Alenia Aeronautica is readying a second Boeing 787 horizontal stabiliser for fatigue testing at its aerostructures laboratory in Pomigliano d'Arco, near Naples.

The test, to three times the part's design service life of 55,000 flights, will begin early in 2008 and follows testing of another of the 20m (65ft) structures begun in October.

The stabiliser, built by Alenia Aeronautica at its Foggia production plant, is the biggest composite monolithic structure ever built for a commercial aircraft.

It consists of two carbonfibre monolithic co-cured boxes representing the multispar boxes and a central junction base (centre box), in addition to another 10 main components including leading and trailing edges, elevators and stabiliser tips.

The test rig is a steel cage with 57 computer-controlled hydraulic actuators that simultaneously applied loads to the airframe to simulate critical flight conditions experienced during typical in-service operations, along with 1,300 sensors to measure deflection and strain.

Source: Flight International