Boeing has completed the static test needed to validate the side-of-body modification made to the 787 Dreamliner.
During the test, dubbed 2C, on the 787 Dreamliner static test airframe, the wing and trailing edges of the airframe were subjected to its limit load — the highest loads expected to be seen in service. The load is about 2.5 times the force of gravity for the wing.
A full analysis of the test results is currently underway and is expected to be concluded in approximately 10 days.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires a successful test result to clear the Dreamliner for its planned first flight, mostly likely around 22nd December 2009.
Bangalore Aviation readers will recall on June 23, Boeing announced it was necessary to reinforce an area of structure at the side-of-body section of the 787 after de-lamination failure during the same static tests.
The modifications entail installing new fittings at 34 stringer locations within the joint where the wing is attached to the fuselage. The modifications were completed on the first two flight-test airplanes and the full-scale static test airplane earlier this month.
Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program said
“Today’s test was an important milestone for the program. We will confirm the test results after the completion of our detailed analysis,”
A successful result is crucial for Boeing to ensure the recovery of the Dreamliner program. The delays have led to hordes of irate customers including 787-9 launch customer Air New Zealand. Last week, on BBC’s Hardtalk, Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar al Baker expressed his frustration with Boeing. He is threatened cancelling any further orders with the aircraft giant if more delays occur. Many long standing Boeing customers have purchased competitor Airbus’s A330 further eroding Boeing credibility.
In India though, thanks to unbridled over-expansion of fleet capacity, the two Indian carriers who have placed orders for the 787 Dreamliner, Air India and Jet Airways, are the few airlines in the world not regretting the delay, instead profiting from penalties they would have forced Boeing to pay.