Don't mind me, I'm not even here, just pretend like I didn't write this at all. Just because I'm technically not supposed to be working doesn't mean I all of a sudden stop loving aviation.
RC001, Boeing's first 747-8 Intercontinental, is spending tonight and tomorrow conducting the first of three systems check-out simulations called gauntlets. The first, known as the factory gauntlet, will begin tonight inside the 40-22 building at the Everett factory which holds the 747-8 final assembly line. You may remember the factory gauntlet from the preparations for 787 first flight in 2009.
Late Friday night engineers will take the company's largest aircraft through a series of ground tests while the -8I still believes it is on terra firma (as it actually is). That will be followed by the setup of a closed-loop simulation system called the Flight Emulation Test System or FETS, which is used to literally fool the jumbo into thinking it's flying. Of course, the run will be entirely done off of external electrical power as there is not a drop of fuel allowed in the factory.
The factory gauntlet will simulate a standard B1 flight profile, which is the first test flight all Boeing jets make with company test pilots to evaluate the responsiveness and functionality of the aircraft's systems. Moving into the factory gauntlet comes two months after the aircraft achieved first power-on in November.
After running through the factory gauntlet, RC001 may make a brief appearance outside early next week as it is relocated to its new home inside building 40-23, former home of the now-dismantled of the 787 static test airframe. The remaining two gauntlets, the intermediate and final, will take place on the flight line once the aircraft is powered up and its engines run for the first time.
Now back to vacation.
Photo Credit Boeing