August 2012

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787, 747-8 could fly on the same day

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In a strange cosmic coincidence, 747-8 (RC501) and 787 (ZA001) could fly on the same day, or at least Boeing is thinking they may:
Boeing ready to handle simultaneous first flights of 787 and 747-8
By Brendan Sobie

Boeing has decoupled the flight test programmes for the 787 and 747-8, allowing the two new aircraft to potentially take to the skies for the first time simultaneously.

The 787 and 747-8 are both now scheduled to have first flight during the fourth quarter, most likely the second half of November or first half of December. To avoid having to slow down one flight test programme to keep another on schedule, Boeing has taken the unprecedented step of entirely separating the two flight test programmes and allocating each with a dedicated set of equipment and resources.

Every sign on the 787 front continues to point to a late November first flight target. I'm not necessarily saying that University of Washington and Washington State football fans will have to split their attention, but it may be darn close.

Progress on RC501 has been accelerating as well, with low and high pressure blow tests being conducted earlier this week. The next tests will be to test the flap cable and perform ground vibration tests and prep for the factory gauntlet is also underway. Boeing says that RC501 should go to the flight line in 3-4 weeks.

Programming Note: I've been laid up with the flu for the the three days and I'm finally feeling like a human being again. I've been working on a big blog feature on my visit to Spirit two weeks ago in Wichita. My goal is to have it up today. Stay tuned.

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