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B787 Completes Flutter And Ground Effects Testing

Milestone For Achieving Type Inspection Authorization From FAA

Boeing's Dreamliner has completed flutter and ground effects testing, and apparently passed with flying colors according to a blog entry posted last week.

Commercial Airplane Marketing Vice President Randy Tinseth wrote that the flutter test was conducted at a variety of speeds and altitudes and is now cleared to fly through its complete flight envelope. In flutter testing, oscillations are purposely introduced to verify that the flutter will naturally dampen under normal flight parameters.  "We tested at a variety of altitudes, speeds and fuel loads on ZA001," Tinseth wrote. "During the testing, we saw altitudes above 43,000 feet, dive speeds as high as Mach 0.97, and calibrated airspeeds as high as 405 knots. The technical team has made an initial assessment of the data and we couldn’t be more pleased with the performance of the 787. The damping was as predicted and the pilots report that the airplane responded as expected."

The ground effects characteristics of the airplane were tested in Victorville, CA, on ZA002. Tinseth said the tests went well and the airplane performed as expected.

All of the test data is being handed to the FAA as for Type Inspection Authority. Certification testing will begin when that authority is granted.

FMI: www.boeing.com

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