backtop


Print 12 comment(s) - last by Masospaghetti.. on Jun 20 at 10:33 AM


Boeing ZA005 test aircraft  (Source: Boeing)
Deliveries are still on track for Q4 2010

After years of delays, Boeing appears to be finding its groove with the 787 Dreamliner. The fifth test aircraft, ZA005, took to the air yesterday afternoon from Paine Field in Everett, Washington [video].

The purpose of the fifth airframe is to test the use of new General Electric GEnx turbofan engines. Boeing hopes to show that the use of the General Electric engines does not change the flight characteristics of the aircraft. Customer will be able to choose between Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines (which has powered the previous four aircraft) or the aforementioned General Electric GEnx engines.

"The airplane handled just like I expected," said Bryan, who piloted ZA005 during the nearly four hour flight. "It was just like every other 787 flight that I've flown in the last several months – smooth, per plan and excellent."

"We're pleased to introduce the fifth Dreamliner to the flight-test fleet and to start flight testing with GE engines," said Scott Fancher, general manager of the 787 program. "It's taken the collective resources and dedication of our teams to get to this day. There's just nothing like a first flight to validate that it has been worth the sacrifices we have all seen our teams make in the past several years."

If the 787 testing program continues to move forward on schedule, the sixth and final test aircraft, ZA006, will take to the air next month. The first delivery of production aircraft is still on track for the fourth quarter of this year.

As of May 2010, Boeing currently has 860 orders for the 787 Dreamliner (669 of the 787-8, and 191 of the 787-9).

 



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

here's to hoping
By inperfectdarkness on 6/17/2010 10:10:49 AM , Rating: 3
i sincerely hope that the USAF is able to replace all 707/717 airframes in the inventory with 787's or 737's.

reduced fuel costs alone would be massive. current fuel consumption would shock most people.




RE: here's to hoping
By Rugar on 6/17/2010 11:27:27 AM , Rating: 4
I don't think shock is the right word... I'd go for depress.


RE: here's to hoping
By Keeir on 6/17/2010 2:18:25 PM , Rating: 3
While its true a 787 would significantly reduce the fuel cost per lb of lift over a 707, its important to keep two things in mind

#1. The 787 is designed for Commerical Passenger loads. Commerical planes often fly 10x or more as long per year as military special use planes. Loading density often is entirely different as well. Airlines have alot more to gain from the 787 than the military...

#2. The 787-8 is a significantly large plane. Its a little bit like the comparison between a Honda Fit and a Toyota Camry Hybrid. The Camry Hybrid is easy on the fuel for a D-segment car, but if all you needs is a B-segment car, its doesn't entirely make sense to get D-segment car.

I can agree that 707/717 aircraft need to be replaced due to age, but I hope that the least cost options are used rather than greenwash.


RE: here's to hoping
By inperfectdarkness on 6/17/2010 3:42:05 PM , Rating: 1
you are probably correct on some counts. the 787 is marginally larger than the 707; however the 737 (the 707's official replacement) is significantly smaller than a 707. so while an upgrade to all solid-state electronics & avionics will help with size/weight concerns; it may not fully compensate for the reduce size.

of course, a 757 could be used (which would effectively split the difference), although it is around a foot narrower than the 707.

the chief concerns (beyond fuel consumption) are platform range, compatibility with and capability to carry radar and EM pods, cost of service per hour of flight, and ease of maintenance.

while it is true that civillian planes tend to accrue hours somewhat faster than their military counterparts; bear in mind that they are also swapped out of the fleet with far more frequency. the 707 is an airframe of which the last models rolled off the assembly line in the 70's. 30 years have completely changed not only electronics but the materials, manufacturing process, and other key aspects of airplane development and construction.

additionally, airframes like the E-8C have been built on repurposed airframes; meaning that even though they carry a build date ~ the last 20 years, the actual age of the planes is significantly older--perhaps as much as 40 years or more in total.

imagine if we were using dc-7's today. just imagine how expensive it would be to source parts for and service an airframe that stopped production in the 1950's. that is, quite frankly, what most of the USAF faces across the board; due to the average fleet age of 26+ years (all platforms combined).


RE: here's to hoping
By Keeir on 6/18/2010 4:32:27 AM , Rating: 4
So many wrongs... my head hurts

quote:
the 787 is marginally larger than the 707


No. Not even close. How in the world could you even think that? The Larget 707, the -320B, had a length of 152 ft, wingspan of 145 ft, a fuselage width of 12.4 ft, and an empty wieght of 146 kips... with 202 passengers in 1 class configuration. Most military 717 airframe were even smaller. The 787-8 on the other hand, the smallest currently planned 787, has a length of 186 ft (22%), a wingspan of 197 ft (35%), a fuselage width of 18 ft (45%) and a projected empty wieght of 242 kips (65%!). Wow, so marginly larger is nearly twice the volume and 165% the mass??

quote:
however the 737 (the 707's official replacement) is significantly smaller than a 707


While the original 737 was smaller than the 707, (it was a supplement for the 727 and 707 that gradually grew in size to replace the 727 and smaller 707 variants, the 707 and the 737 were produced concurrently for more than a decade), todays 737-900 is almost a dead ringer in size for the 707 with a 138ft length, a 12.4ft fuselage cross section, etc.

quote:
of course, a 757 could be used (which would effectively split the difference), although it is around a foot narrower than the 707.


1. The 757 has been out of production for a while.
2. Your confusing cabin width with fuselage width. The 707, 737, 757 all share the same basic fuselage. Fuselage width is an external measurement and cabin width is internal. Keep in mind the 717 airframes are smaller exterior and interior than the 737.

quote:
while it is true that civillian planes tend to accrue hours somewhat faster than their military counterparts; bear in mind that they are also swapped out of the fleet with far more frequency.


No not really. Measuring aircraft usage by age is... well not very descriptive. Either flight cycles or flight hours is much more clear. Civilian planes fly more hours and cycles per year and more hours and cycles before retirement than military planes. For example, there are 747 and 767 aircraft that have flown more than 40,000 times still in service and racked up 100,000 hours of flight time. I repeat, Civilian planes fly 10x as often and 10x as long per year as most military planes (in peace times anyway). Yes, a civilian plane that is 5-6 years old has likely spent as much time in the air as most of the 717 military airframes.

quote:
30 years have completely changed not only electronics but the materials, manufacturing process


60 years. Aircraft don't chnage much post intially design. 707 was designed in the 1950s.
I wouldn't even go into the material question except to point out that the fasteners used in the 787 are made from the same material as fastners used since the 707. Just because a material is old doesn't automatically make it obsolete for a specific purpose.

quote:
the actual age of the planes is significantly older--perhaps as much as 40 years or more in total.


Age is not the best way to describe wear on aircraft.

I am not trying to discourage moving to more modern platforms, but encouraging using common sense rather than greenwash or new technology just for the hell of it.

Would you recommend your grandmother on social security to buy a Lincoln MKZ Hybrid to drive to church once a week to save money? Sure its a nice car and doesn't use alot of fuel, but something like a 3 year old used Honda Fit with low mileage end makes a heck of alot more sense.

Lets be sensible with the airframe purchases.


RE: here's to hoping
By ElFenix on 6/18/2010 10:31:19 PM , Rating: 2
iirc, most military 707s are in use as tankers. and as we all know, boeing isn't bidding the 787 for that purpose.


RE: here's to hoping
By Masospaghetti on 6/20/2010 10:33:00 AM , Rating: 2
I would rather the military use more fuel than to spend $100 million of our tax dollars on each of these planes. There is no way fuel savings will come even close to recouping the initial cost.

It would be a shame to send good working 707 airframes to the desert.


"on schedule". Really?
By psychobriggsy on 6/17/2010 10:54:15 AM , Rating: 2
I thought these aircraft were meant to be in production in 2006.

Still, they do look good.




RE: "on schedule". Really?
By EJ257 on 6/17/2010 11:14:44 AM , Rating: 2
Name one recent aircraft program that have been on time and on budget. Airbus 380, JSF, F-22...now 787.

Nice to see they are finally flying and very soon to show up at an airport near you.


RE: "on schedule". Really?
By MrFord on 6/17/2010 11:38:41 AM , Rating: 3
Maybe not recent as in this decade, but the 777 was pretty spot on time in 1994.

They didn't however tried to outsource so much of the work in any previous programs. Add that to the new level of complexity with the fuselage barrels, their original schedule was way too optimistic.

Great sale success so far tho.


RE: "on schedule". Really?
By Smartless on 6/17/2010 2:15:48 PM , Rating: 2
So true about the complexity of the fuselage barrels. I wonder if the 787 incorporates the self-healing composite layer technology. It's nice to hear some good news once in awhile from Boeing.


RE: "on schedule". Really?
By roadhog1974 on 6/17/2010 7:46:38 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think outsourcing was the probblem.

777 was an evolution of existing frames so the guesses
they made were very educated.

787 is almost completely new and it sounds like to messed
up the wing box. Which is the one part you don't want to
get wrong.

I reckon the 350 will be late as well, as again it is new
compared to the 330.

As far as Military planes go the later it is the more
money the manufacturer makes.


"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot

Related Articles
Boeing's 787 Dreamliner Makes Maiden Flight
December 15, 2009, 1:28 PM













botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki