Airbus flight test department is studying the weather right now, trying to decide if conditions will favor a first flight attempt for the A330-200 freighter later this morning (Thursday Nov 5). Last I checked (around 11 pm Pacific Time in the U.S), it wasn’t looking good with Toulouse-Blagnac met office reporting a cloud ceiling of 2,100 ft, and a fresh wind of 16 kts blowing from the west south west (250 degrees). For those of you interested in catching up with events as they happen (or don’t), Airbus is planning to webcast the first flight attempt live on its website from 08.30 am GMT.
Meanwhile up in Seattle, first flight of the ‘other’ new twin, the Boeing 787, still remains at least a month away with ZA001 and the other test aircraft in various states of storage and modification, and a re-activation pending structural test results from the side-of-body rework on static airframe ZY997.
There is some activity on Paine Field however. Philippine Airlines’ first 777-300ER is being put through its paces following first flight at the start of this week.
Credit: Matt Cawby
The aircraft, registered RP-C7777, but currently known to Boeing as WD986, underwent electro-magnetic interference checks on Nov 4, as well as systems tests on several interior items such as the flight deck entry security camera system. The brightly-colored 777 is expected to be handed over to the airline by the end of the month. Boeing announced the Philippine deal in March 2007 when the carrier ordered six 777s, two of them on lease from GE Capital. The first and second aircraft, due for delivery in January 2010, are both leased. The four purchased aircraft are due for delivery in 2012 and 2013. To see more images of the first aircraft check out Matt Cawby’s website.