Thursday, April 22, 2010

Boeing Announces 787 extreme weather testing

Boeing Photos
Boeing announced the start of extreme weather testing on the 787. It now appears that Boeing will conduct both cold weather as well as hot weather testing at the McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base. ZA003 is expected to be there for about two weeks. The aircraft will be subjected to extremes in temperatures and then technicians will go through and do a simulated preparation for flight to see how the systems act after being exposed to temperature extremes. This will not be the only extreme weather testing for the 787. There will be more testing which will probably also involve flight testing in the temperature extremes. Here's

Boeing's press release:News Release Issued: April 22, 2010 4:21 PM EDT

787 Dreamliner Undergoing Extreme-Weather Testing in Florida

VALPARAISO, Fla., April 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Boeing (NYSE: BA) 787 Dreamliner has begun a series of extreme-weather tests at Valparaiso, Fla. A special hangar at the McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Elgin Air Force Base allows the airplane to experience heat as high as 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 Celsius) and as low as minus 45 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 43 Celsius).

After the airplane is stabilized at either the hot or cold temperatures, flight test technicians will follow the Airplane Maintenance Manual to perform the steps required to prepare the airplane for flight release and operate under these conditions. Sensors and monitors will allow the test team to determine if all systems hardware and software operate as expected.

Cold-weather testing is being conducted first, with preliminary hot-weather testing to follow. Additional extreme-weather testing will be conducted later in the flight test program.

"We have Dreamliner customers who will operate the 787 in a wide variety of environments throughout the world," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "This testing is about ensuring that the airplane meets the expectations of our customers."

A crew of approximately 100 people traveled from Seattle to support the test operations on ZA003, the third 787 airplane to be built.

The McKinley Climatic Laboratory is the second remote testing location for the 787 Dreamliner. The second airplane in the fleet, ZA002, performed a variety of tests in Victorville, Calif., last month. The testing in Florida is expected to last nearly two weeks.

About the Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The 787 Dreamliner is an all-new twinjet designed to meet the needs of airlines around the world in providing nonstop service between mid-size cities with new levels of efficiency. The airplane will bring improved levels of comfort to passengers with larger windows, bigger baggage bins and advances in the cabin environment, including lower cabin altitude, higher humidity and cleaner air. Delivery of the first 787 is planned for the fourth quarter of 2010.
Fifty-seven customers around the world have ordered 866 787s since the program was launched in April 2004, making the Dreamliner the fastest-selling new commercial jetliner in history. Delivery of the first 787 is planned for the fourth quarter of 2010.

Boeing also has a great video of the aircraft going through the deep freeze in the ice locker.
Guy Norris has an article on Aviation Week reviewing the 787 testing thus far including the extreme weather testing now on going:

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