Feels like the first time

We’ve mentioned that testing and production is continuing on the flight test Dreamliners and other airplanes in assembly.

Wednesday, on the flight line in Everett we saw (and heard) evidence of that as we completed engine runs for ZA002, the second flight test 787.


Engine runs underway on ZA002.


For the sights - and sounds - of ZA002’s first engine runs, click above to view a short video.

Yesterday’s tests began at around 9 a.m. with two dry runs - the first one without fuel and the second with fuel. After an inspection, early in the afternoon the engines were powered up for real.


A couple of photos that really capture the 787 engines in action.

As was the case when we ran the engines for ZA001, we started them up and operated the engines at various power settings to verify that all of the systems are performing as we expect.

The program tells me that tests on ZA002 are going well.

Comments (8)

Kinbin (Taipei Taiwan):

The success of the functional tests meant that ground systems integration has, by far, proven to be comparatively more robust (or with issues more easily resolved) than the structural.

Many are in the dark (many watching on the inside of Boeing, and those like us on the outside) about the time length of the slide to the right on addressing the structural hiccup (nah, not hiccup, but more like an internal blunder or fiasco). I doubt if Randy knows the extent of the slide. And it aint Randy's doing either. Engineering community in Boeing needs to step up to the plate and pitch!!! Its already 9th inning!!!!

Happy I-Day weekend!

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

Those engines from inside the cabin sound absolutely quiet, they hum almost like a car on idle.

Josh Lyman (Haverford, Pa):

Hopefully the engines won't be TOO quiet!!

Chris C (South Africa):

Excellent news! At this rate, once the structural fix is in place, we'll have three or four super-efficient 787 Dreamliners ready to "first-flight" in a matter of hours between each other! Great video of the engines, thanks! Hope the engineers are having positive results in rectifying the side-to-body fix!

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

This kind of progress is always welcome - really a credit to those that design and put together such an awesomely complex system. I agree with Norman on the sound level. That's more validation of the materials and construction of this plane - especially with early rumurs about the noise level inside the 787.

I suppose this test is a bitter-sweet test victory with news of another delay on the 787, which in itself is quite unfortunate. However, seeing that the economy is a tough spot for airplane financing, and Boeing was not there yet in full production ramp-up, the news could actually be quite worse. There will be a lot less costly ripping out of painted work to mend the parts that caused the latest delay - action, that in itself causes more delay - as with the travelled work on the 737 and 747 lines in 1997/98.

Keep pushing ahead - or as they say: Forever New Frontiers. Happy 4th of July!

Phillip (Everett, WA):

This is good news. Now we need the design to catch up to the skill of the work force assembling the planes. We will get the job done and start production this year (think it will be in full production by this time next year).

Ivan Charvat (Oakville, Ontario, Canada):

In the video of the engine run, I was surprised to see the port tailplane surface wiggling around noticeably...

Mark (Seattle, WA):

Ivan Charvat (Oakville, Ontario, Canada)Posted on July 7, 2009 06:49:
"In the video of the engine run, I was surprised to see the port tailplane surface wiggling around noticeably..."

Ivan, this is nominal stuff;
The aircraft is not flying along during the run-up, so some exhaust flow is bouncing off of the ramp and vectoring around onto the aft planes, and because there is no aero loading or slipstreaming reaction on the body or the tailfeathers, the whole thing can look like a duck waddling, especially from the rear. The empennage long axis flexes and nutates and the whole aircraft wiggles quite a bit on it's gear and tyres.

Post a comment

We welcome your comments. However all comments are moderated and may not post immediately. Offensive or off-topic comments will not be posted. We will not treat any comments you submit as confidential information. Please do not submit comments that contain any confidential information belonging to anyone else.

By submitting a comment to Randy's Journal, you agree to our site terms and privacy policy, and to having your name displayed with your comment. All or part of your comment may be posted or cited in the blog. Your name and personal information will not be used for any other purpose, and we will not publish your e-mail address.


More posts