Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Flightblogger and Guy Norris report more progress towards 787 first flight

A huge amount of work has been done on the path to first flight since the end of the factory gauntlet.

Jon Ostrower reported that the Boeing tested the wings on the static test airframe to over 100% of the wing limit load. The limit load test is to test the wings to 100% of the loads that it would ever experience in flight. Boeing tested it 120% - 130% of those loads, far exceeding the requirement necessary to proceed to first flight. This amounted to a wing tip deflection of about 17 ft. This was the final test required on the airframe prior to first flight. Later after the test flight program is well underway, Boeing is required, for certification purposes, to test the wings to 150% of the limit load. This is the ultimate load test.

Read Jon's posting here.

Guy Norris reported that landing gear tests will take place this weekend but that flight control operating tests will be done by test pilots on Wednesday, April 22. This involves the movement of the flight control surfaces and testing of the mechanical and electrical linkages of those surfaces that are connected to the flight deck. Guy Norris said the successful completion of these test will allow Dreamliner 1 to move on to the next gauntlet test, the intermediate gauntlet.

Finally, Guy also reported that ZA002 finished up HIRF (high intensity radiated field)/electro-magnetic interference testing on Tuesday (April 21) and will now be readied for ground vibration testing on Saturday.

Read Guy's posting here.


Anonymous said...

Sorry to be pedantic, but the term is "limit load" as Jon used, not "load limit" as you've paraphrased, and this has a specific meaning in relation to certifying aircraft. "Limit load" is the actual expected maximum load - for the wing bend test equivalent to 2.5G. "ultimate load" is then limit load multiplied by the factor of safety - in this case 1.5.

Uresh said...

That's correct, I'll change it to reflect the correct phrase.

Anonymous said...


What is happening to the progress of planes 2-6? All eyes are on plane A0001 but there are five to follow and it would be interesting to know what their status is.

When will AO002 follow A0001 on to the flightline?

Will the tesing of all six planes be the same, or do the next five have less testing because systems were previously tested?

How many of them are actually in factory gauntet testing at this time?

Uresh said...

I haven't learned of the progress on any of these airplanes lately though I know Airplane 6 is done with all join activities it's still in position 1. None of these airplanes have undergone factory gauntlet (2-6), some don't even have their engines on yet.

I suspect that airplane 2 will move to building 40-24 soon after airplane 1 has been moved out to the flightline.

All airplanes have to go through a series of tests before flying this is true regardless if they're test airplanes or production airplanes though the length of testing will probably be shorter as each test airplanes goes through the process due to increased confidence in the systems and hte results.