Browsing Tag: ZA006

Over the past week I have been receiving many different press releases from Boeing – most of which I wanted to share, but haven’t had the time to give them the attention that they deserve. To make sure that they all get a little attention, I decided to do this round up to touch base on what’s going on with Boeing. There are a few more story lines that I hope to go into a bit more detail over the next few days, but for now…

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8. Photo by Boeing.

HI RES (click for bigger): Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8. Photo by Boeing.

On December 13th, Boeing announced that Southwest airlines placed an order for 150 of the 737 MAX and would become the launch customer the new version of the 737.

“Southwest is a special Boeing customer and has been a true partner in the evolution of the 737,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Jim Albaugh. “Throughout our 40-year relationship, our two companies have collaborated to launch the 737-300, 737-500 and the Next-Generation 737-700 ’“ affirming the 737 as the world’s preferred single-aisle airplane. As launch customer for the 737 MAX, Southwest, Boeing and the 737 continue that legacy.”

The firm order is Boeing’s largest in both dollar value and the number of aircraft ordered.

“Today’s environment demands that we become more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly, and as the launch Customer of the Boeing 737 MAX, we have accomplished both,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO. “We are teaming up with our friends from Boeing to lead the industry in a way that makes both our shareholders and our Customers proud to associate with Southwest Airlines. Today’s announcement will allow us to maintain our position as a low-cost provider in the years ahead.”

VIDEO: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max. Computer generated by Boeing. Thanks to Robert for pointing this out.

Air New Zealand's first Boeing 777-300ER at Paine Field. Photo by

Air New Zealand's first Boeing 777-300ER at Paine Field. Photo by

On December 12th, Boeing announced that its 777 received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly up to 330-minutes away from an alternative airport.

“Boeing twin-engine jets have flown more than 7 million ETOPS flights since 1985, and more than 120 Boeing operators fly more than 50,000 ETOPS flights each month,” said Larry Loftis, vice president and general manager 777 program. “This is the logical continuation of the Boeing philosophy of point-to-point service. Passengers want to minimize their overall travel time. This is one more step in that direction.”

To date, the 777 has flown more than 2 million ETOPS flights since June 1995 and 93% of 777s are flown on ETOPS routes.

“What this means is that the airplane is able to fly a straighter route between the city pairs and that’s good for the environment,” said Capt. David Morgan, chief pilot for Air New Zealand. “Less fuel is burned and less carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere. It’s also good for customers because flights are potentially shorter and passengers could arrive sooner at their destinations.”

Boeing’s third Dreamliner, ZA003, is taking a six month journey around the world. Its first stop was in Beijing, China with different stops with-in China from December 4th to 11th.

“This great day demonstrates our partnership with China in pursuing aviation excellence,” said Marc Allen, Boeing China president. “Chengfei, Hafei and Shenfei — as exclusive and single-source Boeing suppliers — have made a great contribution to the success of the 787 program, producing the rudder, wing-to-body fairing, and vertical fin leading edge. We want to thank them for their role in making today possible.”

On the 11th, ZA003 flew over to Africa and became the first time a 787 has landed in that continent. From the 11th to the 14th, the 787 hung out in Nairobi and allowed Ethiopian Airline employees the chance to see the new aircraft they should be taking delivery of soon. ZA003 will remain in Africa until the 16th of December before flying to the Middle East with a stop in Doha to visit Qatar Airways.

At this point, Boeing has not announced future destinations, but I would imagine that ZA003 will continue to head west.

Graphic showing the record breaking Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight. Image is from GE. Click for larger.

Graphic showing the record breaking Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight. Image is from GE. Click for larger.

While ZA003 is traveling the world, ZA006 went and set some new world records. The 787 Dreamliner recently established two new records for speed and distance for the aircraft’s weight class.

From Boeing’s press release, “The sixth 787, ZA006, powered by General Electric GEnx engines, departed from Boeing Field in Seattle at 11:02 a.m. on Dec. 6 and set the distance record for its class (440,000-550,000 lbs.) with a 10,710 nmi (19,835 km) flight to Dhaka, Bangladesh, with credit for 10,337 nmi (19,144 km). This record had previously been held by the Airbus A330 based on a 9,127 nmi (16,903 km) flight in 2002.”

“Following an approximately two-hour stop for refueling in Dhaka, the airplane returned to Seattle on a 9,734 nmi (18,027 km) flight. The airplane landed at 5:29 a.m. on Dec. 8, setting a new record for speed around the world (eastbound) with a total trip time of 42 hours and 27 minutes. There was no previous around-the-world speed record for this weight class.”

Go Dreamliner go!

* FedEx announced order for additional 767 and 777 Freighters
*  Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental Receives FAA Certification
* Ethihad Airways Orders 10 787-9 Dreamliners
* Boeing to Build New Everett Delivery Center at Paine Field

Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA006 takes off earlier today from Paine Field. Photo by simpilot459 via Flickr

Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA006 takes off earlier today from Paine Field. Photo by simpilot459 via Flickr

The sixth Boeing 787 Dreamliner (ZA006) successfully took off from Paine Field (KPAE) at 11:43am. It was scheduled to fly for a about three hours, but cut its flight short after about an hour, landing at Boeing Field (KBFI).

Boeing tells Aubrey Cohen with the Seattle PI that the flight was cut short due to a “maintenance issue,” but they are still counting it as a success. “The air crew experienced a maintenance issue during flight and as a precautionary note decided to land at Boeing Field,” Boeing 787 spokeswoman Yvonne Leach said. “A flight of this length is still considered a success first flight and we are proud to have the sixth and final flight test airplane enter the program today.”

Unfortunately, I was not able to make it for the take off or landing, but Boeing stated they will be posting video of the take off in the near future. I will be updating this blog with more information as it is received.

Check it out:
* Video from Liz Matzelle (@ImperfectSense) of ZA006 completing simulated landing test on Saturday at KPAE
* Photos and video from KPAE blog
* Flight path of ZA006 flight today via Flight Aware
* Simpilot459 also got two photos of ZA006 on taxi: ONE & TWO
* Nice nighttime photo of ZA006’s nose at Boeing’s fuel dock via @Sabian404

Image: Simpliot459
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