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June 14 - The Week Ahead Open Thread

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ZA005 First Flight
The first GEnx-powered 787 is set to make its first flight on Wednesday with Capts. Mike Bryan and Mike Carriker at the controls. Boeing hasn't set specific a definitive first flight date for ZA005 (N787FT), but sources say it is rapidly approaching. This is obviously dependent on the weather in Everett come mid-week, but if mother nature smiles on the Pacific Northwest, the fifth 787 should be making its maiden flight. Taxi tests are expected to be conducted on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday's first flight.
Editor's note: The interview with Mike Carriker was filmed at the National Air and Space Museum following the premier of Legends of Flight.
Spirit (Airlines) on Strike
Often referred to as America's Ryanair, ultra low cost carrier Spirit Airlines is facing a pilot strike, grounding its Airbus A319, A320 and A321 fleet through Wednesday at the earliest.  This situation has stranded passengers all over the country and in some cases those with the least amount of resources to begin with. Crankyflier has a great overview of the situation, including the comparative pay breakdown for pilots at other airlines.

RC001 Coming Together
Structural sections of Section 41 for the first 747-8I are coming together inside Building 40-21 in Everett. The aircraft, dubbed RC001, will be coming together over the remainder of the year, with first flight targeted for first quarter 2011. As I think aloud here, I do wonder whether or not the 747-8F stringer issues will have any carryover impact on the 747-8I? 

Meanwhile, outside on the flight line both the first 777-300ER for British Airways and first 747-8F for Korean Air Cargo are both fully painted.

Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Global Transportation Conference
BoA/ML is hosting a myriad of airlines this week at its Global Transportation Conference. The event should give further clarity on where the industry stands. Heading into the heart of the  summer season, we'll begin to get a picture of how the middle part of 2010 is shaping up for airlines. Additionally, we may get some clarity on future ordering, as well as new perspectives on A320, 737 re-engining and CSeries.

Hitting the Road
Going to be a busy few weeks coming up for me with prep for features for July's 2010 Farnborough Air Show. Seems like I'll be everywhere but DC. More details to follow as the next few weeks roll on.

Flightglobal Achievement Awards
Voting on the Flightglobal Achievement Awards has entered its final week and we want to make sure your voice is heard! The winners for Leader, Aviator and Innovator of the year, as well as Flightglobal's Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced on July 20 at the Farnborough Air Show. Take a look at who made the 2010 shortlist and cast your vote!

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