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Boeing confirms ZA001 factory gauntlet underway (Update1)

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787fd-sliver_560.jpgThe first of three phases of gauntlet testing is currently underway for ZA001, as the first 787 edges ever closer to its maiden flight, Boeing confirms.

The factory gauntlet is the first phase of full integrated systems testing that sees ZA001 hooked up to an external computer and "flown" in a simulated environment to see how systems react.

The testing, which began around 6:30 AM local time, is expected to be conducted in two ten-hour blocks and wrap up early tomorrow morning, says one source familiar with the tests.

The commencement of the testing also marks the handover of the first 787 to the Flight Test team as it closely examines the performance of the integrated onboard systems.

Most of the aircraft's systems will be tested during the first phase of the gauntlet and the aircraft's power will be drawn from ground cart and battery power. The engines and APU will not be turned on during this indoor phase of gauntlet testing.

The final two phases of gauntlet testing, intermediate and final, will both take place once ZA001 exits Building 40-24 for the Everett flight line.

UPDATE 4:32 PM ET: Boeing says that the factory gauntlet does not take place in two ten-hour blocks. Previous schedules have indicated that up to three days were budgeted for the testing.

As far as the status of the current testing, one source tells FlightBlogger that the early gauntlet "is going great so far!"

Photo Credit Boeing
ALSO SEE: Here to there: 787 pre-first flight milestones explained

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