Boeing: Key 787 Test Results "Positive"

Boeing conducts ultimate load wing up-bending tests on its 787 Dreamliner static test unit.
Boeing said the results of a key airworthiness test for its long-delayed 787 are positive, but it will be weeks before the aircraft maker can deem it a success.

The aircraft manufacturer said Sunday the test involved flexing the jet's wings upward while applying loads to the frame to replicate 150 percent of the most extreme forces the airplane might experience in flight.

The wings were flexed upward by approximately 25 feet during the test.

Testing takes more than two hours, and thousands of pieces of data were collected to measure wing performance.

Boeing, based in Chicago, says the data will be reviewed over the next several weeks.

Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, said the test program has been more robust than any conducted on a Boeing commercial jetliner.

Boeing says the all-new twinjet Dreamliner, which is being developed by an international team of aerospace companies led by Boeing at its Everett, Wash. Facility, will be more efficient and more comfortable for passengers.

The 787 will use 20 percent less fuel than today's similarly-sized planes.

The 787-8, at 186 feet long and a wingspan of 198 ft., will carry 210-250 passengers; the slightly larger 787-9 (206 feet, with a wingspan of 208 ft.), will carry 250-290 passengers.

Delivery of the first 787 is planned for the end of this year. Boeing says orders for the new plane have so far reached 840, with a total value of $140 billion.

(Left: The 787 in its first test flight last December.)

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Boeing: 787 Dreamliner