Meet the New ANA’s R2-D2 Dreamliner

An airplane painted to look like R2-D2 could be part of the promotion for the soon to be released Star Wars 7 – The Force Awakens.


ANA – All Nippon Airways B787 Dreamliner R2-D2 Project

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has unveiled plans for a Boeing 787 Dreamliner decorated to look like R2-D2, the small round robot of the saga.
The “Star Wars” themed plane is due to start flying international routes this fall, the airline announced.

The “Star Wars Project” includes a special ANA website that plays the iconic theme song and features videos and photos of the plane.
The promotional tie-in comes ahead of the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

This isn’t the first time a movie has teamed with an airline for a flying billboard. Air New Zealand painted several Boeing 777s and 747s for “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies.

With 34 Dreamliners and 49 on order, ANA operates the world’s largest 787 fleet and was the launch customer in 2011.

Late last month, Boeing announced ANA had finalized an order for three 787-10 Dreamliners, valued at approximately $900 million.
The order makes ANA the first airline in Asia to operate the entire family of 787 Dreamliners.


Nose view of the R2-D2 – ANA’s B787 Project

Capt. Ivan

Boeing 787 – Broken Dreams?

Exclusive: Safety concerns dog Boeing 787
Al Jazeera Investigative Unit finds some workers with quality concerns, alleging drug use and fearing to fly the plane.

Al Jazeera has found that some Boeing workers have serious concerns about the safety of the 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft.

In a new documentary, Broken Dreams: The Boeing 787, current and retired Boeing employees discuss their worries about quality control with Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit.

Boeing’s 787 “Dreamliner”, which made its first commercial flight in late 2011, has been dogged with problems since plans for its launch were announced in 2003.
Two battery failures in January 2013 sparked safety fears and led to fleets being temporarily grounded worldwide for over three months.

Boeing says it does not compromise on product safety or quality.

A worker at one of two Boeing 787 assembly lines in Charleston, in the US state of South Carolina, contacted Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit to share his worries about the “Dreamliner”.
The worker, speaking on condition of anonymity, says “with all the problems reported on the 787, there’s 90 percent that’s getting swept away”.

He describes the troubles with the plane as “an iceberg”. He claims only 10 percent of problems are visible to the flying public, with the rest “hushed up”.
“I’ve seen a lot of things that should not go on at an airplane plant,” the worker says. “It’s been eating me alive to know what I know, and have no avenue, no venue to say anything.”

In a statement to Al Jazeera, Boeing says that “787 airplanes delivered from both South Carolina and Washington final assembly and delivery operations meet the highest safety and quality standards that are verified through robust test, verification and inspection processes”.

Ten of 15 ‘wouldn’t fly’

Using a concealed camera, the worker films inside the Boeing South Carolina plant, recording his discussions with colleagues.

He randomly asks 15 of his co-workers who assemble the 787 “Dreamliner” if they would fly on the plane. Ten say they would not.

“I wouldn’t fly on one of these planes,” one worker tells him, “because I see the quality of the fu**ing sh*t going down around here”.
Another worker replies, “it’s sketchy”. Asked what he means, the worker adds, “yeah I probably would, but I kind of have a death wish too”.

A third says of the 787s assembled at South Carolina, “we’re not building them to fly. We’re building them to sell. You know what I’m saying?”

Larry Loftis, Boeing Vice President and General Manager of the 787 “Dreamliner” Program, told Al Jazeera, “The number one focus that we have at Boeing is ensuring the continued safe airworthiness of an airplane, the integrity of the airplane and the quality of the airplane going out”.

The Boeing worker also says that he is concerned that some of his colleagues are on drugs, saying he has seen “people talking about doing drugs, looking for drugs”, specifically marijuana, cocaine and prescription painkillers.
In the footage, he records one man saying: “It’s all coke and painkillers” at the plant, adding, “you can get weed here, you can get some really good weed here”.

Another complains that Boeing “don’t drug test nobody”, adding that “there’s people that go out there on lunch and smoke one up”.

In 2011, US federal agents raided a separate Boeing plant in Philadelphia as part of a drugs investigation. They arrested dozens of workers at the facility, which builds aircraft including the H-47 Chinook helicopter and the V-22 Osprey.

In a statement to Al Jazeera, Boeing says “drug testing of employees is done in accordance with Boeing policy and procedures across all facilities in accordance with applicable laws. Boeing thoroughly investigates any employee reports of policy deviation, and appropriate corrective action is taken if needed.”

A memo obtained by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit also shows that in 2010, Boeing altered its quality standards at a time when the 787 was already two years delayed.

The source of the memo, a veteran Boeing engineer, says it reveals that the company “changed basic engineering principles to meet schedule”.

On seeing the document, another long-time Boeing engineer says “they’re short-changing the engineering process to meet a schedule… I find that reprehensible”.

Cynthia Cole, former president of Boeing’s engineers union SPEEA, adds that she would no longer fly on a Boeing 787. “I’ve been kind of avoiding flying on a 787 and seeing this, I would definitely avoid flying on a 787.”
Boeing says its memo is fully consistent with the company’s robust quality assurance system. “While we will not discuss in detail our proprietary production processes, we note that the document itself concludes by saying that the process changes ‘do not signify authorisation to ship or accept parts which do not meet engineering and quality requirements.’ ”

The company also says that it uses one, FAA-approved quality system for the 787 in both of its assembly plants.

Source:  Al Jazeera

Boeing Rolls Out First Dreamliner at Increased Production Rate

Boeing has rolled out the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner built at the rate of 10 airplanes per month. The airplane, a 787-8 and the 155th Dreamliner built, will be delivered to International Lease Finance Corp. for operation by Aeromexico.

The new 10 per month rate is the highest ever for a twin-aisle airplane. The 787 program has now increased its production rate three times in just over a year, including to five airplanes per month in November 2012 and seven per month in May 2013.

“This rate increase reflects the continued strong demand for the 787,” said Larry Loftis, vice president and general manager, 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “A disciplined approach that combined employee teamwork with technology was key to achieving the higher rate.”

Boeing assembles and delivers 787s in two locations: Everett, Wash., and North Charleston, S.C.

To date, 115 787s have been delivered to 16 customers. The program has 1,030 total orders from 60 customers worldwide.

This airplane will be the fourth 787 operated by Aeromexico and will be used on the airline’s Mexico City – London Heathrow route.

Source:  Debbie Heathers – Boeing Media Room.


And this time….The Dreamliner, almost landed at the wrong airport.

The incident occurred last Jan 14th, with an Air India Boeing 787-800 performing flight AI-301 from Sydney to Melbourne – Australia.  The Dreamliner was descending towards Melbourne when the crew requested a VOR approach to runway 34 but was cleared for a visual approach to runway 34. The aircraft aligned with Melbourne’s Essendon Airport’s runway 35 (1,500 meters/4930 feet length) and descended towards that runway when the air traffic controller interevened instructing the crew to turn left and subsequently telling the crew their runway was in their 2 o’clock position, they were still cleared for the visual approach runway 34. The aircraft turned towards the correct runway, climbed slightly from about 1300 to 1500 feet and landed safely on Melbourne’s runway 34 (length 3660 meters / 12.000 feet).

Following the Air India, air traffic control repeatedly asked approaches whether they were able to see the aerodrome beacon.

The ATSB did not open an investigation stating the system worked as it was supposed to do.


Source:  The Aviation Heraldymml_lizzi7_u_v_star

Boeing Brings the 787-9 to Kiwi Soil.

Boeing picked the ideal location for the 787-9 Dreamliner to make its international debut in the flight-test program. The newest member of the Dreamliner family flew nonstop from Seattle to Auckland – the longest 787-9 flight to date — to pay a visit to launch customer Air New Zealand.

“Boeing is proud to bring the 787-9 to Auckland to show Air New Zealand what the team has achieved,” said Mark Jenks, vice president, 787 Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With more than 150 flights and since testing began in September, the test fleet continues to perform very well, and we look forward to delivering the first 787-9 in mid-2014 as promised.”

With the 787 set to become a staple of Air New Zealand’s long-haul fleet, this visit was an opportunity for the airline’s technical and flight crews to get hands-on time with the 787-9. Air New Zealand employees explored the airplane side by side with their Boeing partners — a unique opportunity not just to see their airplane, but to view a 787-9 configured for testing, unlike anything they would see in service.

“Having one of Air New Zealand’s 787-9s touch down on Kiwi soil for the first time is hugely exciting,” said Christopher Luxon, chief executive officer, Air New Zealand. “It’s a real reminder that we will soon welcome the first of these more modern, fuel-efficient aircraft into our fleet.”

The airplane, ZB002, is the second of three 787-9s dedicated to the test program, which began last September. As the only 787-9 test airplane to be fitted with elements of the passenger interior, in addition to test racks and instrumentation, Boeing uses ZB002 to test the environmental control system and other aspects of airplane performance. After the test program is complete, the airplane will be reconfigured for delivery to Air New Zealand.

The 787-9 will complement and extend the 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 6 meters (20 feet) over the 787-8, the 787-9 will fly up to 40 more passengers an additional 555 kilometers (300 nmi) with the same exceptional environmental performance — 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes. The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering passengers features such as large windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.

Boeing is on track to deliver the first 787-9 to Air New Zealand in mid-2014. Twenty-six customers from around the world have ordered 402 787-9s, representing 39 percent of all 787 orders.

By Adam Tischler, Tim Bader, and Julie O’Donnell

Boeing Media Room

Again, the Dreamliner

Two Japan Airline’s Boeing 787’s returned to their departure airports due to technical issues

Both incidents occurred on October 9, the first event happened when the flight crew discovered a failure on the electrical system right after takeoff, the problem affected power to the galleys and lavatories, the aircraft had to return to Moscow’s Domodedovo Int’l.

The other Dreamliner returned to San Diego when the on board computer detected a failure on the right engine anti-ice system. The other jet, registration JA825J, turned back to San Diego when an alert indicating a failure.

Although both aircraft returned to service after the necessary maintenance actions, both flight were considerably delayed, according to a JAL spokesperson.

JAL is one of the largest 787 operators in the world with 11 787-8s in its fleet. The Japanese carrier also has an additional 13 -8s and 20 of the larger -9 variants on order.

The carrier made the news this week when it signed a landmark deal with Airbus for 31 A350s, its first ever Airbus order. Analysts say reliability issues related to the 787 played a part in turning the loyal Boeing customer towards Airbus.

Capt. Ivan


Today: Sept. 17 First Flight for Dreamliner 787-9

Dreamliner 787-9

Two years after delivering the first Dreamliner, Boeing Commercial Airplanes introduces the second member of the Dreamliner Team. The 787-9 is 20 feet (6 meters) longer than the 787-8 model currently in production, and will seat up to 40 more passengers, for a total of 290, making it more economical to operate.

In June, Boeing launched the 787-10, which will add another 18 feet to the 787-9’s length, but will have a shorter range than either of the earlier jets.

Boeing completed yesterday a series of initial taxi tests that will precede the 787-9 first flight.

The 787-9 certification is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2014. The first delivery is due in mid-2014.

The 787-9 carries a list price of $243.6 million, compared with $206.8 million for the 787-8. Boeing hasn’t disclosed a price for the 787-10.


Flight Tracker

Follow the maiden voyage of the 787-9 Dreamliner in real-time with the Google Earth and FlightAware partnered application below. To view all currently flying 787-8 Dreamliners visit the 787 Dreamliner Flight Tracker.

Fact Sheet:

Brief Description:  The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is a bigger version of the 787-8. Both are super-efficient airplanes with new passenger-pleasing features that bring the economics of large jet transports to the middle of the market, using 20 percent less fuel than any other airplanes of their size.

250 to 290 passengers

8,000 to 8,500 nautical miles (14,800 to 15,750 kilometers)

Twin aisle

Cross Section:
226 inches (574 centimeters)

Wing Span:
197 feet (60 meters)

206 feet (63 meters)

56 feet (17 meters)

Cruise Speed:
Mach 0.85

Maximum Takeoff Weight:
553,000 lbs (250,836 kg)

Total Cargo Volume:
5,400 feet3 (153 m3)

Program Milestones:
Final assembly: May 2013
First flight: 17/09/2013
First delivery: Mid-2014

Capt. Ivan

Photo Credits:  The Boeing Co.


Boeing, what’s going on with you?

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 catches fire at Heathrow

Just when it looked like Boeing’s problems with its flagship had ended, a new event revived safety concerns when an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 caught fire while parked at London Heathrow Airport.

The incident occurred last Friday at around 4:30 PM, the jet had been parked in a remote bay for more than eight hours. The aircraft was empty and none was injured, an airline spokesman said. Firefighters soon extinguished the fire. Television images showed nearly a dozen fire trucks on the scene and firefighters standing around the Ethiopian Airlines plane, the 787 at Heathrow showed damage to the top of the jet’s body near the passenger doors at the rear, the 787’s twin lithium-ion batteries are installed below the floor in electrical bays near the nose and between the wings of the aircraft underneath the cabin, far from the damaged area visible in the footage.  British police said the fire is being treated as unexplained.

The U.K. Air Accident Investigation Bureau sent a team to investigate, also the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending an expert to the scene, and the Federal Aviation Administration said it would also send an official “in support of the NTSB.”

Boeing shares fell as much as 7%, analysts said the incident didn’t appear related to the battery troubles that grounded 787s worldwide earlier this year.

Richard L. Aboulafia, director of aviation consulting for Teal Group Corp., said Friday’s fire didn’t appear to take place near the battery. Although that could be welcome news for Boeing, he said the bouncing share price showed how dependent the company is on the 787

“You only get to launch one new line a decade,” Aboulafia said. “There’s an awful lot riding on this.”

Wayne Plucker, the lead aerospace industry analyst for Frost & Sullivan, said the plane might not have been receiving air conditioning at the time. – “Any time you have an airplane parked and powered and under maintenance, the electronics take a real cooling challenge,” he said. “They could have been running all the electronics without all of the air conditioners on.”

This incident will place more pressure on Boeing.

Capt. Ivan

Photo Credits: Associated Press


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