QTR_4.06
Boeing 787 from the Ground Up
Download This Article (PDF - 1.1 MB)

RELIABLE AND MAINTAINABLE BY DESIGN

In addition to major changes such as use of composites and the elimination of pneumatic systems, the 787 takes advantage of new technologies to increase reliability and improve maintainability. Boeing has looked for opportunities large and small to reduce maintenance costs while making the 787 highly available for revenue service.

Improved and expanded monitoring, advanced onboard maintenance systems, and e-enabling technologies make real-time ground-based monitoring possible. This will aid in troubleshooting the 787. Airplane systems information and fully integrated support products will help maintenance and engineering organizations quickly isolate failed components and reduce return-to-service times. Boeing expects the 787 to show a reduction in NFF removals of 58 percent compared to the 767, reducing yet another major cost driver for 787 operators.Here are some wide-ranging examples that illustrate the extent of these improvements.

Advanced maintainability analysis. A new generation of digital analysis tools is enabling Boeing to better understand future maintenance issues during the design process. Through animated simulations, designers ensure mechanics can perform various procedures effectively and efficiently, resulting in a more maintainable airplane and higher quality maintenance procedures. Boeing has already identified about 4,000 areas of maintenance on the airplane and will both digitally and physically validate 100 percent of 787 maintenance procedures prior to entry into service (EIS).

Advanced maintenance computing systems. The 787 features greatly expanded and improved systems monitoring capability coupled with an advanced onboard maintenance computing system. This capability combined with e-enabling technologies, which make real-time ground-based monitoring possible, will significantly aid in rapid, accurate troubleshooting of the 787. Airplane systems information used in conjunction with fully integrated support products will help maintenance and engineering organizations quickly isolate failed components and reduce return-to-service times. Boeing expects the 787 to show a reduction in no-fault-found (NFF) removals of 58 percent compared to the 767, reducing yet another major cost driver for 787 operators.

Selective paint stripping. Boeing is pioneering a new paint stripping technique that makes it possible to chemically strip the paint on the airplane’s composite airframe. A three-hour chemical strip removes decorative paint. This eliminates the hand-sanding requirement for paint removal on composite structure and puts the 787 on par with a metal airplane in terms of repaint times.

Electro-chromatic dimmable windows. The 787 replaces mechanical window shades with highly reliable electro-chromatic dimmable windows with a projected life of more than 20 years. In addition to eliminating the maintenance associated with light-leaking or inoperable window shades, electro-chromatic dimmable windows give cabin crews the ability to dim or brighten an entire cabin at the press of a single button.

Propulsion structure and airplane interface. The 787 marks the first time Boeing has made the engine type interchangeable at the wings. That allows a 787 owner to quickly and easily convert an airplane to a different engine brand in order to place it into a fleet. The 787 engine cowlings have a quick composite repair capability, enabling small damages to be repaired in one hour at the gate, maximizing the airplane’s availability.



Download This Article (PDF - 1.1 MB)