Thanks to the wonders of YouTube here is an early look at ZA004’s first ever take off at 11.45am this morning from Paine Field, Everett. As indicated by the Flightaware tracking site, flagged up in an earlier blog by my colleague Chris Fotos, the bulk of ZA004’s first flight time seems to have taken place over the coast of Washington State by the western side of the Olympic peninsula – presumably in clearer weather than that being experienced further inland.
Video Posted on YouTube by Future of Flight
The aircraft landed at Boeing Field at 2.39pm, a few minutes earlier than anticipated under the flight plan. ZA004 is expected to conduct ground tests tomorrow, including work on the main passenger doors.
The tempo of work on the first GE-powered 787, ZA005 is meanwhile slowly picking up inside the cavernous Building 40-22 where both it and sistership ZA006 are being prepared to enter the test program. ZA005, which is due to fly next month, has the GEnx-1B engines fitted and is set to undergo strut drain tests similar to those made on the -2B-powered 747-8 last September.
The engine struts contain a drain system which is designed to prevent potentially flammable fluids accumulating in the pylon attaching the engine to the wing. As noted in earlier reports, the strut drain system on earlier GE-powered 747s was the subject of an FAA airworthiness directive applicable to CF6-powered models in 2003. The AD called for inspections, checks and replacements where needed to "prevent leaking fuel line couplings, chafed fuel lines, restricted or clogged strut drain lines, fluids or vapors migrating to ignition sources, and flashback of external flame into the strut, which could result in uncontained engine strut fire."