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Can Boeing Add More Test Pilots (to Hasten Cert)?  
User currently offlineBringiton From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 866 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2514 times:

Well reading into some of the commentary that is comming out Post boeing's confrence call one learns that boeing has roughly 40 Test pilits (34 will be on the 787 program with the rest as backups (i assume) ) which will be used on the 6 flying test aircrafts . Now can boeing work with some airlines to reduce prices on certain aircrafts and use those (those aircrafts that would be parked on the ramp) to do stuff like Route prooving , and other internal testing and certification to quicken up the process . Also what are the requirments for recruiting test pilots and can they be hired at such short notice .

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31001 posts, RR: 86
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2471 times:
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At this time, Boeing believes they can get the certification done with the six planes they have dedicated to the role.

Also, certain tests likely build on previous tests, so there is likely a practical limit on how many planes you can dedicate to flight-test and certification missions.

And even if they're running late, it depends on how late they will be. If they can't get any of the planes into the air by January 2008, then there is something fundamentally wrong with the production and/or assembly process and at that point, Boeing is not going to be rushing even more planes into production. Instead, they'd likely stop the entire program and review it. Fortunately, that looks highly unlikely right now as the additional planes are continuing to proceed through production and, soon, assembly.

Also, pulling LN0007 and/or LN0008 to put into the test program means it takes that much longer for them to be delivered to NH. NH themselves have their own time constraints, as they need to prove to the satisfaction of the JAA that the 787 is ready for ETOPS before they start getting the planes in bulk, as well as needing to get their own people up to speed on operating it.

So for better or for worse, I don't expect any additional planes other then those already tasked to be used to certify the 787, no matter how late the program is running at that time.


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21532 posts, RR: 59
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2471 times:

34 is plenty. They will gladly fly extra hours for this program, and you won't have 6 flying at once. The main test program is with 4 birds.

I do wonder how much ground testing needs to be done with pilots and how much can be done with engineers only?



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6908 posts, RR: 46
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2405 times:

There has been a lot of talk about the time required for the test program and comparisons with other new planes, but no new plane has ever had 700 orders before even flying. That will enable Boeing to spend more money in meeting the deadline (first delivery, and then meeting delivery commitments for subsequent planes) than would be normally available.


The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31001 posts, RR: 86
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2395 times:
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Also, six planes is pretty much a record for a flight-test and certification program, is it not? I believe the A388 had 4 or 5 birds, and those were also doing route-proving and public relations duties unlikely to be performed by the 787's prior to completion of the program.

User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8278 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2371 times:

OK, a dumb question. (Since I'm just a pax I'm allowed to be dumb.)

If Boeing has continued to build 787s as they progressed through certification and there is 30+ built for customers by the time certification is achieved is it possible for customers to start their acceptance testing before certification is achieved? I'm not talking about taking formal delivery, but putting the plane through its paces in order to minimize the time required after certification for finalizing their acceptance testing.


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21532 posts, RR: 59
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2354 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 5):
If Boeing has continued to build 787s as they progressed through certification and there is 30+ built for customers by the time certification is achieved is it possible for customers to start their acceptance testing before certification is achieved? I'm not talking about taking formal delivery, but putting the plane through its paces in order to minimize the time required after certification for finalizing their acceptance testing.

Short answer: yes. Happens all the time. Launch customers start training on the birds, help with route proving flights, etc.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2354 times:

I think no more pilots are needed. The data from the high speed certification test flying has to be processed, compiled and presented. That will IMO be a bigger bottle neck then clocking additional hours with additional pilots.



User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12148 posts, RR: 51
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2298 times:

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 2):
I do wonder how much ground testing needs to be done with pilots and how much can be done with engineers only?

Basicly, any test on the ground requiring the engines to be running requires at least 2 pilots aboard.


User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 79
Reply 9, posted (7 years 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2262 times:

Quoting Bringiton (Thread starter):
Also what are the requirments for recruiting test pilots and can they be hired at such short notice .

Getting them at short notice is probably difficult since they'd need to be trained up on the 787 in order to be effective pilots. Boeing requirements for test pilots are test pilot school plus a pretty a bunch of experience as PIC and as a test pilot.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 2):
I do wonder how much ground testing needs to be done with pilots and how much can be done with engineers only?

Most could be done by engineers. You only need a pilot when you're flying or when you're testing pilot interface. Keep in mind that a lot of test pilots are engineers (or vice versa).

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 5):
If Boeing has continued to build 787s as they progressed through certification and there is 30+ built for customers by the time certification is achieved is it possible for customers to start their acceptance testing before certification is achieved?

Yes. Full certification is only required to operate in revenue service. Pretty much anything else can be done under an experimental certificate, which is much more lenient.

Tom.


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