Boeing has released video images of the 787 wing box destruction test, designed to validate the airframer's analytical models of the structure.

Built by Boeing's Japanese partners the structure is 15.2m (50ft) long, around half the span of a single wing on the twin-jet.

The wing box, mounted in a specialised rig with hydraulic jacks, was subjected to mechanical strain, increasing at 10% intervals, until it reached its 100% limit load.

"This is the maximum load we'd ever expect to see in service," says Boeing 787 development vice-president Mark Jenks.

Boeing then continued to raise the loading, at 10% intervals, to a level of 130% before applying a steadily-increasing pressure until the structure failed.

787 wing snap 

© Boeing

The airframer says it took the loading beyond the crucial 150% level normally sought in ultimate load tests, but has not disclosed the specific threshold attained.

Engineers have yet to analyse the data in detail, but Jenks says: "The wing failed in the location we had expected."

Earlier this year Italian 787 partner Alenia Aeronautica successfully completed a similar load test on the aircraft's horizontal stabiliser.


Source: Air Transport Intelligence news