Boeing commences 787 final gauntlet tests

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Boeing has commenced its final gauntlet testing for its 787 Dreamliner, the last round of closed-loop testing planned before first flight, the company confirms.

The testing got underway on the first test aircraft at Boeing's Everett, Washington facility late on 8 December, and is expected to last until 10 December.

Final Gauntlet testing operates the aircraft in a closed-loop simulation environment that will evaluate ZA001's systems while fooling the aircraft in believing it is flying.

Programme sources say the Final Gauntlet will be split into two primary blocks. The first includes a B1 first flight profile, the standard checkout of all aircraft systems as part of standard production testing, then building in potential failure conditions for aircraft's systems. That first block then transitions into the second block of more rigorous "first flight" final gauntlet with an expanded profile of tests planned for the aircraft's maiden sortie.

The two-to-three day final gauntlet will give way to high-speed taxi tests expected later this week.

Boeing plans to fly the 787 before the end of December.