As the holidays approach, we’re going to lighten up a bit and provide some links to feature stories. There continues to be news, of course, and a couple of items are in this post. But enjoy the break.
Recovering WWII Flying Boat: A World War II Sunderland Flying Boat has been recovered from the waters and is set for restoration. Here is the story.
Lockheed Constellation: The Airline History Museum in Kansas City is raising money to return to flying status a previously restored Lockheed Constellation. Officials want to recreate the history-making trans-continental flight of Howard Hughes and Jack Frye in April. Lufthansa Airlines continues work on restoring a 1649 model, which would be the only such Connie to be returned to airworthy condition. Here is a website detailing this effort as far as we could determine. Here is a website that talks about surviving Connies with some data about the LH program. It’s out of date, having predicted a first flight this year.
Eastern Airlines DC-7B: N836D still sits at the Charlotte (NC) airport, having returned here shortly after takeoff when an engine shut down. US Airways 1549 pilots Sully Sullenberger and Jeff Skiles were on board. The airplane is owned by the Historical Flight Foundation in Miami. In May 2011 we flew on the plane from Miami to St. Maarten and back. The Foundation needs $50,000 to return the plane to Miami and $10,000/mo to keep it insured and operational for flight-seeing trips.
Back to some news:
787-10 assembly site: Overshadowed in all the hubbub surrounding the Boeing 777X is where the 787-10 will be built. Boeing launched the program at the Paris Air Show and plans a 2018 EIS. Boeing plans to increase production rates of the 787 from 10 to 12 and ultimately to 14 by the end of the decade (our information is, not without coincidence, 2018). Plans are to have Boeing’s Everett plant and the Charleston plant each producing seven per month.
The Everett plant can accommodate the 787-10, but only on a slant basis, not nose-to-tail, we’re told. Charleston will be able to do nose-to-tail.
The Charleston Post and Courier reports that a decision on the 787-10 assembly site will be made in the first quarter.
The Post and Courier Tweeted that Greensboro (NC) is off Boeing’s list now. Update: North Carolina is off the list entirely, the newspaper reports.
It is my understanding this is the only example of the Sunderland Flying Boat Mk.I anywhere in the world. It is a magnificent piece of history. The Connies and DC-7 are historic, too and deserve to fly again.
Sully Sullenberger seems to attract engine shut downs. Good thing it wasn’t on the trip to St.Maarten.
The story about the Sunderland is a bit premature, I think. Some parts may have been recovered, but the bulk of the plane remains on the seabed, although there is a plan to recover it. The recovery of the Dornier Do 17 earlier this year showed what can be done given a large enough budget.
Assembly will be in Charleston, on the unused line. Chicago does not want to give Everett anything no matter how much sense it makes (or impacts the company profits) Making Connors a Chicago veep is pay for toeing the party line on the 777X.
Good to hear on the -1649!
Interesting comments. Also found the comment that working at Boeing is a ‘prestige job’ as essentially the anti-IAM sentiment. This (below) comment makes no sense though. There is zero chance BA can shut down the Everett line entirely and hit 787 production goals and/or keep other products in NW Washington in production given the labor outrage if they shut down the Everett line entirely.
“Aviation analyst Saj Ahmad with StrategicAero Research of England said the 787-9 announcement reinforces his belief that all 787 production will move to North Charleston.
“This is just the start of the dumbing down of the Everett 787 story and the boost to Charleston to take all 787 work,” Ahmad said. “The 787-10 is a great natural fit there. I’d be surprised to see it built anywhere other than in South Carolina.””
So what are your thoughts Scott? What do you envision for Everett regarding 787-9 and -10 production???
On the assumption Charleston will eventually become efficient, by the end of this decade Everett and Charleston will be producing seven 787s each. 788 and 789 at both locations, 781 probably only at Charleston because the plant layout will allow nose-to-tail and Everett won’t. But hardly “dumbing down” any time soon.
On another note related to the 787 program in general, Ethiopian’s repaired 787-8 took to the air yesterday, less than one month after it was reported to be 60% complete. Go figure!
Unfortunately there are no new details about the really interesting stuff like the patch itself or what limitations (weight or cycles) will be put on the airframe.