Mod squad

HONG KONG - I’m just wrapping up a visit here at Asian Aerospace 2009. But I also wanted to get you caught up on what’s happening in Everett.


ZA004 moving out of the 40-26 building at the Everett factory last night.

We’re moving two 787 Dreamliners into modification locations this week. What this means is we’re getting them ready for the “side-of-body” modification work.

Last night, the 787 team towed ZA004, the fourth flight-test airplane, over to Boeing’s temporary facility at Aviation Technical Services (ATS). This is an area just south of Paine Field.

We leased the hangar space from ATS so we could do the modifications more efficiently.


Airplane #4 backing into position at the ATS facility to prepare for modifications.

ZA002, the second flight-test airplane, moves later this week to a temporary structure on the Everett Flight Line, after it completes defueling and getting an aqueous wash.

Those steps are part of the preparation process, which also includes removing access doors so employees can get into the fuel tanks. The airplanes are jacked up, in order to maintain the critical alignment of the wings, and some systems, seals and fasteners are removed. The first two airplanes had fuel in the tanks so, of course, that had to be drained and the tanks thoroughly washed so the people can safely work inside.

By the way, the airplane that will fly first, ZA001, has completed its preps and is in a paint hangar right now, where it will get its “mod.”

Comments (11)

Jerry1t (New York N.Y.):

Thanks for 787 update. Sounds like the actual "fix" will commence shortly.

I did not understand your last sentence. What is meant about the ZA001 by "where it will get its mod"...did you mean modification? The actual "fix" or some other preparatory work.


Hi Jerry,

Yes, "mod" is short for modification! This refers to the actual "fix," as you put it.

As I mentioned, the "prep" work is completed on ZA001.

-- Randy

Hernán Saldaña (Lima, Peru):

How will you call the airplanes when they have been "modded"? Fixed? Or something fancier?

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

Without the mod-ifications the 787 can't rock the sky!

Dennis (Erlangen, Germany):

Thanks for the detailed update - good to see 787 program progressing towards its maiden flight.


in brief addition to my comment just submitted - is ZA004 the first 787 from the test fleet Boeing will later refit and market with a customer?

Boeing Investor (New York):

Following a successful modification, doesn't the wing of a 787 have to undergo the stress test that originally indicated the problem.

Which plane will be used for that test and what is the sequence schedule. Obviously, ZA001 will not be used yet it is the first plane to undergo the modification.

Emil M. Hitt (St. Louis, Missouri):

I hope as we get the 787 into flight status that a check out flight would be to come to St. Louis and park this new bird on our ramp. What a thrill it would be for the St. Louis team to see our new future painted up in Livery colors and let us see it up close and personal.

Keep up the good work and information flowing on the process as well as pictures.

jerry1t (New York, N.Y.):

There was no mention of plane ZY997 which will be used on the static test airframe.

When will the modification be done to this plane?

Ankih Fre (Seattle, WA):

When will the 'mod' start? Is ZA004 painted already? I hope you get this plane in the air.

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

jerry1t (New York, N.Y.):

I believe that ZY997 is the first to take the mod - ahead of ZA001. The modification has to be tested there before ZA001 leaves the ground

Tom C. (North Bend, WA):

Can the Red Rudder be saved in honor of the thousands of Northwest Airways (Airlines) executives and employees who have worked so closely with Boeing for so many years?

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