Boeing targets 28 March for 787 ultimate load wing test

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Boeing plans to flex the 787 static test airframe's wing to ultimate load flex test on 28 March, the company confirms.

The wing of the static test airframe - dubbed ZY997 - will be slowly flexed to 150% of limit load as part of the structural testing of the aircraft's primary composite structure.

Boeing says that the wing will not be flexed beyond 150% to the point of destruction, like that of a similar test on the 777 programme in January 1995.

The company says that testing remains "dynamic" and the 28 March date could change.

The US FAA requires an aircraft structure to withstand four seconds at 150% of loads the aircraft would ever experience in service.

The latest round of static tests that will build toward the ultimate load condition began on 8 February, says Pat Shanahan, VP of aircraft programmes for Boeing.

Boeing will utilise the data from the static tests to optimise the structure of future 787-8 and -9 aircraft, a stretched derivative, planned for entry into service at the end of 2013.

The structural tests are primarily part of the FAA certification campaign for the 787 that is expected to culminate in delivery to Japan's All Nippon Airways in the fourth quarter.