ZA001 status

The first 787 - ZA001 - returned from Moses Lake Sunday morning after landing there on Friday.

Our flight test pilots had touched down at the Grant County International Airport after they experienced an uncommanded loss of thrust in one of the engines. It was an opportunity to really see the best of Boeing kick into gear. Teaming with Rolls-Royce, we determined that the issue had to do with a pressure-sensing component within the engine.

We located replacement parts and then got the parts and the right crew to Moses Lake - beginning the maintenance activity on Saturday. Later that day, we ran the engines to confirm that the replacement had been done correctly and that there were no anomalous readings.

photo

ZA001 on a flight test earlier this year.

So, Sunday morning, we flew home. The airplane is going through the maintenance and pre-flight work that would have been done had it arrived back at Boeing Field on Friday evening. I can tell you that ZA001 will soon return to flutter testing.

It’s a great tribute to the team that they completed the analysis, maintenance activity and testing in such short order. This is what happens during flight testing - and our plan accommodates such events.

We deal with issues and we keep going.

Comments (16)

Mamang tsuper (Tung Chung, Hong Kong):

Having worked with RR engines so long, I believe the problem is the FADEC pressure sensing lines.

Maybe loose, frozen or had ingested water.

I bet it's elementary for Boeing. Cheers.

P.Sumantri (France):

It's better to get those snags corrected during flight tests than in airline revenue operations.
I don't see this event as an important one, but you did well to put a post in your blog such that there is not any useless speculation out there.

Jerry:

Thanks for the info. A lot of us are following the flight test closely simply because flight test is, was, and always will be fascinating. The quickness with which you posted this info is another example of "the best of Boeing". Keep up the good work.

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

Flight test is working. This speedy post is just confirmation of that for people tracking flight test progress. Search & Destroy. Very good

K. Walker (Chicago):

Thanks for putting in some weekend work!!!

Is it not a sign of the times that this event was addressed before the speculation was out of hand? I doubt this would have been of public significance if not for the ability for us enthusiasts/investors to closely monitor the flight test program.

That you must walk a thin, ever evolving line between whether to disclose information or not is appreciated.

Graham (Scottsdale, AZ, USA):

787flighttest.com is an excellent website giving up to date info on the flight test program. Reporting the technical issue, even though minor, so fast is commendable.

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

Glad that the situation ended well with the emergency landing at Moses Lake. Despite the unscheduled appearance at Grant County International, I am sure many where happy to the the 787 for the first time. I have no doubt that the engine problem will be taken care of right away and the plane to be right back on it's schedule.

Ali A. (Saudi Arabia):

Is this power problem similar to what happened to the BA 777 on final approach?
they both used RR engines.

Pratic Patel (Tracy, CA, USA):

I was wondering what happened to otherwise longer scheduled flight. Glad to see Boeing get it resolved and keeping general public informed. Good to see this for the most avaited aircraft in long time!

Rashid Ahmad (Geelong, Victoria, Australia):

One who looks daily on the website 787flighttest.com, can follow the testing progress in details. Being an ex-Boeing employee and having been involved in 787 Program, I follow it eagerly and have built up my own detailed xl-sheet using your daily data. It tells me daily incremental progress of each plane , flying hours, flights etc.

IT IS A GREAT TRANSPARENCY OF THE FLIGHT TEST PROGRESS and PERHAPS UNIQUE IN THE AEROSPACE INDUSTRY ! It leaves no room for any speculation.

It was a quick fix regarding engine thrust sensor. Great Team work - Boeing and Rolls-Royce.

Matt (Spokane, WA, USA):

Thank you for keeping us updated. Godspeed in getting ZA001 back to the flutter tests. Keep up the good work.

desmond chiang (singapore ):

great that the flight team & the back up group are doing a good job during this initial flight test.

teething problems are norm and best to know them now than later.

keep it flying team....thumbs up !

Giorgio (Milan, Italy):

Yes it's all fine but...
I'm feeling anxious to know about:
1. 787's actual performances let say top speed reached, altitude, fuel consumption and so on...
2. when ZA003...ZA006 will start their tests? how much time to that day?

Yes this site is good but.. :-)... break down the tests in more details and specify more milestones so we can better understand.
It's an intriguing story ...

Tom DePew (Lewisville, Texas, USA):

Great job on getting to the root of the problem quickly and getting back in the air! I'm not as up on the technical side of things as some of the other folks posting here, but it seems to be a bit worrisome that the part failed after a relatively short useful life. That said, testing is the point of flight testing, and I'm glad to see the team turn things around so quickly. I'll be even happier when I'm inside a 787 looking out over a bunch of billowy clouds. Best of luck with the continued test program.

Neutrino (Crowflies, WA, USA):

Interesting to see an engine failure like this early on in the flight test program.
What impact does this have on readiness for ETOPS? Will it count against engine reliability in the ETOPS evaluation? Or do airlines need to wait for a separate ETOPS evaluation program after 787 type certification?

tom edwards (minneapolis, mn):

I can't agree with those that use this incident as an example of how a test program identifies, and solves, problems. The RR engine has its own test program with thousands of hours logged already. This problem most likely showed up in that testing and apparently was not solved.

In any case, this type of a problem should have been identified with the engine mounted on a test bed; not with it mounted to ZA001.

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