Wheels up, wheels down

While I was lakeside in Montana last week, the 787 program really got “geared up.” In the final assembly facility in Everett they began the process of testing the landing gear on Airplane #1.

These gear swing tests replicate the extension and retraction of the landing gear, as they would function on a regular flight. The successful swinging of the landing gear into a stowed position and back down into a landing position verifies for us that the installation and functioning are working as we expect.

You can watch the testing for yourself on a new 787 Dreamliner Milestones site we’ve launched.

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Scenes from the 787 factory earlier this month as gear swing tests got under way on Airplane #1.

The landing gear action is initiated from the flight deck. It requires the integration of avionics as well as the common core system, the electrical power system, the hydraulic system and the major structure of the airplane itself. The nose gear and main gear left and right were all tested independently and then together.

Testing will continue, but there’s no question that this marks another visible sign of progress on the program as it nears first flight later this year.

Comments (5)

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

I have to say that those engines look best when they're on the wing.

Anyways, great going there with these latest successful tests. A lot of systems where validated in that simple test. It's baby steps at a time.

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

It is amazing to see the landing gear swing up and down, it is certainly one of the most complex operations in the flight regime and certainly the most important to insure a normal flight and landing.

I can't wait to see the engines turn on for the first time.

Chris C (South Africa):

“Positive rate of climb...gear-up!” A very familiar call-out in the flightdeck between the pilots as the airplane climbs away from the runway and a very fitting call-out for the successful “gear-swing” tests on the super-efficient 787 Dreamliner as the programme is climbing with success. Congratulations on the successful tests, and all the very best with the next round of ground tests before this magnificent airplane finally graces the skies! Thanks for the stellar photos as well.

Phil (Wokingham UK):

Lovely shiney tyres in the visuals, just hope you can get them operationally retracted & in the air soon.

Tim T. (Chandler, Arizona U.S.A.):

Can anyone tell me what the decision was as to whether there will be a window in the lavatories? I know, it's small potatoes, but I answered in the affirmative on an early questionnaire. The old prop planes had them and I wonder if the tradition will be revived? Aside from that, I can't wait for my first flight!

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