Re: Quality Control of Delivered Airliners

Date:         17 Mar 99 01:24:54 
From:         Ken Ishiguro <kenish@earthlink.net>
Organization: EarthLink Network, Inc.
References:   1
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meandgp@eskimo.com wrote:
>
> I'm a resident of Everett, Washington living near the wide body assembly
> plant for Boeing.  Does anyone know the regulations/company policy regarding
> test flying before delivery?

Boeing does a test flight (more if there's a problem), followed by an
acceptance test flight by the customer airline.

 I see several heavy aircraft in the Airline
> livery but never see any flight testing conducted.  Is their a shakeout
> proceedure before the Airlines accept delivery?

Yes, there is a "laundry list" of items to check that is hundreds of
items long.

  Also if flight testing is
> done to green airplanes how can they simulate center of gravity issues
> without a full pax load/or cargo.  Doesn't that figure in to MAC/LMAC/CG
> performance?

MAC is calculated before the test flight (or any other flight), but
there is usually no attempt or need to ballast the aircraft.  Airframe
manufacturers guarantee certain performance figures; revenue service is
a much better "testbed" for this.  Airliners are often delivered without
seats and various items which the airline adds after delivery.  BTW,
most of the test flights are done at Moses Lake.  Often, official FOB is
Abbotford, BC (Canada) to avoid sales tax which is high in Washington.

 Finally how can alumigrip or imron paint be applied to green
> aircraft in such a damp invironment of the Northwest?

Most of the piece parts are prepainted by the subcontractor.  Even major
fuselage sections come from elsewhere (747 from Northrop in California,
767/777 by Kawasaki in Japan, etc).  Parts fabricated by Boeing are
painted on a semi-automated paint line.  Final paint is done in a
climate and dust controlled paint hangar (across the highway from the
main hangars, next to the flight line).

Ken