Sources: 787 fatigue airframe passes 10,000 cycles
By Jon Ostrower on May 26, 2011 in Uncategorised
Boeing’s 787 fatigue test airframe has passed the critical 10,000 cycle milestone, solidifying a regulatory requirement to maintain ahead of the fleet leader in simulated takeoffs and landings, say program sources.
The airframe, dubbed ZY998, first began its fatigue trials in September 2010, parked behind the Everett factory in a custom test fixture designed to simulate the normal stresses on an aircraft during flight.
Each cycle, representing one takeoff and one landing, includes flexing of the various structures, as well as repeated pressurizations expanding and contracting the aircraft’s composite primary structure fuselage.
The airframer expects to certify the 787 for 44,000 cycles in its lifetime, but is required to double that margin during the testing, which must remain 10,000 cycles ahead of the flying fleet leader. Boeing will push ZY998 to as many as 165,000 over the next three years to determine the long-term structural life of the 787.