Boeing 787 Dreamliner completes key tests

Boeing 787 Dreamliner completes key tests
Photographer Steve Ringman shoots video of an engine on a Boeing 787, the first of the model scheduled to fly.
EVERETT, Wash. - The Boeing Co. finished reviewing results of tests conducted last month to validate the side-of-body modification made to strengthen the 787 Dreamliner.

Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, said the testing validated changes made to reinforce the fuselage where it attaches to the wings.

Fancher also reported that the 787 team has completed final gauntlet testing on the first airplane.

"We are very pleased with the results of this final functional testing," he said. "With the successful completion of static testing and this functional testing, our focus now moves to first flight."

During the Nov. 30 test on the 787 Dreamliner static test airframe, the wing and trailing edges of the airframe were subjected to the highest loads expected to be seen in service. The test was required to clear the airplane for first flight.

Boeing announced June 23 that it was necessary to reinforce an area of structure at the side-of-body section of the 787. The modification required installing new fittings at 34 locations where the wing attaches to the fuselage. The 787 team has completed modifications on the first three flight-test airplanes and the full-scale static test airplane.

The first flight of the 787 Dreamliner is expected to occur after final flight readiness reviews, approval from the Federal Aviation Administration and taxi testing.