Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Boeing 787 first flight a key milestone, not end of road
Seattle P I ^ | December 14, 2009 7:00 p.m. | Aubrey Cohen

Posted on 12/15/2009 6:49:58 AM PST by skeptoid

Boeing released the first artist's conception of what it then called the 7E7 on Jan. 29, 2003. The company's board green-lighted the project that December and Japan's All Nippon Airways placed the jet's launch order on April 26, 2004, with first deliveries expected in 2008.

Boeing now has orders for 840 787 Dreamliners -- a record for a new aircraft. And Tuesday's scheduled first flight is key to showing the composite jet is on track for delivery to All Nippon Airways in the fourth quarter of 2010 and other customers soon after that.

That delivery date, however, depends on an extremely ambitious schedule of flight testing and certification.

(Excerpt) Read more at blog.seattlepi.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: 787; aerospace; airbus; boeing
Good blog article - SNIP . . The real question will be whether the initial production aircraft meet Boeing's promised performance,

SNIP . . if the 787 disappoints in any way, the A350's going to be in a very good position."

First flight today at 10 am PST!

1 posted on 12/15/2009 6:49:59 AM PST by skeptoid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: B-Chan
Ten years from green-light to first flight.

For an airliner.

I’m glad we’re not fighting World War II right now.

Using the best CAD/CAM system on the planet and seven decades of experience under their belt......

3 posted on 12/15/2009 7:07:18 AM PST by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: B-Chan

Yeah, but this is the most innovative airliner in terms of materials, technology and manufacturing; 50% (nonmetalic) composite by weight, no bleed air, electric brakes, prefabbed sections flown to final assembly, etc, AND 840 orders BEFORE it ever flies.


4 posted on 12/15/2009 7:11:02 AM PST by skeptoid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: skeptoid
Yeah, but this is the most innovative airliner in terms of materials, technology and manufacturing; 50% (nonmetalic) composite by weight...

There's nothing new about the use of composite components in aircraft, just on Boeing aircraft. Composites have been used on airplanes since the WWII era. Airplanes made entirely of composite materials have been flying since the late 1950's.

6 posted on 12/15/2009 7:16:17 AM PST by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Admin Moderator

Thanks, anyway.


7 posted on 12/15/2009 7:16:30 AM PST by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: skeptoid

I’m sure our enemy in the next war will take all that into account.


8 posted on 12/15/2009 7:17:12 AM PST by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: B-Chan
I’m sure our enemy in the next war will take all that into account.

I believe the planes needed are already in the air and have been since 1952.

9 posted on 12/15/2009 7:30:40 AM PST by AxelPaulsenJr (Please God Save The United States From Barack Hussein Al-Obama. Amen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Thermalseeker
But never before this size and complete fuselage barrels with a lot of stuff installed, and never before the complete wing structure.

Unprecidented

10 posted on 12/15/2009 7:36:11 AM PST by skeptoid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: B-Chan

How are delays in the 787 program military readiness?


11 posted on 12/15/2009 7:39:10 AM PST by skeptoid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: skeptoid

unprecedented, that is


12 posted on 12/15/2009 7:40:13 AM PST by skeptoid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: skeptoid
Boeing's First Flight site, including streaming video (if the flight happens today.)

http://787firstflight.newairplane.com/ffindex.html

13 posted on 12/15/2009 7:40:42 AM PST by Yo-Yo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Thermalseeker

We’ve had small planes flying composites, especially many of Burt Rutan’s designs. However, I think this is the first time anybody tried building a full airliner with mostly composite structural components, it is definitely the first airliner with a completely composite fuselage.

It’s easy to make a little prop two-seater out of composites, but quite a bit harder for a large airliner.


14 posted on 12/15/2009 7:45:45 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: antiRepublicrat
It’s easy to make a little prop two-seater out of composites, but quite a bit harder for a large airliner.

Not really, it just hasn't been tried with airliners. Ever seen a B-2? That's a big old carbon fiber airframe and it's been flying for more than 20 years. I work with composites every day and they scale up very nicely, especially carbon. Certainly more involved just by the nature of the size, but there isn't anything magical about scaling up to this size with composites. What you are reading is all fluff put out by Boeing to sell stock. Take a look at Aviation Week sometime and you'll see what I mean. It surprises me that it took them this long to seriously consider the use of composites.....

15 posted on 12/15/2009 7:59:10 AM PST by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: skeptoid
and never before the complete wing structure.

Only with airliners. The B-2 is entirely made of carbon and it's been flying for 20+ years.....

Unprecidented

Hey! That's Obamalamadingdong's word. Did you axe for permission to use it?

16 posted on 12/15/2009 8:09:22 AM PST by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Thermalseeker
The B-2 is entirely made of carbon

No it isn't. If you don't understand the differences don't post as if you know anything about aerospace design.
17 posted on 12/15/2009 8:24:56 AM PST by TalonDJ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: TalonDJ
No it isn't. If you don't understand the differences don't post as if you know anything about aerospace design.

Okay, not entirely. There is some steel, various aluminum alloys, titanium and magnesium used, but the bulk of the airframe on the B-2 is indeed built from composite, primarily carbon fiber. My point was to show that composites scale up quite well. As I said, I work with composites, on airplanes, every day. I can bury you with composite material science if you'd like.....

18 posted on 12/15/2009 8:40:44 AM PST by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Thermalseeker
Brilliant comparison

787: commercial airliner built to carry 292, kill no one and generate profits - cost $150,000,000

B-2: stealthy flying wing built to carry 3, kill people and break things - 120 hrs maintainence per 1 hr of flight - cost - $2,100,000,000

19 posted on 12/15/2009 8:52:03 AM PST by skeptoid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: skeptoid
Brilliant comparison

I was comparing size, not the intended use, but you already knew that. BTW, you are aware that for years Airbust has been making airliners using composite components, building them in sections in various places, then flying them to a main facility for final assembly, right?

I guess I'm not as easily impressed as you are....

20 posted on 12/15/2009 9:00:24 AM PST by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Thermalseeker
Ever seen a B-2? That's a big old carbon fiber airframe and it's been flying for more than 20 years.

This would have to be made relatively cheaply, and it appears that Boeing finally found a way.

It surprises me that it took them this long to seriously consider the use of composites.....

It's not surprising in a time when you have to attract investors to a technology untried in that setting and worry about multi-billion lawsuits if something goes wrong. Even as it is a lot of detractors said it was too soon to try it in a commercial airliner, so kudos to Boeing for taking the chance.

In any case, Boeing was already working on such massive use of composites for the Sonic Cruiser in the 90s, and applied that research to the 787. It's kind of sad that hub-and-spoke killer never took off.

21 posted on 12/15/2009 9:00:24 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Thermalseeker

They’re not forming entire fuselage sections, autoclaving them, stuffing them and flying them intercontinentally to final assembly, which is targeted to be accomplished in 3 days per aircraft.


22 posted on 12/15/2009 9:03:49 AM PST by skeptoid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: skeptoid

I used to work at Boeing back in the early 80s before I got a case of the stupid and quit. They didn’t call it the Lazy B Ranch for nothing. A couple of jokes going around at the time:

Question: How many people work at Boeing?
Answer: About half of them.

Boeing Workers- Never have so many, done so little, for so much.


23 posted on 12/15/2009 9:05:12 AM PST by Ronald_Magnus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: antiRepublicrat
This would have to be made relatively cheaply, and it appears that Boeing finally found a way.

Carbon is expensive because there is only one company making the fiber and the technology used to make that fiber is proprietary. The military also has first dibs and that leads to spot shortages of materials, too. We sometimes have to wait months for a particular weave of carbon cloth.

What everybody had better hope is that they've figured out a way to contain the fiber splinters if one of these ever fails structurally due to a forced landing. Carbon turns into a pin cushion when it fails. Survive the crash only to be impaled by carbon splinters.....

24 posted on 12/15/2009 9:07:01 AM PST by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: skeptoid
They’re not forming entire fuselage sections, autoclaving them, stuffing them and flying them intercontinentally to final assembly, which is targeted to be accomplished in 3 days per aircraft.

All this is technology gained from military applications and it's been being done for a long time. Perhaps it is new to you. As I said, I suppose I'm just not as easily impressed as you are.....

25 posted on 12/15/2009 9:09:42 AM PST by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Thermalseeker
Carbon turns into a pin cushion when it fails. Survive the crash only to be impaled by carbon splinters.....

Maybe they found a way to stress it or something? The wing load test (bend it, often until it breaks) didn't result in the explosion of carbon fiber that many were expecting. The worst that happened on the first test was a little delamination. Their design seems to be very strong yet flexible. I would ask how, but doing that with carbon fiber is probably a trade secret, right?

26 posted on 12/15/2009 9:50:14 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: skeptoid

Paine Tower
120.2 132.95 256.7 [0700-2100]
Paine Ground
121.8 339.8 [0700-2100]


27 posted on 12/15/2009 9:55:59 AM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Thermalseeker
I think it's partly due to getting an all composite anything through the powers that be’s hoops with their stamp of approval. The first few to do it blaze some expensive trails. I've heard Beech spent a bunch getting the Starship certified. Something like an airliner, carrying a lot of passengers in this litigious day and age, must have gone through a very tight and costly wringer.
28 posted on 12/15/2009 10:39:21 AM PST by GBA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: GBA

Wow, what a sight to see. I watched it take off live.


29 posted on 12/15/2009 10:54:26 AM PST by freebird5850 (O-Bomba is not the Messiah. Jesus was a carpenter and could build a cabinet!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: skeptoid
After all the "cartoon" pics...

Reality rules!

V1...rotate(baby)

Congrats Boeing!

30 posted on 12/15/2009 11:40:19 AM PST by RckyRaCoCo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: skeptoid

“Hello, Boeing? This is the Air Force. We need a new bomber design in ninety days or we’re sunk.”

“Sorry, General, no can do. It takes seven years to get a new airplane off the ground at Boeing.”

“Oh. Well, I’ll pass that on to the enemy, then. Sorry we bothered you.”

The contract for the B-29 was solicited in January, 1940. The first flight was in September of 1942. ‘Nuff said.


31 posted on 12/15/2009 12:13:55 PM PST by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: skeptoid

“Hello, Boeing? This is the Air Force. We need a new bomber design in ninety days or we’re sunk.”

“Sorry, General, no can do. It takes seven years to get a new airplane off the ground at Boeing.”

“Oh. Well, I’ll pass that on to the enemy, then. Sorry we bothered you.”

The contract for the B-29 was solicited in January, 1940. The first flight was in September of 1942. ‘Nuff said.


32 posted on 12/15/2009 12:14:06 PM PST by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: B-Chan

Not excusing Boeing’s screwups on this thing, but back in 1940 how much of the government alphabet was around? (I wish I could find that freeper list of all the new organizations). A few of the groups that combine for the delays would be OSHA, EPA, IRS, the Unions, etc.

The Empire State building was built real quick (about a year I think?) Compare that to the 9/11 memorial buildings (is that even going anywhere 8 years later?) Granted, we don’t need a bunch of worker’s killed like on the Empire State Building (OSHA), but it would be nice to at least get started!


33 posted on 12/15/2009 12:22:46 PM PST by 21twelve (Drive Reality out with a pitchfork if you want , it always comes back.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: B-Chan
The contract for the B-29 was solicited in January, 1940. The first flight was in September of 1942. ‘Nuff said.

Not quite enough, because in 1943 the prototype aircraft crashed on takeoff during flight test in Seattle and killed all 10 onboard and lots more on the ground, despite Eddie Allen being the pilot.
This was due to an engine fire. The early 3350's were prone to catch fire, and if not immediatly extiquished, the B 29 wing could fail in 90 seconds.

Even after the type entered service, losing a single engine on takeoff at max takeoff weight too often ended in a fireball on the airfield (which was dealt with by bulldozers ASAP if there were more bombers waiting to take off).

My point is that the B-29 took several years to mature and was a killer for some time after it was deployed. So the time between conception and first flight was relatively short, but the design was immature and its development cost many, many lives, and was not really reliable until the 4360 came along after the war.

Comparing the B-29 to the 787 is about like comparing a '34 Ford flathead to an '08 Veyron (street legal, 253mph, 0-100-0 mph in 9.9 seconds).

34 posted on 12/15/2009 8:55:47 PM PST by skeptoid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: GBA
I think it's partly due to getting an all composite anything through the powers that be’s hoops with their stamp of approval.

Bingo. A running joke around those of us who work with plastic airplanes is: If aircraft manufacturers were trying to get aluminum approved today would the FAA approve a material that corrodes in air, fatigues to the point of failure with minimal vibration and is prone to cracks? Probably not.

35 posted on 12/16/2009 6:22:43 AM PST by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: antiRepublicrat
I would ask how, but doing that with carbon fiber is probably a trade secret, right?

Yep. What we usually see is Kevlar or plain weave fiberglass used around any area, like the cockpit, where there will be occupants.

I saw a video clip once of a carbon windsurfing mast being tested to failure that really drove the point home. Essentially, they bent it nearly in half. Instead of snapping in half like you would expect at a midpoint along the mast, it exploded, throwing carbon shards in all directions, leaving hundreds and hundreds of individual carbon spines sticking out in all directions.

36 posted on 12/16/2009 6:29:17 AM PST by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: skeptoid

Way to go Boeling, better late then never! Pretty Bird.


37 posted on 12/16/2009 8:28:51 AM PST by jpsb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Thermalseeker
Essentially, they bent it nearly in half. Instead of snapping in half like you would expect at a midpoint along the mast, it exploded, throwing carbon shards in all directions, leaving hundreds and hundreds of individual carbon spines sticking out in all directions.

The same thing happened to a friend, although with glass reinforced composites, not carbon fiber. He was hit hard in a car that had a body made of the stuff, and the composite front-end basically exploded. He was picking glass bits out of his clothes for weeks.

38 posted on 12/16/2009 9:36:57 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: B-Chan
The contract for the B-29 was solicited in January, 1940. The first flight was in September of 1942. ‘Nuff said.

The B-29 also didn't have to be certified for commercial air travel or meet more stringent operating cost targets. It was also essentially in "production development" as production planes were still being heavily modified right after roll-off two years later. It wasn't really a finished plane until 1945, essentially making a five-year development time. Boeing can't afford the problems the initial B-29s had, including common engine fires, when selling to commercial airlines.

About the only serious technological leap the B-29 made was the fire control system. The pressurized cabin technology came from the earlier Boeing 307 civilian airliner.

39 posted on 12/16/2009 10:02:05 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson