Aviation News - Calendar Week 25
I´ve collected some comments from the aviation world in the last few days:
Power-on-Testing at 787
The american press celebrates the “Power-on” of the 787. I spoke with some sources near to the A380 program about the nature of this power on. They´ve explained to me, that the power-on is the easy part. You essentially call the fire department, attach ground power to the aircraft, switch on the electric components and hope that the fire department stays calm at the side. And in regard of the power-on it´s important to know, for what components they did the power-on test (for example cabin-power-on, cockpit power-on, avionics power-on). Nevertheless: The hard part comes later … the so-called E-Test. In this test you really check, if all components are connected in the way you´ve designed it, if you have unexpected crosstalk in your wires and so on. And according to my sources this is the funny part, especially at the first plane. To speak in computer industry terms: You´ve racked up all your servers and switches, connected them after your plan, switch them on and hope that you didn´t connected a 240V power line to one of your patch panels by accident fscking up your expensive Juniper T-class router. And you do this for your complete datacenter at once. And now you have to configure all your systems and check if all your cable plans make sense. Okay, an important milestone for Boeing, but much less important than the reports in the newspapers may suggest. Well … i don´t expect well researched reports in newspaper for some time now. 787 delays
By the way: The 18 month first delivery delay for the 787 is only one half of the story. Monarch reported, that they expect a 30 month delay for their 787 deliveies. Aeroflot expects a 28 month delay. You have to take into consideration that this are the delays before the first flight and certification of the aircraft. The tanker deal
This week the GAO ruled, that the Air Force has to reconsider the decision for the new tanker fleet. Okay, german newspapers wrote that this is a disaster for EADS. I don´t believe this. Something different will happen: The Air Force told at several occassions that they want the KC-45. To keep up their faces they have to decide for KC-45 again. The last time they have decided to explain their decision with “Sorry, but you was a tad to expensive”. I think this was a face-saving move in favour to Boeing. The next decision will be based on more hard facts: Old and small airframe with modifications in their early planing stages to keep their old 767 line running. Boeing may have forced the Air Force to say: “Your plane is inferior to the Northrop/EADS offering”. As i wrote before: Boeing has some problems with deal. The 767 isn´t the plane the US Airforce really wants. But they can´t really use the 777. The Triple-7 sells quite good and the assembly lines are not really underworked. And i don´t think they will use they best staff for the tanker deal, as they have to finalize the 787 before (with almost 1000 orders the actual delay may result in hefty contract fines).