Boeing completes 787 ultimate-load wing flex test

Singapore
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Boeing has completed the ultimate load wing-bend test on the 787 static test airframe (ZY997) at its plant in Everett, Washington.

The airframer says that it applied loads to replicate 150% of the most extreme forces the Dreamliner could experience in service, resulting in the wings being flexed upward by about 7.6m (25ft). To achieve certification, the structure must demonstrate it can withstand 150% of limit load for 3s.

The company says that during every second of the over 2h test, thousands of data points were collected to monitor the performance of the wing. Initial results appear to be positive, says Boeing. However, it adds that it would take several weeks to work through the data and to conduct more extensive analysis and reviews, before the test can be hailed as a success.

The data collected will also continue to confirm the strength of the structural reinforcement installed on the 787's side-of-body, which forced an additional six-month slip in the programme in June 2009 while Boeing devised a solution.

"The test programme has been more robust than any conducted on a Boeing commercial jetliner," says 787 vice-president and general manager Scott Fancher.

The first delivery of the 787 to launch customer All Nippon Airways, which is delayed by more than two years, is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2010.