August 2012

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Despite grounding, factory shuffle makes way for future 787s

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assemblystatus071409.jpgEven with the grounding of the 787 fleet, Boeing is making room in the factory for production standard aircraft.

The company has said that production would roll on as normal to limit disruption to the slow production ramp up as the fix for the wing root is being developed for installation at all phases of completion.

The progress on the wing reinforcement will be the topic of a dedicated report.

Boeing received its 10th set of 787 wings (8th flying set) from Japan on Monday. The wings for the second production 787, ZA101, will eventually be delivered to ANA.

Last Thursday night, Boeing moved ZA005 and ZA006 out of the 787 final assembly line. The move opens up two assembly locations inside building 40-26 for production standard aircraft.

ZA005 was moved to Paint Hangar 45-03 and ZA006 relocated to Building 40-24 on the 767 line. No word yet on what colors ZA005, the first GEnx-powered 787, will wear after the six flight test aircraft were no longer assigned to customers.

ZA100 remains at position one inside Building 40-26 with ZA004 sitting at the head of the line closest to the football-field sized doors.

Out on the flight line ZA002 will be fired up again as early as Thursday for systems checks. According to Aviation Week:
Chief amongst these will be a high-lift system ground test using engine-supplied electrical power as well as flight deck checks of the crew alerting audio system.

Another key system due for checks on ZA002 is the gross weight center of gravity processor, originally set for tests on July 12. This is also now scheduled for tests on Thursday and will be an important tool for flight test work in the coming months on ZA002 which will verify 787 stability and control along with ZA001. The processor will allow flight test personnel to precisely monitor and alter cg positions in-flight to enable tests of several conditions in a single sortie.

In other 787 news, the fourth LCF, when it becomes operational, will be registered N718BA.

Video shot by Matt Cawby

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