Update, Nov. 17, 4:30PM PST:
This article from Europe talks about efforts by Safran group to acquire Zodiac, which is a supplier on the Boeing 787. The article refers to possible interest (or lack of it, actually) by Hamilton Sundstrand as a potential bidder for Zodiac and that Zodiac is a competitor to Sundstrand.
As it happens, a company called ECE is subcontracted by Sundstrand on the P100 control panel on the 787, where the fire originated on ZA002. ECE is a subsidiary of–Zodiac.
Update, Nov. 17, 9:00 AM PST:
Heidi Wood, the aerospace analyst at Morgan Stanley, issued this brief note today:
What’s new: Yesterday, Boeing issued a press release update on the 787 highlighting the ongoing investigation into the test flight fire incident. While test plane ZA002 remains in Texas, 2 other 787s (ZA001 & ZA005) have returned to Seattle until a resolution can be determined.
What Does This Mean? Our read-between-the-lines interpretation of the press release:
(1)Boeing: “Boeing has established a plan to fly two aircraft back to Seattle.” “No decision has been reached on when flight testing will resume.”
Translation: The other planes (may) have an issue too. Which suggests 2 things: 1) it’s unlikely flight tests will resume shortly (days, a week), 2) bringing test planes back means it’s not de facto a quick fix. We estimate flight test resumption in late December, early 2011.
(2)Boeing: “The incident demonstrated many aspects of the safety and redundancy in the 787 design, which ensure that if events such as these occur, the airplane can continue safe flight and landing”.
Translation: The vagueness alerts us, as it sidesteps claiming the systems all worked. This tells us the multiple redundancies may not have performed as they should have, which dovetails with what our sources have been asserting. We’re impressed by the honest admission; we believe this is an FAA chief concern.
(3)Boeing: “We must complete the investigation and assess whether any design changes are necessary.”
Translation: Design changes are necessary. Questions arising about software, hardware redesign extend the horizon & could push first delivery to 2012.
(4)Boeing: “Until that time, BA cannot comment on the potential impact…on the…program schedule.”
Translation: Delay ahead. They just don’t know how extensive yet to set a new, credible target. When they do, they’ll officially announce the next delay.
Boeing just issued this update on the 787 program:
EVERETT, Wash., Nov. 16, 2010 – While the investigation into the incident onboard 787 Dreamliner ZA002 continues, Boeing has established a plan to fly two other aircraft, ZA001 and ZA005, back to Seattle from Rapid City, S.D., and Victorville, Calif. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has reviewed and approved the plans.
ZA001 was undergoing refueling in South Dakota when the incident on ZA002 occurred and the company decided to forgo additional flights. ZA005 was on remote deployment for testing in California.