787 Completes Crucial Pressure Test

September 29, 2008, 7:54 AM

Testing continues on the Boeing 787 despite the now three-week-long machinists’ strike estimated to cost the company $100 million a day. Yesterday, Boeing successfully completed a high-pressure test, known as “high blow,” on the Dreamliner test airframe at its Everett, Wash. factory. One of three static tests that must be cleared before first flight, the test submits the airframe to an internal pressure of 150 percent of the maximum levels expected in service, or 14.9 pounds per square inch. It took nearly two hours to complete the test, as engineers slowly increased the pressure to ensure the structural integrity of the airplane.

“We had every confidence going into this test because of the extensive work we’ve done on larger and larger pieces of composite–from small coupons to fuselage sections,” said Pat Shanahan, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. “Still, it’s very rewarding to see a whole airplane being tested and having the results we expected.”

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