The Chart:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Atlas Delivery #6

Line 1462 (RC579) N852GT for Atlas Air is preparing for a delivery flight as I type. This is Atlas's sixth of nine ordered 747-8 frames.

Update: Scratch that. Looks like she never actually took off.

Update 2: 10/2/2012 - Finally a delivery flight for real this time.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Erst Flight

That's about the extent of my German, but nonetheless line 1456 (RC025) D-ABYF, destined to be Lufthansa's fourth 747-8i sometime in October, had a B1 flight today. The flight looked like it went swimmingly.

The other two frames in test right now, lines 1430 and 1462, have both also flown more test flights, and are hopefully approaching delivery any time now. And when they do, you'll hear it here first! Unless someone else beats me to it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Minor update (and 744 line 1416)

Line 1465 for Cargolux is out of final assembly, unpainted on the flightline.

Line 1462 for Atlas has been on a couple test flights this week and should be approaching delivery really soon.

My new curiosity is a late model 747-400: line 1416. Apparently it, along with line 1419 (the last 747-400 to come off the assembly line), were originally intended for LoadAir Cargo in 2009, but both were not taken up due to LoadAir folding. They were then stored at a desert air park in New Mexico for a couple years. Line 1419 was put into service at the end of last year with Kalitta Air, happily, but line 1416 still sits without a home, virtually brand new. If any of the few people who read this blog have any updates on this frame, please share! I hate unused airframes.

As a possibly interesting diversion to the lack of real news, I reverted a version of the chart to where it was when I started it, back in May or June, only modified to match the newer format. It's kind of nice to be able to see the progress.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Unsolved mysteries

There's been little activity so far this week on the 747-8 front, at least as far as I can see. There've been no test flights or deliveries since my last report. Line 1434 has moved into the paint hanger for a strip and repaint. So long, Big Orange!

There are a couple of mysteries I've been trying to resolve, with no luck yet.

One mentioned in comments (first comment milestone!) is regarding the three rejected Atlas frames, lines 1429, 1432, and 1437. Comparable frames have been refurbished and delivered to their respective customers, but apparently these ones weren't good enough for Atlas, as they were "not taken up" and replaced by other future frames. One, line 1429, is going through refurbishment, and the other two are languishing around the Paine tower. So what's in store for these three frames? Will Atlas eventually accept them, or will some other customer step in?

The other mystery are the first three frames, lines 1420, 1421, and 1422. They've been going through refurbishment at Lackland in San Antonio for a while now, and I've seen a couple pictures here and there, but I'm really curious as to what their exact status is; how long until they deliver? I believe line 1431 for Nippon Cargo was refurbished at Lackland too, so I suppose it's just a matter of time.

Arik Air has ceased operations indefinitely while conflict between the airline and union has turned ugly. Arik has two 747-8 firm orders, as well as some 777/787 firm orders. Hopefully they pull through.

Here's a good tour of Lufthansa's 747-8.

And finally, the last old (formerly American Airlines) 747-100 Shuttle Carrier, N905NA, will hoist her final cargo, Space Shuttle Endeavor, on her back today and tomorrow over Southern California. Good job old girl!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Another B1

Line 1430 (RC601) VQ-BGZ, destined for AirBridgeCargo, lifted into the air for the first time today. Another older airframe that had been sitting around for quite some time (a year or two?), getting ready for service. Makes you so proud to see 'em growin' up and movin' out, doesn't it? Here's the plane a month earlier undergoing refurb.

Boeing seems to be continuing tests flights on GEnx based frames without delay, which gives hope that the problem with them will not be a show stopper.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I got 99 problems

and a fan midshaft splintering is one. It is looking like the GEnx mid shaft fracture problem is a serious one. Something is causing these parts to come apart, and it likely isn't wear or corrosion. This problem will probably affect (delay) deliveries for both 747 and 787 for the foreseeable future. The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended all in service engines to be inspected for cracks in the meanwhile, and I'm sure GE engineers are scrambling to come up with a solution.

In other news, line 1462 (RC579) N852GT for Atlus was found airworthy, having a B1 flight yesterday.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Delivery approaches!

It's been a bit slow on the 747-8 news front this past week or so, but yesterday, line 1461 (RC506) LX-VCF for Cargolux had a short delivery flight to Seattle, where it was loaded with cargo (I'm assuming) and flown to Luxembourg.

The word on the street is saying line 1434, the original 747-8I test frame, is about to enter the paint hanger and will imminently be delivered as a Boeing Business Jet, which will probably entail months of work installing fancy accommodations before finally landing in the lap of its owners in Kuwait.

Other than that, there have been no recent B1 flights, so activity remains slow it seems. I suppose the 787 line is getting all the attention, as it's been hopping lately.

One bit of concerning news regards an engine failure on an in service 747-8F. One of AirBridgeCargo's planes suffered an event with its GE engine on the runway, and is under investigation. It was apparently similar to a recent 787 GE engine blowout that occurred in Charleston during pre-delivery test.

One more bit of news, this time good. Air China firmed up their order for 5 new 747-8I airframes, bringing the total number of 747-8I firm orders to 41, and the total number of 747-8 firm orders to 111. The more 747-8 orders, the merrier!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Delivery news

Line 1426 (RC546) HL7610 had its delivery flight for Korean Air Cargo today, flying out to Incheon International in Seoul South Korea. This was an older 747-8 frame, and it's good to see it on its way into service. Left with a nice wave goodbye too.

Also, last week, line 1439 (RC002) A7-HHE, a Boeing Business Jet destined for a customer in Qatar, had a Greenpoint Technologies Aeroloft cabin installed at Boeing Global Transport & Executive Systems (GTES) in Wichita, Kansas, and was then ferried for her VIP Cabin outfitting at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg, Germany.