GirlHacker's Random Log

almost daily since 1999


Flight testing of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner begins this week. Test pilots will put the new plane through nine months of extreme conditions, from a cold start after an overnight at 55 degrees below zero to one-engine operation, in-flight stalls, and braking on the runway at top speed with brake pads ground down to maximum allowed wear. Chief project engineer Mike Delaney is hoping for several lightning strikes to quell concerns that the plastic airframe won’t dissipate lightning as well as aluminum. The outside of the 787 is composed of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. Boeing sent a 6×3 foot panel of the composite plastic to All Nippon Airways to convince their engineers that the material was durable and repairable. They banged on it with hammers, barely scratching it, and Boeing demonstrated how to repair the damage. Barring any additional slips in the schedule, ANA will receive the first 787 in late 2010.

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