Breaking Exclusive: 787 Power-on Testing Begins

UPDATE 3 – 5:25 AM – 6/12:

WICHITA, KS — Just feet behind the football field sized door of Building 40-26 at Boeing’s Everett, Washington facility, a small group of program staff Wednesday began breathing life into the first 787 Dreamliner.

The aircraft was powered-on for the first time, marking the beginning of a check-out process to validate the systems integration of the 787.

Boeing has confirmed the testing has begun and has issued this statement:

“We’re pleased the process has begun, and we are confident we’ll meet the milestone in June.”

Boeingadded that the power-on process is to last between 10 days and twoweeks and is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

At the most recent delay announcement in April, Vice President and General Manager of the 787 Program Pat Shanahan outlined a series of key milestones that would occur by June 30.

To track program progress, those milestones included the move of the static and fatigue structural test aircraft to test locations, the beginning of final assembly of Dreamliners Three and Four, hardware airworthiness qualifications and the completion of power-on testing.

To date the static test airframe has moved to its test facilty, final assembly of Dreamliner Three is well underway and many major structures for Dreamliner Four have arrived in Everett. Once the fatigue test airframe is moved later this month, Dreamliner Four can begin final assembly as the body join station becomes available.

In May, Shanahan underscored the importance of the power-on testing:

“We’ll have a good understanding of how well we’ve done systemsintegration and it’s really at that point we understand what kind ofairplane we have and a bunch of risk gets retired.

“So, if you called up July first and said, “Pat, how’s it going? Whatdo you know about this airplane?” I’ll know significant amount moreabout the airplane and our ability to meet schedule on July first.We’ll have taken all our work in the lab and put it in one airplane, soit’s a big deal for us.”

Shanahan, who took the helm of the 787 program in October 2007, was on hand for the commencement of power-on testing Wednesday.

Indications of commencement of power-on testing were running rampant earlier this week in Everett with the arrival of lit beacon signs on the factory floor reading When illuminated, production test in progress, as well as a newly erected perimeter around Dreamliner One Warning – Power On Testing – Authorized Personnel Only – No Entrance – No Exceptions.

According to several program sources, flat panel TV monitors have been set up on the factory floor showing a live video feed of the cockpit instruments.

Boeing, taking all appropriate precautions for their early power-on tests, had the facility fire department on hand.

This is a developing story and will be updated as details become available.

11 Responses to Breaking Exclusive: 787 Power-on Testing Begins

  1. Ed June 11, 2008 at 7:19 pm #

    My sincere congratulations to all involved in the Dreamliner.

    Inch by inch, she’s getting there…..

  2. Chris Wallace June 11, 2008 at 7:23 pm #

    Hopefully the testing regimen goes smoothly.

  3. Pedro June 11, 2008 at 8:04 pm #

    Here we gooooooooooo!

  4. TomB June 11, 2008 at 8:35 pm #

    That is great news. Not that bad of a delay. only 11 months behind. not bad I guess.

  5. Carlos June 11, 2008 at 11:51 pm #

    Man, it is about time. I’m sick and tired of the negative news with respect to the 787.

    We (the airline industry, the U.S. and boeing) need this plane to come through and deliver and if possible, exceed the promises made to the public about this great plane. I understand that we need competition in any industry to motivate the manufacturers to produce better products but I, as a U.S. citizen, am tired of being second fiddle to the European consortium. We should be the number one Airplane producers in the world. The American stamp to greatness is dwindling in every aspect of the world market. We need to be on top of this market and not let the European consortium outsell us.

  6. Blu Yonder June 12, 2008 at 12:00 am #

    Heartfelt congrats to all at Boeing.
    It is interesting to note that news broke out at the BEGINING of the testing, normally news is when all the hurly burly is done.
    But hey, good luck, aviation needs competition.

  7. steve June 12, 2008 at 12:07 am #

    It’s just a tarted up 767

  8. Max Udaskin June 12, 2008 at 1:26 am #

    I cannot wait to hear those engines on takeoff… hopefully they will sound better than the amazing roar of the GE CF6-80.

  9. Felix Chanda June 12, 2008 at 1:54 am #

    Congratulations Boeing. We fans can’t wait for you guys to be ahead of the A350

  10. Bill Mosby June 12, 2008 at 8:09 am #

    Your mention of having the fire department on hand reminds me of what similar tests on more humble aviation-related electronic equipment is called: smoke testing. If you turned it on and no smoke was generated, it was a good start!

    Congratulations to Boeing.

  11. xpatjock June 12, 2008 at 11:44 am #

    Congratulations. Hopefully the program is now under control of guys who know what they are talking about and can keep it on (the new) schedule.