PICTURE: Boeing completes 787 ultimate-load wing flex test

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Boeing has completed the ultimate load wing up-bending test on the 787 static test unit, ZY997, at its facility in Everett, Washington.

The airframer says that it applied loads to replicate 150% of the most extreme forces the airplane could experience while in service, resulting in the wings being flexed upward by approximately 25ft (7.6m) during the test. In order to achieve certification, the US FAA requires aircraft structure to withstand 150% of limit loading for 3s.

The company says that during every second of the over two-hour test, thousands of data points were collected to monitor the performance of the wing.

                                                                                                © Boeing

Initial results appear to be positive, says Boeing. However, it adds that it would take several weeks to work through the data, and conduct more extensive analysis and reviews, before calling the test 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 Boeing to announce an additional six-month slip in the programme in June 2009 while it devised a solution.

"The test program has been more robust than any conducted on a Boeing commercial jetliner," says Scott Fancher, vice-president and general manager of the 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We are looking forward to the technical teams report on the details of the test results."

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