Boeing completes 787 static test to validate modification work

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Boeing has completed a static test to validate the side-of-body modification made to the Boeing 787.

The test- dubbed 2C - saw the composite wings of ZY997, Boeing's static test airframe, flexed to a deflection 18ft without suffering the delamination first seen in previous testing back in May, say programme sources.

The test re-created the conditions that caused the initial delamination in the 787 stringer caps that caused the 787 fleet to be grounded on 23 June.

Analysis of the data is underway and is expected to be completed within 10 days, clearing the 787 for its maiden sortie in December.

The 2C test, which exceeded 100% of the loads a 787 would ever encounter in service, is the third and final static test FAA requirement to clear the 787 for its first flight in December. This validation of the 787's structure is also known as the limit load test.

The first two requirements included the high-blow structural pressure test, completed in September 2008, and the 1G checkout, which was completed on 20 March, that saw the wings deflected to check for potential interferences on the wing's control surfaces.

While the final data analysis is yet to be completed, the completion of the static test is a significant step forward in validating the modification to the 787's side-of-body, which wrapped up installation on ZY997 on 16 November.

Boeing says "the modification entails installing new fittings at 34 stringer locations within the joint where the wing is attached to the fuselage."

Sources say Boeing plans to test the 787 wing to ultimate load of 150% in the spring of 2010.

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