Boeing have announced that its long awaited
787 Dreamliner designated ZA001 is not far from its first flight, in fact final
test are being conducted for an expected first flight later this quarter.
The full media release from Boeing can be
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner that will fly later
this quarter has moved to the flight line. Fuel testing – the first in the next
phase of extensive checks the airplane must undergo – will begin in the next
making great progress, and moving ever-closer to first flight,” said Scott
Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 Dreamliner program.
In recent weeks, the 787 (designated ZA001)
completed a rigorous series of tests including build verification tests,
structures and systems integration tests, landing gear swings and factory
gauntlet, which is the full simulation of the first flight using the actual
airplane. With Chief Pilot Mike Carriker at the controls, the simulation tested
all flight controls, hardware and software. The simulation also included manual
and automatic landings and an extensive suite of subsequent ground tests.
results give us confidence in our ability to move into further gauntlet testing
using either ground power or the airplane’s engines or auxiliary power unit.
This is a significant milestone on the path to first flight,” Fancher said.
All structural tests required on the static
airframe prior to first flight also are complete. The final test occurred April
21 when the wing and trailing edges were subjected to their limit load – the
highest loads expected to be seen in service. The load is about the same as the
airplane experiencing 2.5 times the force of gravity.
continue to analyze the data, but the initial results are positive,” Fancher
said. On April 13, the leading edge of the wing was subjected to its limit
load while the rest of the airplane was subjected to loads expected at cruise.
And in September 2008, the “high blow” high-pressure test was
completed on the static airframe. During that test, the airframe reached an
internal pressure of 150 percent of the maximum levels expected to be seen in
service – 14.9 lbs. per square inch (1.05 kilograms per centimeter) gauge
Ground vibration testing, which measures the
airplane’s response to flutter, also concluded on the second flight-test
airplane, designated ZA002, at the end of this week. All the necessary
structural tests required prior to first flight now are complete.
Now on the flight line, ZA001 will undergo
additional airplane power and systems tests as well as engine runs. After
completing final systems checks and high-speed taxi tests, the airplane will be
ready for first flight, which is on schedule for later this quarter.
The 787 Dreamliner has orders for 886
airplanes from 57 customers.