Load Tests of 787 Dreamliner’s Wing, Fuselage a Success, Says Boeing

 - April 7, 2010, 10:26 AM

Following a thorough analysis of data gleaned from the March 28 ultimate wing and fuselage bending trial on the Boeing 787 static test airframe, the company has declared that it successfully met all test requirements.

“Successfully completing this test is a critical step in the certification of the 787. This is further validation that the 787 performs as expected, even in the most extreme circumstances,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 Dreamliner program for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

The tests subjected the airframe to loads meant to replicate 150 percent of the most extreme forces the airplane would ever experience while in service. The wings flexed upward by some 25 feet during the test and engineers pressurized the fuselage to 150 percent of its maximum normal operating condition.

Boeing collected thousands of data points to monitor the performance of the wing during each second of the more than two-hour test. “The airframe performed as designed and retained the required structural integrity. These results continue to validate the design of the 787 as we move toward certification,” Fancher explained.

Similar wing-bending tests performed last May resulted in unexpected stress to the airplane’s wing-to-body joints, forcing the company to devise reinforcements for the area and delay the 787’s first flight by some six months.