Boeing 787 Dreamliner undergoes fatigue testing at Paine Field. Photo from Boeing
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has started it’s fatigue testing. The fatigue test frame might look like a crazy construction rig, but think of it more like a time machine.
The fatigue rig will put the Boeing 787 through 100,000 simulated flights, which is equivalent to about three times an expect life of the Dreamliner. The best part? It never has to leave the ground.
The fatigue test rig simulates every part of the flight. From the push back at the airport to the arrival at its destination. This process is called a ground-air-ground (GAG) cycle. Boeing has five different GAG cycles that put the aircraft through different simulations, ranging in duration and flight severity.
While the structural test program already has validated the strength of the airframe, fatigue testing looks at long-term, continued use. It allows Boeing engineers to see what will give over time and create inspection techniques for airlines.
“Every kid’s dream is to build something and then try to break it, right?,” asks Peter Brownlow, the fatigue testing conductor for the 787 program. “In essence, that’s what we’re doing. We take an airplane and we try to put it through its paces and try to break it at the end.”
To create this havoc, 100 mechanical devices have been connected to the exterior of the Dreamliner. Engineers in a control room use the devices to mimic actions the 787 will go through.
Boeing told me that they expect the fatigue testing to take about three years. Not bad. Too bad someone can’t earn any frequent flier miles for all those flights!
Also Check Out:
* Randy’s Journal with additional photos
* Awesome video from Boeing on the 787 fatigue test
* Photos of the test Boeing 787 coming out of the hangars in January
Lots of great stuff to check out at Vintage Aircraft Weekend at Paine Field this weekend.
If you are in the Seattle area this weekend and you like aviation, you probably want to stop by Paine Field (KPAE) to check out the Vintage Aircraft Weekend.
It is more than just looking at vintage airplanes on the ground. These babies can still fly and will show off their stuff. There will also be people who fly and work on the planes to be around to answer your questions and tell you stories.
Oh and there will be some pretty good food vendors there too.
If you are interested in checking it out, today they are open from 9:30am to 5:30pm and then open from 9:30am to 3:00pm on Sunday. To learn more, be sure to check out their website. Image: John H Clark
Aerial view of the DreamLifter and Future of Flight taken by Paine Field
Paine Field is in the process of building additional parking spots next to the Future of Flight. The hope is Boeing 787 Dreamliners will one day be parked there, but for a little over a week, a Boeing DreamLifter has been making it home. If you are in the Seattle area, this gives you a great opportunity to pretty close to a DreamLifter.
This photo was taken from the sky by the Paine Field Airport. Check out the shadow that the DreamLifter puts on the ground (zoomed in photo), it is quite impressive, just like the plane itself.
* Larger version of image above
* Photos I took of the DreamLifter yesterday while at Paine Field
New British Airways Boeing 747-8F at Paine Field
Late last night I got word from Jon Ostrower (aka FlightBlogger) that a nicely new painted Boeing 747-8 in British Airways colors was out in the open. So, this morning I headed over to Paine Field (KPAE) to check it out. I found her, but it wasn’t so easy. First she was parked a bit off from the rest of the Boeing 747-8’s and she is not in full British Airways livery. She is painted all white with a blue belly.
I was also able to check out the other Boeing 747-8’s sitting, waiting to take to the sky.
CHECK OUT ALL THE PICTURES
Update: BA has announced it is updating its fleet of Boeing 747-400F with new Boeing 747-8F’s and will be leasing them through Global Supply Systems, which is 49% owned by Atlas Air. On the press release BA states, “It has also been agreed that the new 747-8fs will be delivered in British Airways livery and incorporate the British Airways World Cargo logo.” Flight Global reports that they will be wet-leased for five years by GSS.