One down, two to go

The 787 program reached a milestone last Saturday, successfully completing the high-blow test on the 787 static test vehicle in our Everett factory.

This test is one of three static tests on a full airframe that must be cleared prior to first flight. During the test, the airframe reached an internal pressure of 14.9 pounds per square inch (1.05 kilograms per centimeter) gauge (psig) – which is 150% of the maximum levels expected of the airplane in service.


The 787 static test airframe, at the factory in Everett, has undergone the first in a series of tests to demonstrate the airframe’s durability.

It took nearly two hours to complete the test, as pressure was slowly increased to ensure the integrity of the airplane.

The 787 team was confident going into this test because of the extensive work it’s done on larger and larger pieces of composite – from small coupons to fuselage sections. Still, it’s very rewarding to see a whole airplane being tested and having the results we expected.

With one test down, we have two more static tests before first flight – limit load testing on the leading and trailing edges of the wings.

Comments (5)

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

The 787 is certainly well built as it far exceeds it's expectations on all it's tests. The high-blow test proves the 787's safety and reliability and among other tests should convince customers and passengers that a non-majority aluminum airliner is every bit as safe an aluminum airliner.

Bill Ticknor (Long Beach):

Thanks Randy for making an interesting and timely journal.

I know you're not in the business of bearing bad news, but some balance between our achievements and the remaining challenges adds a bit of honesty to the story.

What I'm getting at is, this is a great time for the 787 program to catch-up on it's biggest challenges, like the logistical support of national and international suppliers. I can only imagine how intense that activity is right now. Maybe a peek at how that aspect is doing would be worthwhile.

Paul (Everett):

As ambient pressure is 1 at = 14.7 psi, the 'internal' pressure was 14.7 + 14.9 = 29.6 psi, giving a delta of 14.9 psi

CHRIS GIBSON (Australia):

I find it hard to believe that the management and unions seem to be unable or unwilling to find a solution to the present strike. With the turmoil in the American economy which is sliding into recession and the record number of jobless surely the workers would want to save their highly paid jobs and the company want to sell airplanes.

With the most exciting aircraft in years (787) almost sitting on the runway why do both sides want to give a free kick to the Airbus. Every month of delay gives Airbus and its outspoken salesman another stick to increase orders for the A350. Come on ladies and gentlemen end this stupid strike and get back to building the worlds finest airplanes.

TC (Mt. Vernon, WA):

Comparing the 777-200LR and the 777-300ER, which airplane is more fuel efficient? The 300ER is about 15% heavier and has 15% more floor area. If you loaded it up with 15% more payload than a 200LR, and flew both planes the same 5000nm distance, would the 300ER burn exactly 15% more fuel? That would be a tie. Less than 15% and the 300ER wins, more than 15% and the 200LR wins.

How is the 200LR doing? Of the 21 produced so far, I see the majority of them have been flying for about a year?

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