Boeing completes second phase of 787 gauntlet tests

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Boeing has completed the second of three gauntlet testing phases that has pushed ZA001, the company's first 787, through a rigorous series of closed loop simulations in preparation for the aircraft's first flight.

While simulating multiple scenarios, the aircraft was put through "about a week's worth of operations", says Boeing.

The testing wrapped up on 7 June after nine days of round-the-clock simulations that saw the 787 undergo 25 separate blocks of testing and hundreds of discrete test conditions.

Boeing adds that test scenarios ranged from standard flights to single and multiple systems failures during flights, all with the aircraft's engines running to supply electrical power to the aircraft.

With the second phase of gauntlet testing complete, Boeing now looks to the final gauntlet for close out testing before first flight later this month.

ZA001 completed the factory gauntlet, the first phase of closed-loop testing, on 21 April.

"We will continue to take a hard look at the results, make adjustments and finish up our testing so we can get to first flight," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager for the 787 programme.

Boeing plans to deliver the 787 to Japan's All Nippon Airways in the first quarter of 2010.