Browsing Tag: First Flight

Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA006 inside the Boeing Factory in June 2010. Photo by Jon Ostrower.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA006 (N787ZA) inside the Boeing Factory in June 2010. Photo by Jon Ostrower.

The rumor-mill is a buzz for when the 6th Boeing 787 Dreamliner (ZA006) will take flight. I am hearing early October and the closer we get the more reliable the rumors will be. It has continually been pushed back, but sounds like we are finally getting close.  I was originally hearing October 2nd or 3rd. Either one would be great, since that is a Saturday and hopefully those of you who are local folks can make a trip to Paine Field and watch a first flight of a Boeing 787. Even if you have seen one take off, it doesn’t hurt seeing another!

So what makes ZA006 stand out from the other 787 test aircraft?

* ZA006 is the second Dreamliner to use GEnx-1B engines (ZA005 was the first).
* It will be used to test: electromagnetic effects,  high intensity radio frequency and ETOPS (let’s aircraft fly over long stretches, like an ocean, without an emergency airport).
* ZA006 is the last dedicated test aircraft. Another 787  production model will be used, since a small portion of the testing has to be on an airplane in production configuration as opposed to those that have unique flight test equipment installed.

I will let you know more information on the first flight date as we get closer. Boeing is always quiet about when a plane will fly, but they are typically scheduled for 10am. Either way, let’s hope for some good weather!

Jon Ostrower (aka FlightBlogger) is also hearing “with-in the next week,” from George Maffeo, vice president of 787 supplier management. Check Ostrower’s blog for additional Boeing 787 Dreamliner updates.

Photo taken by Jon Ostrower, FlightBlogger

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:

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: 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.

Boeing 787 ZA005 completed low-speed taxi test at Paine Field (KPAE) earlier today.

Boeing 787 ZA005 completed low-speed taxi test at Paine Field (KPAE) earlier today. Still from Future of Flight Video

Today, the fifth Boeing 787 Dreamliner (ZA005) had a successful taxi test and Sandy with the Future of Flight got some great video and the Everett Herald posted a nice photo. Tomorrow ZA005 is still on schedule to take off for the first time (wait, why does ZA005 matter, you ask?). Of course this means all the data from the taxi tests come back good and the weather will be cooperating.

I asked Boeing if they have any comments on the taxi tests and the first flight, but I was told they are not providing any details until ZA005 lands. I always like having something to look forward to!

This week I have been playing with streaming video via my iPhone and it has gone pretty well. I am going to provide a live stream of ZA005 activities and its take off.

Early tomorrow, I will be heading over to the Future of Flight with other media types to get ready for the first flight. I will post a blog where you can watch the streaming video and will do updates via Twitter. Make sure to be following #ZA005 (don’t worry if that makes no sense to you – want to learn?).

Even with the live feed, I will be taking HD video and photos. I plan to have them up by the afternoon, along with links to other video and photos taken.

Feeling the most prepared for this flight, I find it odd that my first “First Flight” experience with the Boeing 787 ZA001 and I have been learning a bit more each time. By the time the 17th Boeing 787 takes off (and not many people care) I will be a pro.