August 2012

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The Road to 787 First Flight - May 28 - 2nd gauntlet phase set to begin

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UPDATE 7:56 PM ET: Boeing is spending today on "shop gauntlet work" on ZA001 in preparation for the intermediate gauntlet, now scheduled for tomorrow. In addition, today's early morning engine runs have also moved to tomorrow ahead of the second phase of the gauntlet. As originally planned, the intermediate gauntlet will begin with the B-1 profile flight.
ZA001's seven-day intermediate gauntlet could get underway as early as the middle of the day today in Everett, sources indicate.

The first 787 was scheduled to undergo multiple engine runs starting in the wee hours of this morning.

Following those engine runs, the flight test team would hold a pre-gauntlet meeting this morning to evaluate the aircraft's readiness for the intermediate gauntlet. If the stamp of approval is given and no further testing is required, the second - and longest - phase of gauntlet testing will get underway in the late morning or middle of the day in Everett.

The early intermediate gauntlet tests will feature a B-1 profile, or simulated first flight of a new aircraft. Earlier this month, Boeing's Integrated Test Vehicle (ITV) also known as ZA000, ran through this simulated flight tests evaluating the systems under multiple failure modes, essentially a run through of the type of testing ZA001 will be subjected to during the intermediate gauntlet.

The ITV tests were run in two blocks, a standard B-1 profile was run on May 6th and a much more challenging failure-laden B-1 simulation on May 9-10th that included failures of the common core system, hydraulics and environmental control and the brake-by-wire systems.

Back in the factory, ZA002 - still parked in Building 40-24 - underwent gear swing tests yesterday evening. In addition, engines are now installed on ZA004 and ZA005, marking two important milestones. First, the final Trent 1000 fitting of flight test aircraft and the first installation of the General Electric GExn-1B engine on a 787 airframe.

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

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