Dreamliner composite wing box has undergone successful destructive
testing which uses aerodynamic loads 1.5 times larger than aircraft
will ever encounter in the air, according to Boeing.
addition to determining the strength of the structure, the test helps us verify
methods we have used to calculate the loads the structure will have
to carry," Vice President of 787 Development Mark Jenks said in a press release.
While this crucial test is a milestone, don't expect the first 787 to fly anytime soon much less be delivered to customers. Boeing is currently working through a new delivery schedule for all its planes as a result of the 58-day machinists strike that was just resolved.
55,000-lb box is about 50 ft long and 18 ft across at its widest point.
"leading- and trailing-edge devices, control surfaces, engines and landing
gear," according to Boeing's press release. The unit was designed and built
by Boeing, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Fuji Heavy Industries.
upper and lower surfaces and wing spars are made from the same composite material
as the fuselage while the wing ribs are machined from single pieces of aluminum,
the press release said. Structural testing of the airframe is part of the FAA
Click here for Boeing's video
of the test.
first 787 was scheduled
to fly late in this quarter with the first commercial deliveries pushed out
to September of next year from May of 2008.
flight date has not been reset but that is in the works now. [Boeing CFO] James
Bell said it would be at least day for day and we are now evaluating the
rate at which we can get back to full speed. Mechanics had a week after
ratification to come back to work and then are having to go through training
and recertification before actually doing work on the airplane," says Boeing
spokeswoman Lori Gunter.
The Wall Street Journal reported today that Boeing executives will announce a new delivery schedule for its swollen backlog of 3,734 planes in early December. The article suggests delays will average 65-70 days. The article also says the newest 747 model with new engines, wings and interiors could be delayed nine months due to design changes.