Archive for the 'Dreamliner' Category

Boeing to Further Delay 787 Dreamliner

DreamlinerAccording to reports around Air Travel News Online, and even The Wall Street Journal, Boeing is set to announce another delay in the first flight of the new 787 Dreamliner, which will now be scheduled for June 2008 instead of the original September 2007. It is reported that Boeing will announce today that they will not deliver any 787 to their customers this year. The first plane was to be delivered to Japanese carrier ANA sometime in May, just in time before the Beijing Olympics. This further delay puts the plans of delivering 109 (!) planes to customers in 2009 also in jeopardy.

Boeing shares have dropped yesterday based on this information, which at this point is coming from an unknown source. The company staged an elaborate international rollout ceremony in July, but the aircraft it unveiled was held together by numerous temporary fasteners and did not include flight control system software and other key parts. The manufacturer has detailed numerous problems with its global supply chain. Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Scott Carson has said that “traveled work” from suppliers arrived at its final assembly plant in Everett “out of sequence” and with inadequate documentation. It also has contended with a global fastener shortage.

Boeing announced the first delay of 6 months in October 2007.

by balint01

Earlier articles about the Dreamliner

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According To FAA, Dreamliner’s Navigation Can Be Hacked

According to FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Boeing’s B787 Dreamliner has serious IT security vulnerabilty on its onboard computer networks.

FAA pointed out in a “Special Conditions” document, that the network used for public internet access on board is connected with the same network used for key navigation and operation data. It is also connected to the communication between the plane and ground crew.

Cockpit of the Boeing 787

The cockpit of Boeing 787 

Boeing said they were aware of the problem and the fact FAA was about to publish this document. Although they did not agree with all statments of the document, they had already started working on a solution. Acoording to Boeing spokeswoman the networks are not fully connected to each other and it would be impossible to access navigation via the public network, however they will find a new way to secure the onboard system before production starts.

IT security professionals say software firewalls are not effective enough in such cases as they are hackable. The only solution is to physically disconnect the two networks from each other.

There are airlines that have started the introduction of on board internet, but these do not plan any connectivity with the plane’s own computer or communication system. Jetblue is about to test a very limited type of on board intetrnet; only Yahoo emails and instant messaging system will be available due to bandwidth concerns. American Airlines is planning a much broader web browsing access, but the whole project is under investigation as they are not sure it will pay off.

More information on the issue is expected for next week.

By Szafi 

Best Of AirlineWorld 2007

This is the last day of the year. As billions of people around the world, we also took a look back to what happened in the old year and made some New Year’s Resolutions.

For us 2007 was not a full year as we started our blog in June. It was a nice calm Sunday and Szafi wrote her first post about the Radio Alphabet – a useful tool not just for aviation fans. Balint01 joined her on the 7th with his first post about “Fuller Planes – Good Or Bad?” – a brief explanation of revenue and capacity management of airlines.

A380 

A380 was one of our main topics this year. We could see the a video of an imaginery evacuation of an A380, we reported on that quite unusual initiation that Singapore Airlines sold the first tickets to the A380 on e-Bay and gave the money (USD 1,25 million) for charity. We tried to find out more about the possible cabin configurations and then we reported on the first delivery.

Boeing 787

Boeing 787, the Dreamliner was our other favorite topic. We wrote about it when it was revealed, we put it in our blog header, we reported on the first announcement of delay that predicted 2 months. Now it seems that a 6-month delay is more realistic.

Developments 

Besides A380 and B787 we saw the birth of a Russian jet called Sukhoi Superjet and a Chinese one called ARJ21-700. We kept track of technology trends in aviation. We wrote an article about RFID usage at airlines and airports, about e-ticketing, a new online payment method at Qantas, a weightless flight, a solar powered, unmanned aircraft. Also we were interested in service developments such as the new Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow Airport, Lufthansa’s new A380 First Class Concept, Boeing’s 747 development to keep up with A380,

Crashes 

Unfortunately again some serious accidents happened. We saw around 200 people dying in a very tragical crash in Sao Paulo, brazil. 19 people died in an accident of Air Moorea on the way to Tahiti. When China Airline’ 737 burst into fire and blew up, everybody could escape in time thanks to the flight crew, who was criticized for being rude – we thought it was better being rude than being inactive. Later it turned out that a loose bolt caused the fire. There was a sad collision of two planes at an Air Show in Radom, Poland. SAS Airlineshad a bad series of crash landings – without serious injuries – of its Dash 8 turboprop planes. Finally they decided on grounding all their Dash 8 fleet. 87 died in One-Two-Go Airlines crash in Phuket, Thailand. A few days later rallye driver champion Colin McRae died in a helicopter crash over Scotland. The most commented article was the weird accident of an Airbus A340 on the ground of the Airbus factory during testing. The last serious accident of the year was an MD-83 crash in Turkey killing 56.

Photo reports 

We received a lot of photos from our friends and airline enthusiasts, so we could show a photo report of a Royal Aircraft in Budapest, Red Bull Air Race in Budapest, an Air Show in Kecskemet and the A340 Airbus crash at the Toulouse Airbus factory.

Innovations 

We criticized airlines and other players of the industry about wrong steps and we were happy to present good initiations of other players. We found KLM’s promotion: a gift of a costmetics set for online bookers a very smart and useful initiation. We loved Iberia’s enviroment-friendly attitude with naming their new aircrafts Royal Owl, Imperial Eagle and other endangered species. We could read funny comments about an interesting topic: Vatican’s Air Mistral. IATA’s initiation of a greener aviation industry was also worth a post.

Sex and rock and roll 

And finally we tried to entertain those not interested in professional matters of the airline business with articles like Sex in an airplane, Sexy stewardess uniforms – with special attention to the self-designed uniform of Easyjet, Superstar pilots, Special aircraft paintings and we learned about where lost luggage end up going.

We also lost a very key figure of the European airline indusry. Tony Ryan, the founder of Ryanair died on 03 October at the age of 71. Net year we will definately write an article about him, because only a few know about his role in today’s aviation business.

And what is our New Year’s resolution? Well, we’ll do our best to entertain you and draw your attention to the magic world of airlines we so much love.

We both wish you a very happy, successful new year and please keep on reading us! 🙂

By Szafi and balint01

Dreamliner For LAN

The Boeing Company announced today that Chile’s LAN Airlines will receive 32 787 Dreamliners, marking the largest 787 acquisition to date for Latin America. The Santiago-based carrier has ordered 26 airplanes from Boeing, and will lease an additional six 787-9s from International Lease Finance Corp (ILFC).In addition to the Dreamliner order, Boeing said LAN also has committed to acquiring four 777 Freighters – two from Boeing and two to be leased from GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS).

LAN Dreamliner

The order for 26 Dreamliners, consisting of a mix of 787-8s and 787-9s, is worth approximately $ 4.5 billion at published list prices. The two 777 Freighters are similarly valued at approximately $ 500 million. The two direct-purchase 777 Freighters were previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing’s orders and deliveries Web site.

With the 787, LAN will be able to provide its passengers with the very best in long-range air travel, including larger windows, higher cabin humidity, more space and a lower cabin altitude.

Thus far, two other Latin American carriers have committed to the 787 Dreamliner: Aeromexico, with three leased, two purchased, and Colombia’s Avianca, which has ordered 10.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, scheduled for entry into service in 2008, provides passengers with a better flying experience and operators with a more efficient commercial jetliner. Thus far, 51 airlines have logged 736 orders, making the Dreamliner the most successful commercial airplane launch in history. With the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing continues its leadership and innovation with a mostly composite airplane that consumes 20 percent less fuel and provides airlines with up to 45 percent more cargo revenue capacity.

The 777 Freighter is the sixth and newest member of the 777 family of airplanes and builds upon the family’s extensive use of advanced technologies. The 777 Freighter is based on the 777-200LR passenger model and is designed to facilitate easy interlining with the Boeing 747 freighter fleet. Eleven customers have ordered 82 777 Freighters, which are scheduled to enter service beginning in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Source: Boeing.com

By Szafi

Boeing 787 Dreamliner: Delivery Delayed By 6 Months

Boeing has announced that the first delivery of the long-awaited Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be delayed by at least 6 months. Industry analysts have foreseen this announcement coming, especially since Boeing earlier had to postpone the first flight tests of the 787 by two months, which would have caused a very ambitious and extremely tight flight test schedule. That news were communicated early September, two months after the ceremonial rollout of the first aircraft.

B787 At The Rollout 

The first flight was originally planned for September 2007, then it was delayed to late November or December 2007 (due to software problems and shortage of bolts), and now the company says, the first flight has been pushed back to the end of the first quarter in 2008. That alone represents a 6 months delay in the program, but with the new first delivery date, it looks like the original test schedule will be in place (actually they have added an extra month to it), and tests will not be rushed through. They now plan for a test period of 8 months, while the flight testing and certification on Boeing’s last new airliner, the 777, took 11 months some years ago.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) of Japan, that is the launch customer for the 787 will receive its first aircraft instead of MAY2008, around late November or early December. The delay is a blow to ANA, which was hoping to fly passengers to next summer’s Beijing Olympic Games in the initial planes of its planned 50-strong 787 fleet. By the delay of the first delivery, approximately a further 30-35 787s scheduled for delivery in 2008 will slide into 2009, affecting around 15 customers. However, Boeing expects to have delivered 109 aircraft by the end of 2009, only three fewer than originally contemplated. While calling it “an aggressive plan,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Scott Carson  said he “remains confident it is achievable.” Airlines with orders for the first 100 Dreamliners may have problems finding replacement planes while waiting for 787s, but may also be entitled to compensation from Boeing. Qantas for example, one of the world’s largest buyers of the new plane, said Boeing had assured it that the first of the 15 aircraft scheduled for delivery from August 2008 would still arrive within six months of the original delivery date. “Boeing said the August 2008 aircraft would slip, but not by six months. Once that aircraft arrives, the remaining 14 aircraft deliveries will be staggered until December 2009,” Qantas Chief Executive Geoff Dixon said in a statement, which echoes Boeing’s announcement, that they plan to eliminate the backlog in deliveries caused by the shift of the first delivery, by the end of 2009.

The delay may be embarrassing for Boeing, as they have repeatedly said they will not follow Airbus in its test and delivery delays connected to the new Airbus A380 superjumbo. Airbus had problems with the wiring of its two floor aircraft, while Boeing is now struggling in the assembly of its first composite airplane. During a webcast yesterday, Carson said the issues driving the decision revolved around “traveled work and parts availability on aircraft number 1. It simply proved to be more difficult than we had anticipated to complete the out-of-sequence work in our Everett factory.” He said the main problems were installing parts of the plane’s structure, which had been thrown out of sequence by some suppliers sending incomplete work to Boeing’s main plant, aggravated by a shortage of some small parts. Flight control software and systems integration activities are not pacing items in the revised schedule for first flight, he added.

by balint01

British Airways Orders Airbus A380’s And Boeing 787’s

Airbus A380 in BA colors - by Airbus

 

 

British Airways has announced today what the airline industry has been looking forward to for a long time: the first orders to replace their long-haul fleet.

BA that has been using Boeing 57 B747-400’s and 43 B777’s and 14 B767-300’s for long-haul travels, have decided to place firm orders for 12 Airbus A380 superjumbos and 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners to replace 34 of their older planes (20 B747 jumbojets and all 14 B767-300’s). This also means an increase of 2 planes in the fleet. The order includes options for a further 7 A380’s and 18 B787’s.

BA Chief Executive Willie Walsh told reporters the airline would use the A380 superjumbo to make best use of its limited take-off slots at London’s crowded Heathrow Airport and will be the first long-haul Airbus BA would ever use. It will fly on routes from London to Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa (Johannesburg) and the west coast of the United States (Los Angeles and San Francicso) and possibly to Indian destinations as well. The 24 mid-sized 787 Dreamliners, will be used to open up new routes and increase the frequency of flights on existing ones. The two types of new aircraft will be delivered between 2010 and 2014, with the first 787 joining the fleet in 2010 and the firs A380 in 2012.

He denied the company had experienced political pressure to buy the superjumbo, the wings and engines of which will be built in Britain. “There was absolutely none,” he told reporters. “There was no contact, be it formal or informal. The decision was made in the best interest of British Airways. In the engines, the choice of Rolls-Royce was because British is best.” He also added that environmental concerns were a critical consideration: “These aircraft set the gold standard when it comes to environmental performance. . .[and] will contribute significantly to our target of improving fuel efficiency by 25% between 2005 and 2025.”  BA took delivery of its first B747 jumbo on April 22, 1970, becoming just the fifth airline to get one and had used all types of the largest Boeing aircraft. That tradition will be broken now, as even though the new B747-8 is out on the market (and Lufthansa has ordered a few pieces of it as well), BA chose the A380.

BA said it was considering aircraft to replace a further 37 Boeing 747s and is examining the Boeing 777-300 ER, the Airbus A350XWB, as well as a stretched version of Boeing’s 787, the 787-10, which the planemaker has yet to launch to replace the remaining 747-400s. A follow-up order should not be expected before 2010 according to BA.

by balint01

Boeing 787 Dreamliner: Composite Airframe May Be Unsafe?

A former employee of Boeing who has been laid off last year claims that the new carbon-composite airframe of the upcoming Boeing 787 Dreamliner may be unsafe. According to ATW News, Vince Weldon who had worked for Boeing for 46 years claims in an interview with journalist Dan Rather that he was fired in 2006 because he pointed out safety glitches in relation to this new breakthrough technology to be used widely in the construction of the Dreamliner (composite is to replace aluminium in the bodyframe of the airliner).

The new Dreamliner – which was revealed a little more than two months ago – is to have a body fully built from composite materials, which guarantee weight reduction (thus increased fuel efficiency and less environmental harm), as well as the possibility of more humidity in the passenger cabin, which would reduce the effects of flying on the human body. At the time when he was laid off, he was working for the Phantom Works technology centre of Boeing, developing the new composite plastic materials for the new aircraft. Boeing officially claims they had to fire him as he had assaulted his bosses several times.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Composite Fuselage - by Boeing

The former employee claims that the new structure carries several risks, which are known to Boeing as well, who try to hide it as they wish to begin manufacturing and delivering the aircraft as soon as possible. Boeing has more than 700 firm orders for the aircraft already, the first one due for delivery to ANA in MAY2008. The former engineer says he can support his arguments with archived internal e-mails between Boeing colleagues, while Boeing announced that they were earlier faced with such problems, which have been solved by nowThese risks according to Mr. Weldon would be:

 

  • the brittle carbon-composite compounds based airframe would break much easier than the traditional, more flexible aluminium aircraft body in an emergency landing for example (more likely to shatter on any impact actually),
  • if ignited and catching fire, it would omit poisonous and toxic gases and chemicals while burning,
  • the fuselage is less resistant to lightnings while flying,
  • any damages are harder to see and visually locate.

According to him these risks would reduce the chance of survival in case of an accident involving any of the above described situations. Just to remember: last week a McDonnel Douglas airplane has broken in two and caught fire during an (emergency) landing in Thailand, claiming 88 deaths and leaving 42 survivors who could escape the burning airplane – so such a situation can happen with a traditionally built aluminium aircraft as well unfortunately, but he says the risk of such a situation largely increases by the usage of composite materials.

The B787 is currently undergoing the tests of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which will allow the production later on if all tests are passed, and therefore justify the worries expressed above, or reject them. The first crash-tests (drop-tests) brought good results for the new aircraft, but most of the testing (and all flight tests) are still to take place in a reduced, speeded up schedule of about 6 months – much shorter than previous airliner programs (see our earlier post about the delay of the first flight).

At first one could even think that these arguments may be fueled by Airbus but separately last week Airbus confirmed to ATWOnline that it has ditched the aluminum frame for a composite frame on the A350 XWB. The move came after key customers ILFC and Emirates expressed concerns about maintenance on an aluminum structure. The original plan involved composite panels on an aluminium frame, but now Airbus has voted to go for an all-composite structure, similar to Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, which suggests that the technology must be safe enough to be rolled out to production.

An Airbus spokesperson said last week that the decision was taken for “simplification of maintenance.” (Mr. Weldon argues that maintenance of composite structures becomes more complicated due to some damages remaining invisible…) The company expects to complete design refinement by year end with first delivery in late 2013 (some 5 years behind the planned first delivery of the 787).

So what can we do? I think the best is to wait for the test results of the 787, which will be the first aircraft with a composite airframe, but the doubt will now be there in some people’s minds for sure. I’m still excited to fly the Dreamliner and am looking forward to a better, more humanly onboard environment with the different pressure and humidity, that would never be possible in an aluminium framed aircraft and of course hope that such risks mentioned above will never be tested in real life…

by balint01


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