Jon Ostrower at Flightblogger has another scoop on the latest developments in the 787 Dreamliner calamity.
Let’s parse the information carefully, bearing in mind that the company is run by serial liars who can’t even build 747s any more.
While the installation of the 787 wing fix continues, Boeing engineers have returned to the drawing board to redesign part of the reinforcement, FlightBlogger has learned.
Means: The fix didn’t work well enough to be flown.
As a result, company and industry sources say the 2009 first flight target could be in jeopardy as engineers work to redesign the fix for four remaining wing stringers.
Means: Work began on the test flight line 787s before it became apparent the ‘fix’ was inadequate.
Boeing declined to discuss the modifications, saying that the next opportunity for an update will come on October 21st during the company’s third quarter earnings call. However, the company did reaffirm that 787 “will fly by the end of the year.”
Means: It won’t fly more than once, if at all, before the end of the year.
Internal schedules, say several program sources, initially targeted October 15th for ZA001’s to return to ground operations with a first flight to follow roughly six weeks later, however the aircraft remains in the paint hangar as engineers work to complete the design and installation of the side-of-body reinforcement.
The implication are that:
1. There are no realistic prospects of first delivery of a certified 787 to an airliner in 2010.
2. The 787’s natural opportunity to achieve ‘cold soak’ certification will not be until early 2011, the alternative being to build a huge refrigerator capable of keeping it at less than -20C for more than two days.
3. Qantas is suckered again, having recently fallen for a cast iron, or is that plastic guarantee that it will receive its first 787, the stretched and as yet undefined -9 version, in mid 2013 when the real date varies between 2016 and never.
4. We have a company that cannot deliver on major projects, namely the 787, the 747-8 and the Wedgetail early warning and command platform.
5. The 787 has been designed on false assumptions or incorrect models as to the properties of laminated layers of carbon fibre baked in an oven in respect of thin, high cycle loading bearing components.
6. The work currently being designed and retro fitted on the run applies to the central wing box as well as the wing join, which is indicative of seriously inadequate management of a project Boeing sold to the airlines as being based on ‘proven no risk mature technology.’
7. The 787 may have to be extensively redesigned, meaning the design and construction partners are screwed. Note that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which does the Dreamliner wing, has decided to drop carbon fibre laminates from the wing of its own MRJ regional airliner project.
8. Airbus, which was panicked into a high composite design for its much delayed A350 range, which is slightly larger than the 787 in base specifications, will have abundant reasons to carefully review its application of these materials in that design. (It does use them differently, but the question is, will it deliver any net gain over using alloys for the flexible load bearing components rather than plastics.)