Posts Tagged 'boeing 787 dreamliner'

First Boeing 787 for Air India

Air India took its first Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner earlier this year and joined the elite club of 787 operators as the fifth member back in early September. Air India’s turnaround plan is highly dependent on the efficient operation of the new type.

Air India's first Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner - photo by Boeing

Only the fifth airline to take delivery of a 787 (following launch customer All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines and LAN Airlines) Air India’s first delivery was delayed by over four months because of negotiations over the issue of program delay compensation. The Indian government is also arguing with Boeing about the weight guarantees promised by the aircraft manufacturer earlier – but those discussions are continuing separately.

Today is a great day for Air India as the most technologically advanced and fuel efficient airplane in the world joins our fleet,” said Rohit Nandan, Air India Chairman & Managing Director at the delivery ceremony. “The 787 will allow Air India to open new routes in a dynamic marketplace and provide the best in-flight experience for our passengers.

Air India has 27 Dreamliners on firm order, and one of the early deliveries has been assembled in Boeing’s new South Carolina plant – where the delivery ceremony took place as well. The airline took delivery of a second 787 just a week after the first one, also in South Carolina. They are taking deliveries of 4 more planes by the end of 2012 (have three in operation at the time of this article), seven in 2012, five in 2014, six in 2015 and three in 2016 to complete their planned fleet of the type.

Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner Business Class - photo by Boeing

With 18 seats in Business (pictured above) and 238 in Economy class (pictured below) (256 in total), Air India is right in the middle of the other 787 operators in terms of seat density (JAL and LAN have less seats, while ANA and Ethiopian have more).

Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner Economy Class - photo by Boeing

After the first month or so when the type was only used domestically, the first international destination of the Air India Boeing 787 has been Frankfurt, Germany.

by balint01

First Boeing 787 for LAN Airlines

LAN Airlines, member of the oneworld alliance and part of the LATAM Airline group (and one of my personal favorite airlines) took its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner at the end of August. It was a few months ago, but let’s take a closer look at this beautiful bird.

LAN Boeing 787 Dreamliner   - by Carlos P. Valle C. on

The aircraft, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, was the first Dreamliner to be received by an airline in the Americas (and the fourth in the world after Japanese ANA and JAL, and Ethiopian Airlines). LAN has 32 787s on order, valued at USD 4.9 billion, to be delivered over the next decade. Two more are delivered this year.

The cabin features 247 seats altogether, with Business Class (30 fully-flat seats in a 2-2-2 layout) and Economy (217 total, in a 3-3-3 layout), making the 787 slightly less crowded than Ethiopian (24+245 = 269) and ANA (12+252 = 264) but more efficient than JAL (42+144 = 186). The numbers compared to the other operators of the type look like a fair compromise expecting a fairly good business audience, that offer specious comfort as well as economy of scale at the same time.

LAN said it expects to start Los Angeles-Lima 787 flights in January 2013. LAN CEO Ignacio Cueto said in a statement, “The Dreamliner will make it possible for us to cover greater distances in a more environmentally conscious and highly efficient aircraft.” As per the latest route announcements, it looks like LAN is planning to operate sort of a circle flight with Santiago-Los Angeles, Los Angeles-Lima, Lima-Santiago – enabling three routes with the aircraft type on paper – while in reality each city-pair would only be services one-way by the 787.

Other cities expected to be served by LAN 787s over the next year besides the hub of Santiago are Buenos Aires, Madrid and Frankfurt, the carrier said.

LAN Boeing 787 - c by Russell Hill on

I have flown LAN all around South-America and to the Easter Island (twice), but now I’m looking forward to my next LAN flight, which I will aim to make on one of their 787’s.

by balint01

First Boeing 787 for Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines is the first non-Japanese carrier to receive the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and demonstrate its forward looking strategy – even as an African airline. As the third overall operator of the new Dreamliner aircraft type (and the second Star Alliance member), Ethiopian flew the plane from the delivery ceremony from Boeing’s Everett facility to Washington Dulles airport at the US capital – even before flying it home to Africa two days later on 17 August.

The first destination is very well understandable in the light of the news that the Addis Ababa – Washington route will be the airlines’ first route served by the 787 – starting mid-September when they receive the second of the type. According to plans, Ethiopian will take 4 more before the end of 2012. The first one is the 49th aircraft in its fleet, and the Plane was dubbed as “Africa First”. Ethiopian has 10 of the type on order. The carrier also announced that its next desired route will be connecting Addis Ababa to Guangzhou, China, but it’s not yet decided when that service will get the Boeing 787. By the way, one day after the delivery flight from the US, the plane made its maiden flight in Africa with a Dream Tour to Mount Kilimanjaro with VIP passengers on board. The Dream Tour was a start of rotating Africa destinations, and some scheduled flights into Europe (Rome, London, Frankfurt) and India (Mumbai).

The plane in Ethiopian livery features 24 business class seats (called “Cloud Nine”) and 245 seats in Economy. Besides all the seats, this Dreamliner will bring the same customer benefits as the ones already in operation: lower noise levels, higher humidity, the largest windows on a passenger plane, bigger overhead bins and a unique lighting system – the Sky Interior that can be adjusted to the environment and time of the day.

In remarks at the delivery ceremony, Ethiopian CEO Tewolde Gebremariam noted the 787’s delivery was “overdue by four years” due to multiple program delays. But he said it was “worth waiting” for an aircraft that will launch a “new era” for ET and African aviation. “This shows you how much Ethiopia as a country, and Africa as a continent, is changing,” he said.

Tewolde also said that Ethiopian plans to grow its aircraft fleet to more than 120 units (passenger and cargo fleet combined) and its workforce (now numbering around 7,000) to 17,000 by 2025 and aims to become the leading airline on the African continent and eventually compete against any of the world’s top carriers for passengers and cargo. This would equal to generating $10 billion in annual revenue by 2025 (ET reported revenue of $1.5 billion in 2011). According to the CEO talking to ATW, Addis Ababa is located right in the middle of the line between the world’s most emerging markets – notably between Russia, India, China and Brazil – and would strategically be located to connect these areas both in terms of passengers as well as cargo. The Boeing 787 can reach all of these countries within a 10 hour radius with nonstop flights.

We will keep an eye on Ethiopian and see how this aggressive, optimistic strategy will become a reality. A very important step has just been made by adding the Boeing 787 to the fleet – as the third airline to ever operate the type after All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines.

by balint01

Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Japan Airlines

Oneworld member Japan Airlines (JAL) took delivery of its first two Boeing 787 Dreamliners at the end of March, and have added the new plane type quickly into its operating fleet. JAL is the second Japanese operator of the type after ANA started flying their first Dreamliner late in October, 2011 – more than three years after the original delivery date – but the first to use General Electric GEnx-powered aircraft.

The two brand new Boeing 787s (registration numbers: JA825J and JA822J) were delivered to JAL on March 25 and touched down at Tokyo Narita and Haneda airports respectively on the 27th of March. Following one month of familiarization, training and marketing flights, the first revenue round-trip flight was completed to Boston Logan airport in the United States on April 22nd. This is the first ever non-stop flight to connect Boston with Asia, and marked the debut of the 787 in the USA. The second scheduled destination is Delhi, with flights starting on the 1st of May.

The 787 is scheduled to be deployed on routes between Tokyo and Beijing (May 7, Haneda), Moscow (May 7), Singapore (September) and Helsinki (March 2013) as soon as subsequent aircraft are delivered and all necessary preparations are completed. JAL will later this year (in December), also use this super-efficient aircraft to start yet another first nonstop service between a US city and Asia with the launch of direct flights between Tokyo (Narita) and San Diego.

JAL’s 787 Dreamliner is configured in two classes with 42 seats in business and 144 seats in economy (186 altogether). The Executive Class has a 2-2-2 configuration so that customers are either seated by the window or along the aisle. The 144 Economy Class seats have 2 cm (0.8 inches) wider space than current seats and is arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration.

Some highlights of the revolutionary aircraft include larger windows with electronically dimmable shades, as well as higher ceilings, lower cabin pressure and better humidity for a noticeably more comfortable in-flight experience. JAL’s hospitality is reflected in customer-contact points throughout the cabin and even in the work space for cabin attendants such as the kitchen equipment in the galley. Utilizing the LED lights in the Dreamliner, JAL created an original cabin lighting design to enhance the ambience onboard with a sense of the four seasons in Japan, such as pink hues of cherry blossoms in spring, or sky blue in the summer months of July and August. The lighting also adapts at various timings during the flight, to make the environment more conducive during meal service and for resting or waking up. A brand new type of in-flight entertainment is also introduced onboard JAL’s 787 Dreamliner, called SKY MANGA which reflects a distinctive part of the Japanese culture. There will be more than 30 titles of Japanese comics available in electronic versions on JAL’s in-flight entertainment system initially, with expansion to English versions planned for the near future.

JAL has firm orders for 25 787-8s, including the two delivered Monday, and 20 Boeing 787-9s plus 20 787 options, meaning if all are exercised, the Japanese carrier will be operating 65 Dreamliners (currently it has 209 aircraft altogether).

by balint01

First Boeing 787 Commercial Flight at ANA

Star Alliance Member All Nippon Airways (ANA) has finally conducted the first commercial flight of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on October 26, 2011. This historic milestone charter flight was delayed by 3 years and 4 months in takeoff…

ANA originally placed the launch order for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner back in April 2004, with the anticipation, that it can show off the plane on the scheduled Tokyo-Beijing route in time for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. That could not happen due to Boeing facing several issues during the development of the plane that caused numerous delays in the program. Just to name a few of those reasons: part shortages, software issues, machinists’ strikes, network problems, and a fire during flight testing… Test flights only began in December 2009 and certification took about twice as long as planned back then.

The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner (Registration: JA801A), which is a fuel efficient airplane made almost exclusively of lightweight carbon composites, made a 4 hour and 10 minute flight from Tokyo Narita Airport to Hong Kong with 250 passengers as its first commercial flight. Following the charter flight, the first Boeing 787 regular scheduled domestic service will be routes from Tokyo Haneda to Okayama and Hiroshima, both beginning Nov. 1. Then in December 2011, ANA plans to use the new aircraft type on the Tokyo Haneda-Beijing route, which will be the airplane’s first regular international service. Further domestic services are planned to be launched before year-end from Haneda to Itami, Yamaguchi Ube and Matsuyama. The first regular long-haul international 787 service will be Tokyo Haneda-Frankfurt, beginning as a thrice-weekly service on January 21, 2012, and increasing to daily in February.

To power all these routes, ANA currently has two 787s (with special domestic configuration of 12 premium and 252 economy seats – later two different configurations will be used for international flights: 42 business + 180 economy and 46 business + 112 economy), but expects to have another five (!) by the end of the year. By the end of March 2012, ANA expects to have a total of 11 787s, and 20 by March 2013. The Japanese Star Alliance member plans to have all 55 of the 787s on order – which includes 15 of the longer 787-9 version – by the end of March 2018.

by balint01

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Flight Test News

Following a very long wait for the first flight of the Dreamliner, the Boeing 787 Flight Test Program is finally progressing in full swing.

Boeing plans to complete the Flight Test Schedule of the new composite 787 Dreamliner model with 6 test airplanes. They are code-named as ZA001 -> ZA006.

ZA001: The first plane to fly, it is destined for general flight tests. Painted in the Dreamliner Marketing color scheme and temporarily registered as N787BA, the plane has been clocking up flight hours since December 15, 2009. It actually suffered an “uncommanded loss of thrust in one of the engines” last Friday (February 19), but such events are totally acceptable during flight testing. The aircraft was carrying out flutter testing (a dangerous test of the wings, the tail and the aircraft structure against in-flight vibrations), and executed an unplanned landing at Grant County International Airport in central Washington State, some 200 miles East from Paine Field. The Trent 1000 engines were inspected together with manufacturer Rolls-Royce, and the issue was traced back to “a pressure-sensing component within the engine”. Parts were transported to the aircraft and it returned to Paine Field, Everett on Sunday morning. Boeing VP-Marketing Randy Tinseth said ZA001 “will soon return to flutter testing. . .This is what happens during flight testing–and our plan accommodates such events.

ZA002: The second plane to fly, it is focusing on systems performance tests. Painted in launch customer Japanese All Nippon Airways (ANA)’s color scheme, it carries the temporary registration: N787EX. It first flew just one week after ZA001, on December 22, 2009.

ZA003: This plane will join the test fleet at a later date.

ZA004: The third 787 to start the flight test program, but actually the fourth test aircraft built. It carries the preliminary registration N7874 and is painted in the white version of the Dreamliner Boeing scheme. It took off on its first flight on Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 11:43 am local time, from Paine Field, Everett. According to Boeing, this plane flew before the ZA003 because the data that it will collect “is needed more quickly both for certification and development of the 787-9” (the planned longer version of the 787). ZA004 flew for 3 hours and 2 minutes, reached an altitude of 30,000 feet and an airspeed of 255 knots (293 miles or 472 km/h)and “operated flawlessly,” according to Captain Heather Ross – who is probably the first woman flying the 787 Dreamliner. Together with Craig Bomben they completed the flight at 2:45 p.m., landing at Boeing Field in Seattle. Flight-test personnel were also on board to monitor airplane performance. Ross will serve as chief pilot for ZA004. This airplane will be used to accomplish the following types of tests: aerodynamics, high-speed performance, propulsion performance, flight loads, community noise and extended operations (ETOPS) and other test conditions. As the testing of the 787 fleet progresses, the airplane will fly at its expected in-service maximum altitude of 40,000 feet (12,192 m) and speed of Mach 0.85.

by balint01

Boeing Dreamliner Flies In ANA Livery

Only a week after the historic first flight, another new Boeing 787 Dreamliner took to the skies on December 22, 2009 – already in the livery of the launch customer All Nippon Airways.

The second flying Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft – that is referred to as ZA002 and powered by the Trent 1000 – took off and landed at the same locations as the first flight test aircraft. Leaving from Paine Field in Everett, it touched down at Boeing Field in Seattle after a 2 hour flight.

Boeing stated “We are delighted that the second Dreamliner is in the livery of our launch customer, ANA,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. “We are honored by the airline’s support and look forward to delivering ANA the first production airplane next year.

Captain Randy Neville was at the controls for the flight, with Chief Pilot Mike Carriker operating as co-pilot. They piloted the first flight just a week ago, but have switched seats for the second one. Neville and Carriker took the airplane to an altitude of 13,000 feet (3,962 m) and an airspeed of 200 knots, or about 230 miles (370 km) per hour. The airplane took off at 9:09 a.m. PST and landed at 11:10 a.m. PST.

This is the second of six 787s being used in the airplane’s flight-test program. Each of the airplanes will be used for a specific set of tests, with this airplane focusing on systems performance. Like its predecessor, ZA001, the airplane is powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines.

by balint01

Dreamliner First Flight

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner is flying for the first time today! This is probably the most awaited headline in the world of commercial aviation and can finally be published, after almost three years waiting and after a little longer than 3 hours flying time today, on December 15. 2009.

The Dreamliner was revealed on July 9, 2007, two and a half years ago. According to the original schedule, the first flight test aircraft should have taken off in the same year. This was first pushed out just two months later, when in early September 2007 Boeing announced a 2 month delay for the maiden flight. Back then they communicated that the first delivery would still be on time (it would have meant a 5 month flight-test period compared to the 777’s 11 months…), so that launch-customer, Japanese ANA could still take passengers to the Beijing Olympics on the new state-of-the-art airliner. The Beijing Olympics came and went, the Pittsburgh Steelers won Superbowl XLIII in Tampa, the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley cup, Barcelona claimed the Champions League crown for 2009, Sebastien Loeb victored in Rally again and Jenson Button won the 2009 Formula-1 world title with the new Brawn GP team, but the Dreamliner has still not taken to the skies yet.

There were delays due to “software problems“, “shortage of bolts“, “difficulties around the global supply chain”, then in July came the latest Dreamliner delay news about “a series of relatively small areas” on both sides of the aircraft’s body in the “upper wing join area” that registered stress levels during static testing that “exceeded expectations” – which blew the Summer 2009 first flight plans as well.

But Santa in 2009 seems to bring a huge and long-awaited Christmas gift to all Boeing Commercial employees, to all the 55 airlines that have so far ordered 840 (!) 787’s (some of them have cancelled already, due to the delays) and to all aviation fans: THE FIRST FLIGHT !

Following the power-up, the extended stress tests on the aircraft body, the low speed taxi tests and the high speed taxi tests this past Saturday, the 787 took to the skies at 10:27 am Seattle time at Paine Field in Everett, Washington, heading to Boeing Field. The historic maiden flight was piloted by Michael H. Carriker, Chief Pilot of the type and Randall Lee Neville, Engineering Test Pilot of the 787. Carriker has been with the 787 Program since 2003, while Neville joined in 2005, after clocking more than 600 hours in 9 years with the F-22 Raptor fighter. Interestingly he also played an F-22 pilot in the movie “The Hulk”. Carriker was the captain on the first flights of the Boeing Next-Generation 737-600 and 737-900 type. They both hold type ratings in all current Boeing production models.

Just a little after 3 hours of flight, the first 787 flight touched down at Boeing field in rain, but in perfect style and the landing looked like a very soft one – from the outside. The plane was escorted on the slightly more than 3 hour flight by two T-33 training planes with cameras onboard. The plane arrived to Boeing Field at 1:35 pm local time.

You can ready about the Design Highlights of the Dreamliner here.

by balint01

Boeing 787 Dreamliner News

We last talked about the Boeing 787 Dreamliner program one month ago, when Boeing announced a further delay, due to “a series of relatively small areas” on both sides of the aircraft’s body in the “upper wing join area” that registered stress levels during static testing that “exceeded expectations“. That was the sixth time Boeing had delayed the program – and the maiden flight – to an undisclosed date.

Back at the end of June, the company did not set a new target date for the first flight, they only said that a new schedule would be released in “several weeks“. In the meantime it was announced that a new schedule for the flight test program will be released before the end of September. This means “several weeks” in Boeing terminology may mean “up to 12 weeks”… Following the mid-June top management statements that the first flight would happen before the end of the second quarter of this year, this means a new, possibly very long, additional delay to the program.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner in new flight test livery - c by

In the meantime, Boeing has completed gauntlet testing on the first 787 and conducted taxi testing up to 130 kt., while the second Dreamliner has run up its engines. The third and fourth aircraft have been powered on and off. The fifth Flight Test Plane received a new livery on July 21st, painted white with blue accents, the new livery incorporates visual and color elements from the distinctive blue-and-white Boeing Commercial Airplanes livery seen on the first 787 Dreamliner flight test airplane and other new commercial models. The simplified paint scheme will be applied to the three remaining unpainted flight test airplanes (Nos. 3, 4 and 6). The modified livery, which saves time and expense compared to the full Boeing livery, will remain on the airplane until the flight test program is completed.

Boeing has been working with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which manufactures the 787’s wings, and Fuji Heavy Industries, which handles the detailed design and assembly of the center wing box and its integration, to determine a fix. They have also confirmed earlier that a fix to the defect has been identified, but yesterday The Seattle Times has reported that the “787’s structural design problem is more complex than originally outlined“. One engineer with knowledge of the problem claimed that it will take “at least 3-4 months just to get something installed on the 787,” while a second, familiar with Boeing’s construction methods, claimed that the fix first must be installed on the nonflying test aircraft in Everett and only will be applied to flight test aircraft if proven successful.

Let’s take a look at the suggested timeframe quickly. Once the local fix is fully developed, the new parts first will have to be applied to the static test aircraft and then put on the flight test aircraft. These new parts will mean further ground testing before the first flight, but Boeing promises these fixes and the extra weight will have no impact on either performance or maintenance. As currently it’s the end of July, and according to the engineer quoted by The Seattle Times it takes 3-4 months to apply these parts, ground testing will only be able to commence around mid-November. This practically means that the first flight is being delayed until very late 2009 or more likely: to the first half of 2010.

It is also influencing the first delivery to ANA, currently slated for the 2010 first quarter (which is very unlikely to happen in the light of this prediction). Original delivery was planned for June 2008, so that ANA could have used the first Dreamliner for the Beijing Olympics… The program has suffered 73 cancellations this year. The latest structural problem likely will have a serious impact on deliveries, according to a client note issued by Bernstein Research of New York. It suggested that the company now will deliver only three in 2010, down from 15; 25 in 2011, down from 35, and 50 in 2012, down from 60.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Low Speed Taxi Test - c by

We hope to see the 787 Dreamliner taking its maiden flight as soon as possible – either in the “traditional” blue or the new white livery – but also respect Boeing’s continous decisions to make sure that the plane is safe to fly on its maiden flight as well as for decades to come.

by balint01

Boeing To Further Delay 787 Dreamliner Program

Boeing has put off the time of the first maiden flight of its B 787 Dreamliner. The new plane was due to fly first on 30 June. the company delayed the maiden flight because of “a need to reinforce a side section of the plane” due to the explanation that “on both sides of the aircraft’s body in the “upper wing join area” that registered stress levels during static testing that “exceeded expectations.”

Boeing says it will not release any other dates for the maiden flight in the next couple of weeks. It did not say whether or how long first delivery to ANA, slated for the 2010 first quarter, would be delayed, either. This is the sixth (6th!) time the program has been delayed so far.

The project has now been delayed a few times, so everybody looked at this end of June deadline with high expectations. The first delay of 6 months was announced in October 2007. The second announcement came in January 2008, when Boeing projected the maiden flight for June 2008. Then shorter delays came, and apparently a year later we still do not know when we will see the new Dreamliner flying.

We will inform you about the developing story. Please follow our blog via RSS!

By Szafi

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