCF1 officially returned to Paine Field August 7 after finishing certification testing in Portland. LCF2 completed delivery of sections 45/11 and 43 to Charleston for the fatigue test frame (ZY998) on Aug. 5. and were loaded into the alignment fixture ahead of schedule. LCF2 left Charleston on the morning of Aug. 8 for Italy to pick up section 44 and 46 (ZY998) and is expected to return to CHS Aug. 9. In contrast to LN1 which was delivered as a bare fuselage, LN2 will be "stuffed" with Environmental Control System ducting, insulation and initial electrical work. LN3 will contain even more systems prior to delivery to Everett. Six airframes are expected to be in production in Charleston by October. Trent 1000 engines received airworthiness certification on Aug. 8.

August 3, 2007
LCF2 left Everett the morning of August 3 for Nagoya. It is picking up section 11/45 and 43 for ZA998 (Fatigue Test Frame) . It is heading for Charleston and is due for arrival on Monday. Some systems will be installed on LN003 before shipment as per Boeing's original planning. Shipments for LN002 will take place around August 18th. It appears as though there will be regular flight numbers for the LCF flights as well. Also, the word from the factory floor: "LN9997 is going VERY well. Moving right along. Not quite done. LN1 as of yesterday was finally starting to pick up steam. We have tons of systems waiting to be installed. It will all come with some time. Which we have... we'll be ready as soon as we possibly can."

July 31, 2007
Very little news has come out of Everett in the last ten days regarding the status of Dreamliner One. Systems installation and wiring is proceeding normally. The flight deck, at last check, had not been installed in addition to the engines as well as vertical tail fin. Evergreen crews have assumed full control of the LCFs and are flying training routes with no cargo aboard. Boeing announced that the first flight of the 787 would not take place until the later part of September. Boeing can comfortably begin the flight test program without any impact on entry in to service, which is planned for May of 2008. If the flight test schedule slips to October or beyond, Boeing is prepared to make necessary arrangements to ensure an on-time EIS.

July 21, 2007
LCF1 officially returned to the United States on July 18 in Portland, Oregon where it will undergo final certification tests by the FAA until. It will not fly again until August 2. All parts for the 787 static rig have arrived in Everett and final assembly is underway. The horizontal stabilizer will not be installed on ZY997 and substituted with a pivot joint which will ensure proper testing. This was the same for the 777 program as well. No major assembly components have arrived in Everett since July 11. Assembly of Dreamliner One continues normally toward first flight.

July 18, 2007
Final assembly on LN2/ZA002 is expected to begin in late July. LCF1 is expected to return to Everett after a long stay in Taiwan for final modifications. The first flights using LCF2 under the Evergreen call sign were made on July 17 to train Evergreen crews, as well as relocate shipping fixtures.

July 13, 2007
Further information has expanded on previously known details: The engines, vertical fin, wing leading edge slats, movable trailing edges, horizontal tail leading edge, elevators, passenger doors No.3 and 4 in aft. fuselage, wing to body faring, and landing gear doors have all been removed as structural work system installation continues on the way towards preparing for first flight.

July 12, 2007
Dreamliner One was rolled out of the factory on schedule on July 8, 2007 in Everett, Washington after spending June 26-July 8 in the paint shop across from Building 40-26 where she was assembled. ZA001 was rolled to the 747 assembly line while cleanup in 40-26 occurred. Dreamliner One returned to 40-26 July 9 following the completion of cleanup from the Roll-Out ceremony. Following the return to the factory, LN1 was jacked up again and "a lot of parts have been removed" to make way for systems installations. "A mad dash to first flight is on." There are more than 600 tasks to complete before power on. Currently about 40 tasks are being worked.

LN1/ZA001- RR powered and first to fly
- All major structures in Everett
- Undergoing final assembly, which officially began May 21
- System software v. 6.5 currently being tested. 6.7 to follow shortly.
- Will be entering the paint shop around June 25
- Will be delivered to ANA after refurbishment.

- Major structure assembly is complete and Dreamliner One was
brought to the paint shop on the night of June 26. It is expected to remain in the paint shop until around 2pm on 7/8/07.
- Rolled out of 40-26 on the afternoon of July 8.
LN9997/ZY997 - no engines, systems, etc. - Static Test frame, Wing Break Test
- All sections will be "in house and workable" by July 8.
- Wing in production in Japan

- Section 47 and 48 developed in SC. (photo)
- Section 44 and 46 arrived from Italy April 20.
- Section 43, 45/11 arrived from Japan on May 15.
- Section 43, 45, 44 (photo) /46 delivered to Everett July 3.

Section 41 delivered to Everett July 3 (Production photo photo, photo 2)
- Tail fin and rudder now in assembly bay in Everett.
- Wings arrived in Everett from Japan on the morning of July 7.
- Section 47/48 arrived in Everett on July 11.
- Currently undergoing assembly in the rear of Building 40-26.
- All fuselage sections have been joined and the wings have been mated.

LN9998/ZY998 - No engines, systems, etc. Fatigue test airframe.
- Section 48 currently in production in SC. (photo)
- Section 45/11, 43 arrived in SC 8/5.
- Section 44 and 46 arrived in SC on 8/9 from Italy.

002 - RR powered and test flight
- Section 43 and 11/45 arrived in Charleston on June 28.
- Section 44 and 46 arrived in Charleston from Italy on June 26.
- Wing in production in Japan

- Section 41 currently production in KS. (photo)
- Will be delivered to ANA after refurbishment.
- Final assembly is expected to begin following shipments around 8/18.
LN3/ZA003 - RR powered and test flight
- Section 41 currently production in KS. (photo)
- Sections 43, 45/11, 44, 46 arrived from Italy and Japan on August 18, 19.
- Will be delivered to Northwest after refurbishment.
LN4/ZA004 - RR powered and test flight
- Section 41 currently production in KS. (photo, photo 2)
- Will be delivered to Northwest after refurbishment.
- Section 41 in production in KS. (photo)
LN5/ZA005 - GE powered and test flight
- Section 41 currently production in KS. (photo)
- Will be delivered to Royal Air Maroc after refurbishment.
LN6/ZA006 - GE powered and test flight
- Section 41 currently production in KS. (photo)
- Will be delivered to Royal Air Maroc after refurbishment.
LN7/ZA007 - First to be delivered to ANA.
LN8/ZA008 - First to be delivered to Air China.


BigDaddy said...

That Charles Conklin takes some pretty awesome photos! As one of the thousands of engineers working on this airplane, I saw the streaming webcast and my company put together a photo slideshow to commemorate the event. Most of the pics were just little snapshot of x, y and z. Nothing to impressive. However, the photo by Conklin where all there is a mass of people crowding around that 787 true is inspiring. Well done, Charles.

wagga said...

Any comments on this ?

Anonymous said...

It's over two years old. The labor dispute was resolved. ACA is still getting its 787s and it's already gotten a few 777s.

Anonymous said...

why only 6000 ft instead of 8000 on the blow test?? cause its mostly composite????

Anonymous said...

6000ft is higher pressure than 8000ft. But the blow test's 14.2 PSI is much higher pressure than 6000ft, as sea level is 14.7 PSI.

Anonymous said...

Let's start a countdown to first flight. It will be fun (oh wait, B doesn't have a date for FF, how convenient).

Anonymous said...

any news about the progress on Nr. 1 and the assembly of Nr. 2?

Anonymous said...

hey when is the First flight of the 787

Anonymous said...

Been a Boeing fan for years and the 777 with RR engines is by far my favorite. Such a smooth, swift, comfortable and quiet aircraft.

What worries me about the 787 is how far Boeing has ventured into uncharted waters. The use of so much carbon fiber and the sub assembly of main sections by different manufacturers around the world does not sit well with me. I worry about the quality control and the longevity of the aircraft; especially when Boeing plan to ramp up production to 16 a month.

Anonymous said...

I just noticed today that the Airbust A350 looks almost identical to the 787.... Dose this remind anyone of the cold war days COPY CATS.....

Anonymous said...


Nah! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! ;-p

So what if two aircraft look alike? It's how they perform that matters.
The Concorde performed, the Tu-144 didn't...

Anonymous said...

The 787 might be like the Titanic! the Titanic was suppose to be the “crown jewel” of oceanic travel, it was sunk on its maiden voyage…..Watch out for the HUGE delay in certification………ICE BERG AHEAD!

Jon said...

If you posted that last comment. Please contact me at flightblogger (at) blogspot (dot) com ASAP