Boeing's 787 Dreamliner Moves to Flight Line

DN Staff

May 6, 2009

3 Min Read
Boeing's 787 Dreamliner Moves to Flight Line

Boeing's 787Dreamliner, which is expected to take flight for the first time by theend of June, has moved to the flight line and fuel testing will begin in thenext few days.

The first 787, designated ZA001, recently completed a seriesof tests, including build verification tests, structures and systemsintegration tests, landing gear swings and factory gauntlet, which is the fullsimulation of the first flight using the actual airplane. The simulation testsall flight controls, hardware and software, and also includes manual andautomatic landings and several subsequent ground tests. It will undergoadditional power and systems tests, engine runs and high-speed taxi tests priorto its first flight.

"We are making great progress and moving ever-closer tofirst flight," Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787Dreamliner program, said in a press release. "These results give usconfidence in our ability to move into further gauntlet testing using eitherground power or the airplane's engines or auxiliary power unit. This is asignificant milestone on the path to first flight."

According to the company, all structural tests required onthe static airframe prior to first flight were completed in April, when thewing and trailing edges were subjected to their limit load - the highest loadsthat are expected to be seen when the plane is in service. The load is aboutthe same as the airplane experiencing 2.5 times the force of gravity.

"We continue to analyze the data, but the initial resultsare positive," Fancher said.

Ground vibration testing, which measures the airplane'sresponse to flutter, also concluded on the second flight-test Dreamliner,designated ZA002, last week, the company says.

Boeing last week also announced it will overhaul its 737, making itmore fuel efficient and closer in design to the company's 787 Dreamliner.

The 737 BoeingSky Interior features new, 787-inspired modern sculpted sidewalls, overheadmood lighting and wider windows. The sidewall design integrates an air vent,making preflight security checks easier and quicker for maintenance staff. Thevent, along with improved noise-dampening materials, make the cabin quieter,according to Boeing.

The new 737 design also offers larger, pivoting overheadstorage bins, which give passengers more room to store carry-on luggage andadded leg room.

Boeing also says it redesigned reading light switches sopassengers can find them more easily without accidentally pressing the flightattendant call button, and new overhead speakers improve the sound and clarityof announcements from the flight crew.

With airframe and engine improvements, Boeing is targeting a2 percent reduction in fuel consumption by the time the first redesigned 737 entersservice in 2011, according to the company. Structural improvements will reducedrag on the plane, which is expected to cut fuel use by 1 percent. Boeing saysits engine partner, CFM, is contributing the other 1 percent fuel savingsthrough hardware changes to the engine. CFM officials say the CFM56-7BEvolution engine will also equal an almost 2 percent reduction in carbonemissions.

Changes to the engine include using advanced computer codesand 3-D design techniques to improve airfoils in the high- and low-pressureturbines to improve engine performance, according to a press release issued byCFM.

Seven airlines, including Continental, will be the first toincorporate the 737 Boeing Sky Interior into their. Other airlines areFlyDubai, Norwegian Air Shuttle ADA, Malaysia Airlines, TUI Travel PLC, GOLAirlines and Lion Air.

The company has received orders for 886 airplanes from 57customers.

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