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.


Anonymous said...

Thankyou Jon. I appreciate you finally checking and double checking your sources. This update is FINALLY one that is 100% correct. And i DO know the real story. No need for negative remarks. Great Update.

Anonymous said...

No wires or systems installed as yet? I hope people realize that this will take far longer than replacing fasteners, and that began 2 months ago. Even if they could install the wiring/systems in only 2 months, the normal time to go from first-power to first-flight is 6-9 months based on 777 and A380 results. If Boeing could do it in just 4 months, this still pushes first flight out until at least March next year.

Anonymous said...

Power up to FF was less than 6 months on 777.

A380 is a bad data point.

Anonymous said...

When Boeing says first flight is shifted to "between Mid-November and Mid-December" they mean "we will announce our next postponement in early December during our normaly scheduled quarterly 787 progress update."

Until then, there will be very little published news, but watch for inside selling.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know the definition of 'stuffed' in regard to the 787?
Floor, wiring, plumbing, HVAC, ...?

Anonymous said...

Yes, stuffing is basically everything that belongs in the section, short of seats. It's actually a rather stupid idea because it requires thousands of intermediate connectors in the electrical wiring system that are expensive, heavy, and extremely unreliable. Boeing will be fighting the connector and wiring issue forever, and this will make the A380 wiring problem seem simple.

Ureshs said...

Great updtes! You are THE MAN!!!

What I do tire of is the constant negative comments by some here who say the samething over and over but add no insight or reasoning to their comments. People want to be negative on the 787 justbecause they want to be negative, have nothing better to do, don't like Boeing or combination of all of the above. Keep em coming Jon!

Tony Sepanski said...

Jon, perhaps eliminating the ability to leave 'anonymous' comments would help curtail the extraneous, erroneous and some of the downright insipid postings?

Clinton said...

Thanks for the reporting. It has been most helpful to us overseas. On the comments, those good and bad do help paint the full picture and I would only suggest vulgar ones be censored. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

With respect to overseas partners .... lets just say that Boeing engineers (i.e. not the management idiots) are very much regretting the decision to completely outsource the engineering. HSTAB is a mess, a total mess.

Anonymous said...

With respect to overseas partners .... let's just say that Boeing engineers (i.e. not the management idiots) are very much regretting the decision to completely outsource the engineering. HSTAB is a mess, a total mess.

Anonymous said...

jon, anonymous does allow some input that wouldn't be available otherwise. The problem is that it would be hard to verify such. Yet, that may be the only way to get participation of people under the nondisclosure agreements.

Which, by the way, was made even more explicit and onerous by Spirit. So, let us know if you get a nibble there.

For those who don't like the negativity, please note that this is how science acts. Listen up and learn the process.

Anything of value will stand up to scrutiny. Managers like to hide behind shields since they know they have a weak basis (in many cases, the naked emperor).

Yet, we need both engineers/workers and the managers to do something like this new plane.

Dan said...

Thanks Jon.

Can we still assume that until ZA001 is let down onto its landing gear and towed out of the way, neither ZY997 or ZY998 can be moved into or out of the assembly building?

So 'later this month' is the earliest point for any action on ZY997/ZY998?

Jon said...

1. I would hope that people would refrain from personal attacks and vulgarity here. I can censor you before you speak, but count on those posts being deleted promptly. There's no place for that here.

2. The anonymous posting will continue. I don't cite anonymous information. I do however use it for guidance. It is utterly invaluable. Without it, this blog would never exist. It is often the first line of contact people have with me before I can speak with them.

3. The bottleneck is real and we're seeing the effects of it now in a serious way. Unless Dreamliner One gets back on its landing gear and that scaffolding is moved out of the way you can't build 998, 3, 4, 5 and beyond. There simply isn't room. 997 needs to go to Building 40-23 or LN1 needs to go to position number four opening up 1 and 2 for the fatigue airframe and LN2 to arrive.

4. Who ever left the post at 3:06pm about the HSTAB please email me at flightblogger (at) gmail (dot) com.

AJSwtlk said...

Please check out the vote and leave a comment about what polls might be of interest.

anonamous said...

RE: AJSWTLK - sorry, I can't pronounce it; must be a furriner. Anyone, one of his points,

"Can an abstracted plane be understood in its final assembly by any of the disparate parties?"

reminds me of a notion at Boeings that must go back at least 55-60 years where the universal amazement is expressed as to how all that stuff goes in one end and a plane comes out the other. Never could find anybody who knew.

Anonymous said...

Almost magic, isn't it? These things sure grab our imagination.

Yet, we don't want to fly magic airline. Someone needs to know how or why we get from point a to point b.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE don't refer to them as "Boeings"...! :-)

Anonymous said...

Complex systems can be managed through a partitioning scheme that defines pieces and their interfaces. The 787 process is like this; we have seen the major pieces described in several places.

If done correctly, the pieces are brought together, and the thing goes together well. The PARTIAL roll out on 7/8/7 showed this, somewhat.

With the process being supply-chain in nature, each piece's work is done separately. So, we don't see a common organizational view that might look at things like the fasteners (who was watchdogging this?).

Actually, how can you get economy if each of these suppliers is doing their own thing? One might say that pushing cost minimization off to the supplier is nothing more than sweeping potential problems under the rug.

How can this work with something with the critical performance criteria of a plane?

Time and testing will tell.

Anonymous said...

> How can this work with something
> with the critical performance
> criteria of a plane?

With good, deep, up-front systems engineering, a proper partitioning of system boundaries, and active management of interfaces. It isn't rocket science, and yet all major aerospace / defense contractors still manage to get this wrong on a semi-regular basis.

Anonymous said...

I love it when someone says that this isn't rocket science. Yes, it is.

Systems, whether engineered or not and whether abstract or product, have complex properties that are not under our control except by tweaking.

I love the 787 program as it is (and will continue to be) a good focal to discuss many issues that need clarification and a re-visit.

Anonymous said...

> I love it when someone says that
> this isn't rocket science. Yes, it
> is.

Much of what passes for 'rocket science' isn't. The most technically advanced organizations are still capable of screwing things up, at the most basic level, especially when it comes to systems engineering (in the aerospace sense of the term). I'm not saying that Boeing did this for the 787. What I am indeed saying is that it is rarely 'rocket science'... only when things are well and truly screwed up is that used as an excuse.

Anonymous said...

Systems, whether engineered or not and whether abstract or product, have complex properties that are not under our control except by tweaking.

It's interesting to note that when engineers are in need to put on their management hats, they more often than not obfuscate their failures by painting the information as overly complex and difficult to interpret. Sadly, as a case study of how this can lead to disaster, one can take a look at noted physicist Richard Feynman, a member of the Presidential Commision on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident, when he took a piece of O-ring material, stuck it in his glass of ice-water, and showed that it became inflexible and held indentations. In that one moment the responsible NASA managers, many of whom were trained as engineers, lost whatever credibility they had left. Feynman's conclusion on the Challenger was infact an insight into the decline of engineering and manufacturing in the US.

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled. Richard Feynman said...

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