It was an exciting day in Everett on Sunday as we took the wings on the 787 static test article to their “ultimate load” condition - bending them up by approximately 25 feet (7.62 meters).
The test represents 150% of the most extreme load any Dreamliner is expected to ever see in service, and it’s meant to ensure that we have appropriate design margin to account for unexpected events.
“Bend me, shape me” indeed. A remarkable photo taken during Sunday’s ultimate load test.
While the test only lasted a short period of time, as the team slowly applied the loads necessary, it took years to get to this point - and the expertise of hundreds of people. An airplane is an amazing creation, with countless design decisions that all have to come together in a machine that flies safely and reliably.
That just never gets old, if you know what I mean.
The test team is now taking a detailed look at all of the data gathered during the test. There are thousands of data points that need to be correlated to the expectations we had going into the test. That effort will take several weeks.
But, initial results are in and they’re positive.
We have test personnel in a control center during the testing. They watch displays of key data points as the testing is happening. Those folks saw nothing that indicated there was any concern. Still, we’ll go through the detailed review because that’s the level of precision required when building a commercial jetliner.
While we’ll have to wait until the final results are in to declare success, we’re certainly encouraged by what we saw on Sunday.