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The Road to 787 First Flight - April 21 - Factory gauntlet complete

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ZA001-doorscracked_560.jpgDreamliner One has completed phase one of rigorous gauntlet testing as the aircraft inches ever closer to the flight line, Boeing confirms.

The factory gauntlet, which took ZA001 through a series simulated flight tests, successfully demonstrated the integration of aircraft systems in a closed-loop environment. During the testing, ZA001 was attached to a "bread truck" while a flight test pilot manipulated aircraft systems from the flight deck as engineers measured the response on the instrumentation installed in the aircraft cabin.

Aviation Week reports that the first phase of the gauntlet wrapped up considerably faster than planned. According to previous schedules, Boeing had budgeted as much as three days for its factory gauntlet.

In what could be interpreted as a much-needed optimistic sign for the future efficiency of the 787 and its more-electric systems, Boeing engineers astonishingly completed factory gauntlet testing by late afternoon on Monday Apr 20. The rigorous schedule of testing, provisionally set to run in continuous cycles of 10 hour blocks with briefing, debriefing and handover hours between shifts, was completed well ahead of expectations in less than 12 hours.

In a step toward the second phase of gauntlet testing, the the intermediate gauntlet, ZA001 will conduct final gear swing tests today (Tuesday) before being cleared to depart Building 40-24. One source indicates that Dreamliner One could be on the Everett flight line as early as this evening.

Over on the 787 line, ZA002 is preparing for ground vibration testing to begin as early as tomorrow, a prerequisite for ZA001 first flight clearance. This page misreported that the wire mesh coverings on ZA002 were intended for ground vibration testing, when in fact they were a part of high intensity radiated field (HIRF) and electro-magnetic interference testing.
Follow @flightblogger for the latest details on the road to 787 first flight.
Photo Credit Matt Cawby

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