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Boeing Initiates 787 Dreamliner Test Flights

Boeing fifth 787 test aircraft, ZA005, lifts off from Boeing Field. Image from Boeing.

Boeing fifth 787 test aircraft, ZA005, lifts off from Boeing Field. Image from Boeing.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been grounded around the world since January 16th and many have put in countless hours to try and get the aircraft airborn once again.

Hope was raised when the FAA gave Boeing authorization to fly a 787 Dreamliner from Fortworth, TX back to Paine Field on Feburary 7th. That flight was only a one-time authorization. Today, the FAA had given Boeing authorization to take their fifth test aircraft, ZA005, on a flight over the state of Washington (and looks like a sliver into Oregon).

The aircarft lifted off from Boeing Field (BFI) at 12:32pm local time. ZA005 had no passengers and only 13 Boeing flight pilots and test personnel. After the 2 hour and 19 minute flight, ZA005 landed safetly back at BFI and the crew reported that the, “flight was uneventful.”

Map from FlightAware.com showing ZA005's flight path over Washington State.

Map from FlightAware.com showing ZA005’s flight path over Washington State.

Over the durration of the flight, the crew were closely watching the main and APU batteries, which was in the center of the Dreamliner’s current woes. Boeing stated that the results are a part of an overarching investigation and at this time are not able to share any additional issues.

PHOTO: ZA005 landing back at Boeing Field

Boeing hopes to resume test flights next week to continue finding the issues plaguing their new 787.

ZA005 lifts off from BFI for a test flight. No passengers onboard. Image from Boeing.

ZA005 lifts off from BFI for a test flight. No passengers onboard. Image from Boeing.

On Thursday, All Nippon Airways (ANA) stated that the 787 grounding has affected more than 100,000 of their passengers and resulted in over 1200 cancelled flights.

San Jose Airport (SJC), which saw ANA Boeing 787 service for only a short period, before the fleet was grouned, announced via Twitter that the airline has cancelled service until at least March 30th.

According to the New York Times, Japan Airlines expects the grounding to cost them $7.5million through March and that they plan to seek compinsation from Boeing. Many other airlines have also made similar claims of expecting compisation from Boeing.

Sure, annoyed passengers, lost revenue and additional delays are one thing, but the airline that might be hit the hardest is LOT Polish Airlines where the new 787 Dreamliner means so much for their future. A great article from the Wall Street Journal talks about how the 787 continued issues could spell disaster for LOT.

This story written by…David Parker Brown, Editor & Founder.

David started AirlineReporter.com in the summer of 2008, but has had a passion for aviation since he was a kid. Born and raised in the Seattle area (where he is currently based) has surely had an influence and he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world.

@AirlineReporter | Flickr | YouTube

Livery Round Up: Air India Boeing Dreamliner 787 is Newest Livery – Let’s Look at All Seven

Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner (VT-ANA) now out of the paint hangar at Paine Field.

Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner (VT-ANA) now out of the paint hangar at Paine Field. Photo from MoonM.

The newest livery on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner belongs to Air India and their first Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Found this fine photo (and there are a few others of this 787) on Jon Ostrower’s Flight Blogger website. Heck, this is a good time to take a look at all the current liveries seen on Boeing 787’s to date:

Royal Air Maroc Boeing 787 Dreamliner being stored next to the Future of Flight.

Royal Air Maroc Boeing 787 Dreamliner being stored next to the Future of Flight.

There are currently two JAL Boeing 787's also parked next to the Future of Flight.

There are currently two JAL Boeing 787's also parked next to the Future of Flight.

This Boeing 787 has the ANA tail, but the rest is all white. People are guessing ANA might have a special livery planned.

This Boeing 787 has the ANA tail, but the rest is all white. People are guessing ANA might have a special livery planned.

This is ZA002 which has been in the news recently. It was the first in ANA livery, but there are quite a few now lined up at Paine Field.

This is ZA002 which has been in the news recently. It was the first in ANA livery, but there are quite a few now lined up at Paine Field.

ZA005 was the first to have GE engines, but the third to sport Boeing's livery-lite. Photo from Liz Matzelle

ZA005 was the first to have GE engines, but the third to sport Boeing's livery-lite. Photo from Liz Matzelle

Ah, good 'ol ZA001 in full Boeing livery -- probably my favorite.

Ah, good 'ol ZA001 in full Boeing livery -- probably my favorite.

More should be on their way soon. If you cannot wait until then, check out Boeing’s website where you can preview what different liveries will look like on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. So looking at the liveries in the real and those on Boeing’s website, which one is our favorite? Which one is your least favorite? Mine? Well I have to say that Boeing’s full liver is my favorite and man, it is not easy to pick a least favorite, hmm…

Ten Interesting Facts about the GEnx Engines Used on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner

GE's Boeing 747-100 testbed with GEnx engine (N747GE)

GE's Boeing 747-100 testbed with GEnx engine (N747GE)

A while back to celebrate the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s test flights, I posted Ten Interesting Facts about the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 Engines. Now that Boeing 787 ZA005 with GEnx engines are flying as well, I find it only fair to give 10 interesting facts about them:

#1 GE estimates the GEnx engines projected to be sold in the next 20 years will emit an about 77 million fewer tons of greenhouse gases than older comparable engines.

#2 The GEnx engine will remain on wing 30 percent longer and is 30% quieter than comparable engines in service today.

#3 The GEnx-1B for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has a fan diameter of 111 inches and the GEnx-2B version for the Boeing 747-8 has a fan diameter of 105 inches.

#4 The GEnx engine has 18 fan blades, which is about half as many as GE’s CF6 engine.

#5 If an airline were to replace 20 of 200-to 300-passenger aircraft with next-generation jets powered by GEnx engines, it would save nearly $37 million in fuel costs annually, based on jet fuel costs of $2.50 per gallon.

#6 The GEnx engine has one of the highest pressure ratios – 23:1 that sets the high pressure compressor apart from other engines.

#7 By using GEnx engines, that same fleet could save nearly 500 million gallons of jet fuel each year. Enough to fly more than 12 million people from New York City to London on Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets.

#8 The GEnx engine is the only choice on the Boeing 747-8 and is one of two choices on the Boeing 787.

#9 The engine has composite fan blades with titanium leading edges.

#10 The GEnx has a fan bypass ratio of 19:2, which also helps reduce noise.

Other cool stuff:
* Interactive page on the GEnx Engines
* Videos on the engine
* Video & pictures of Boeing 787 ZA005 with GEnx engines, first flight

Image: Rick Schlamp

Video and Pictures of Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA005 First Flight

What a day!

I arrived at the Future of Flight at about 9am to get ready for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA005 to take flight. The weather wasn’t doing so great with mist, fog, and a low ceiling. There was no official time, but I was guessing 10am based on previous first flights. I thought the plan would be for ZA005 to complete high-speed taxi tests and then take off. However, time kept going and ZA005 just sat there. I heard a few different rumors of the reason, from a low ceiling to the chase plane not being ready. At least we got to watch a brand new Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 take off and land.

I had worked hard (took me three different ways) to get my iPhone hooked up to my tri-pod, so I could do a live feed while recording in HD, but I ended up having to tear it apart anyhow.

At 12:20pm I had to leave for an appointment I couldn’t miss. Since I promised a live feed, I left my iPhone with Sandy at the Future of Flight to do the live feed for me (THANK YOU SO MUCH SANDY)! However at about 2pm I got done with my appointment and made my way to a computer and saw the ZA005 had not taken off. BOO YA!

I hurried back and as I pull in I could see people along the fence still watching, so I knew I hadn’t missed anything. I grabbed my video camera and ran. Just as I got to the top of the hill and video camera turned on, ZA005 started rolling. For just running up a hill and not having a tri-pod ready, I don’t think the video turned out half bad.

I am never going to get sick of watching the 787 Dreamliner take off. They are so graceful, queit and oh man watching those wings bend is amazing. I am going to write up a blog with a little more information on these new GEnx engines being tested out today.

Over all I think the live feed function went well. By the time ZA005 took off there were 250 people watching the feed. I am excited to use that feature in future events.

Below is some media and I will be updating this as more becomes available:
* 48 of my photos of today’s event on Flickr
* Liz Matzelle’s awesome video from the other side of the runway
* Live video via my iPhone of the take of ZA005 from the Future of Flight Strato Deck
* Video from a helicopter from KING5 News — check out the gear going up and back down!
* Photos of ZA005 from the Seattle PI
* Photos from the Everett Herald
* Other live video commentary from the morning’s events

Updated last:

WATCH LIVE VIDEO of Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA005 Taking Off Today

Up early this morning to get all prepared (ie get like 10 gadgets charged) for Boeing’s fifth 787 Dreamliner (but first with GEnx engines) to take flight. In about an hour, I will be heading over to the Future of Flight to get set up. ZA005 is scheduled to take off at 10am PST, but it could be delayed due to weather, low cielings, technical issues or a number of other things. When she does fly, I will be providing a  live streaming video from my iPhone. If you want towatch, follow these steps:

1) Make sure to have this webpage open: http://qik.com/airlinereporter/ Just leave it open through the morning until the first flight happens.

2) When there is no live video it will just show my most recent videos (it should look like this). It looks like it might be the wrong page but don’t worry, it is correct…

3) When I go live, a video will automatically start (so make sure you have sound where you want it, otherwise it will be a shock).

4) After I go live, it will go back to the previous view and the video will be viewable from that page.

I will probably do a check-in or two throughout the morning. Be sure to check my Twitter, @ImperfectSense, @PIBoeing, @FutureofFlight and #ZA005 for details. I will try to update this blog as often as I can until lift off.

UPDATE 11am: ZA005 had its strobes on and engines started, but at this point they are all off. Word is things are still going to happen. Flight Aware is still showing take off at 10:40am (that was 20min ago). The weather was misty and foggy earlier, but it is clearing up. I had to do a few tests, but I now have my iPhone attached to my camcorder. Check out my engineering skills (thanks Sandy for taking that).

UPDATE 11:10am: Now hearing 11:30 ZA005 should make movement, Noon for take off. Still no strobes.

UPDATE 11:35am: Lots of rumors going around with Boeing people, GE people and the media. But word now is Boeing will cut the high speed taxi test and fly at noon.

UPDATE 12:10pm: Waiting on just 100 more feet of ceiling (cloud level) until take off. No strobes.

UPDATE 12:20pm: Bad news. I have to leave. I have another engagement that I must make. The good news is Sandy at the Future of Flight (@FutureofFlight) has agreed to do the live feed, so you won’t miss out on anything!

UPDATE 4:45pm: Everything went great, even though delayed. You can find out more and see videos and photos here.