Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It has been a while

Sorry for the lack of updates, this last month has been a crazy one for me. It started with me losing one of my dogs and that kinda took a hit on me for a little while. Followed by me going down to LAX and then coming back and going straight to the Hospital for a week. I am doing much better now after a rather severe flare up. There was fear of me having to go into surgery at one point to fix this thing called a fistula. It is a chamber that get crated between you rectum and bladder and is very bad. Basically it starts mixing stuff up and that is not a good thing. But now to updates on the 787 program since I have been out.

The program took a few weeks off and 2 of the 787's were in the Hangar here in SEA while #4 flew to Victorville and #3 was out in Florida and Texas for cold testing and heat testing.

ZA001 has been flying around and staying local. She seems to be doing these morning half hour hops to MWH and then coming back that evening with another short flight. In fact Mondays 4 hour flight was the longest we have seen out of her in a while.

ZA002 has received a nose job with the addition of a new gold tube on it and also some new sensors in the back. She has been going up for some longer flights though. Also they added 002 to the front gear door!

ZA003 spent some time in the Hangar after coming back but is back out again and flying. She tends to be a night owl and likes to come back in around 2330 when she does go out. It was perfect last night as I was able to catch her landing at BFI. When she comes in that late I can just jump down there in about 5 minutes from work at SeaTac. Not any "Great" shots but some ok ones for the conditions.

ZA004 has been in Victorville the last few weeks now and was captured with a ramp shot by my friend Keith. Look up RightStuffPhotography on Flickr and you can see his shot of her from down there. She has been starting to do long flight testing now as she was out on an 11 hour test the other day. Many of the flights are VCV to VCV. So hopefully this means the ETOPS process is going well with her.

ZA005 had it's first engine start the other day with the new GeNex engines! Still no word on an official flight day yet but should be rather soon and hoping to make it up to Paine for that flight!

Other news updates on the aircraft are-
ANA pilots took to the controls for the first time a few days ago. They were out on ZA001 and did a few touch and goes over in MWH.

ZA002 is coming to an airport near you soon! She has been getting around as she was the first to VCV and then last week she was in Billing Montana. One of my friends Terry Barnett who works over there was able to capture the image with this post over there. I would just like to personally thank Terry once again for the image as it is something new and historic! The last night for the first time she flew to Colorado Springs. Landed and then took off a few hours later did a touch and go and then came back home to BFI. So look for her coming to an airport near you soon!

The Boeing 787 production line has been put on hold at this point with Aircraft 23 just starting to get produced. There is another issue with lack of parts from manufacturer. However Boeing is hoping to continue production again though starting a few weeks into June. They are taking this short break to allow the manufacturer to catch back up and hopefully get ahead so there are not any more halts on the line again.

Boeing also selected Charleston to be the city where it makes it's 2nd line of seats for the aircraft. Everett was not happy with this outcome but honestly it makes the most sense seeing as the 2nd production line is going to be over there as well.

The first non Boeing test paint and ANA colors rolled out of the paint hanger recently. RAM Royal Air Maroc is out now and look very nice. However the aircraft lacks a registration at this point so we will see what ends up getting painted on it. I am hoping to head up to Paine on Monday and get a shot of this bird.

And Finally Boeing is running out of room on there ramp with the number of 787's that are fully configured at this point. So they struck a deal with Everett to start using some more static parking areas away from there ramp and should make for some nice photo ops with other aircraft then just the 6 test ones.

For more pictures of the 787 Flight test program just follow this link to my 787 photo section!

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