backtop


Print 70 comment(s) - last by aqwan135.. on Dec 20 at 8:19 PM


The 787 Dreamliner lifts its nose during taxi run  (Source: Boeing)
Boeing's 787 Dreamliner inches closer to its first flight

Boeing's highly anticipated 787 Dreamliner is more than two years late, but things are finally starting to kick into high gear with the aircraft's development. Over the weekend, Boeing test pilots taxied the jet down the runway at 150 mph and managed to lift its nose off the ground [video].

"Our pilots told me the airplane performed beautifully," said 787 chief project engineer Mike Delaney. "We're going through and analyzing the data to ensure we're ready for first flight. From evaluations we've done so far, everything looks good."

While this may seem like a small step to some, this is just the precursor to the big event which is scheduled for Tuesday. On Tuesday at 10 am PST -- if all goes according to plan -- Boeing's 787 will take to the air for the first time. According to HeraldNet, the composite-bodied aircraft will remain aloft for more than five hours as critical systems and flight performance/handling characteristics are carefully monitored.

3News reports that roughly 600 engineers and 400 mechanics will be on hand for the exhaustive nine-month flight testing phase of the program. During this phase, six aircraft will be flown on a regular basis to work out any problems that are bound to crop up during typical flight testing.

The 787 has been plagued with problems during its prolonged development. Most recently, problems with the aircraft's wingbox were discovered. It was found that composite sheets covering the wings were delaminating under stress.

Many of the problems surrounding the 787, however, have come from the fact that much of the production of key components of the aircraft have been farmed out to different contractors around the world.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO and president Scott Carson noted in early 2008, "The fundamental design and technologies of the 787 remain sound," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO and president Scott Carson. "However, we continue to be challenged by start-up issues in our factory and in our extended global supply-chain."

For those that haven't been keeping up with the program, the 787's airframe is composed of 50 percent composites, 20 percent aluminum, 15 percent titanium, and 10 percent steel. The 787 can cruise at Mach 0.85 and uses 20 percent less fuel than a comparable Airbus A330. For those that like to stay connected while in the air, the 787 also features built-in wired networking.

Boeing has 840 firm orders for its sleek 787 Dreamliner as of November 2009.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Similarities
By Mrduder11 on 12/14/2009 11:30:04 AM , Rating: 1
Wow Activision Blizzard and Boeing have some similarities.
If I ordered the 787 on the same day I ordered Starcraft 2 they will likely both arrive the same day, only 3 years delayed.




RE: Similarities
By fliguy84 on 12/14/2009 12:45:27 PM , Rating: 1
Except that Activision Blizzard have never said nor released the expected launch date of the game.


RE: Similarities
By Mr Perfect on 12/14/2009 1:19:33 PM , Rating: 5
Except the 787 is going to have LAN support! XD

"the 787 also features built-in wired networking."


RE: Similarities
By rascalbear on 12/14/2009 4:25:13 PM , Rating: 2
That was an awesome SC2 LAN comment amigo.

If rating was enabled for me, I would rate you as high as I could!

:-)


RE: Similarities
By kufeifie on 12/15/09, Rating: -1
RE: Similarities
By aqwan135 on 12/20/2009 8:19:09 PM , Rating: 1
http://ta.gg/3yu

fr ee sh i pp ing

(jordan shoes) $32

(air max) $34

+++

wow


waiting for the military version
By inperfectdarkness on 12/14/2009 9:31:40 AM , Rating: 2
while the newness of this technology & the growing pains surrounding it give me pause currently--i'm very eager to see militarized versions become available for the USAF & allies. as one of the largest consumers of petroleum products in the world, the USAF could most certainly benefit from even a 5% average reduced fuel consumption across its heavy fleet.

look for UAV's to start brandishing this technology soon as well--as increased loiter times greatly extend the reach of a static-sized force.




RE: waiting for the military version
By traindriver on 12/14/2009 4:28:29 PM , Rating: 1
What exactly would a military version be?

As far as the composite material goes (the reason for the weight reduction), it has been used by the military for over 10 years.

The F-18 Super hornet has a great deal of composite parts.


By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 12/15/2009 8:20:37 AM , Rating: 3
Tanker.


Wings
By eddieroolz on 12/14/2009 6:11:12 AM , Rating: 3
I like the wing of the 787, it gives it a slightly different look from all the other jetliners.




RE: Wings
By CharonPDX on 12/14/2009 3:26:14 PM , Rating: 2
I just think it's too bad they got rid of the more sharply angled nose and tail. I liked those.


Woohoo!
By bradmshannon on 12/14/2009 7:18:53 AM , Rating: 2
Boeing is moving the manufacturing of this plane to my town (Charleston, SC) :D




RE: Woohoo!
By George Powell on 12/14/2009 11:12:01 AM , Rating: 2
Partially true, they are actually opening up a second production line in order to satisfy the immense demand for the aircraft.

But still, the announcement is great news for the people of Charleston.


Lightning strikes?
By parsley on 12/14/2009 1:35:12 PM , Rating: 1
Does anyone know how Boeing have handled protection from lightning strikes on the composite areas?




RE: Lightning strikes?
By hduser on 12/14/2009 3:22:44 PM , Rating: 2
I think they embedded a fine wire mesh to the composite to handle lightning strikes.


For...
By ggordonliddy on 12/14/2009 8:29:12 PM , Rating: 1
For me to poop on!




RE: For...
By ggordonliddy on 12/17/2009 12:05:59 AM , Rating: 2
Yessirree Bob!


Boeing vs. Intel
By CharonPDX on 12/14/2009 3:42:39 PM , Rating: 2
Time to dredge up my old humorous comparison:

(Just re-posted to my current website from an archive of my college-era website; didn't change a thing.)

http://www.hurtley.info/Media/boeing.html

Yes, that was very old; it was written right about the time the 777 took its first flight, when I was an Aerospace Engineering student who was seriously in to computers.

(And, yes, I was calling my website "The Information Speedbump" as early as 1995.)




By hellokeith on 12/14/2009 11:00:32 PM , Rating: 1
.. will all nicely fit inside the plane w/ plenty of leg room, for that maiden flight.

And since they all did such a bang-up job, none of them should be the least bit hesitant about being on that first flight. :)




787
By CalWorthing on 12/16/2009 10:30:44 PM , Rating: 1
I could have sworn I saw this AC several weeks ago slowly flying along the coast of central Calif. (In an area & at an altitude not frequented by this size commercial AC) being paced by a chase-plane (small jet). I'm a pilot, photographer, and airplane-nut, and heard unusual aircraft engine sounds. Looking up, I immediately recognized the wing outline. At the time I assumed they were shooting promo video/stills with the ocean/coast/sunset background.




bendan
By aqaq55 on 12/15/09, Rating: 0
Many of the problems surrounding the 787....
By Amiga500 on 12/14/09, Rating: -1
RE: Many of the problems surrounding the 787....
By axias41 on 12/14/09, Rating: -1
By martinrichards23 on 12/14/2009 6:59:46 AM , Rating: 5
Linking to a google search?

Oh great, point proven!


RE: Many of the problems surrounding the 787....
By axias41 on 12/14/2009 3:48:10 PM , Rating: 2
Did you disprove my statement? 787 original design was flawed, this is a fact. Can you refute that?


By axias41 on 12/14/2009 3:50:40 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, right, I forgot that american designs can't be flawed. They are American!


RE: Many of the problems surrounding the 787....
By invidious on 12/14/2009 10:55:24 AM , Rating: 4
Flight testing is part of the certification process. If you are implying that it is an unsafe design simply because it is not certified yet that would be a poor assessment.

Unless you have information it is not fair to assume that PR is dictating anything to engineering. The only statements you hear are from PR people, not from engineering. I am not familiar with the 787 program but I can assure you FAA certification is not achieved through a lack of understanding.

Certification standards on new aircraft are tougher than ever and must be considered from the ground up. You don't just make an unsafe aircraft and then fix it afterwords to get it certified, it adds years and millions of dollars onto the developement. Boeing has certified enough aircraft to know what they are doing.


RE: Many of the problems surrounding the 787....
By Amiga500 on 12/14/09, Rating: -1
RE: Many of the problems surrounding the 787....
By DougF on 12/14/2009 4:01:48 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Talk to any stresser and they will moan about the stupidity of putting composites into wing spars (and even worse - ribs) right now. Or fuselages.
They said the same thing when aircraft switched to aluminum...

quote:
In the room I'm in, you'd be doing very well to find even 5% of the engineers would willingly fly on a 787/A350/CSeries within the first 5 years of its introduction.
In the room I'M in, you'd be doing very well to find even 5% of the mechanics would willingly fly on any aircraft...


RE: Many of the problems surrounding the 787....
By Amiga500 on 12/14/2009 4:24:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They said the same thing when aircraft switched to aluminum...


Erm... as opposed to spruce?

I don't think there were many arguments over the move to Aluminium/Duralumin to be honest. Although from what I've read there were numerous manufacturing issues going to stressed skins... is that what you meant?


By DougF on 12/14/2009 5:18:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Although from what I've read there were numerous manufacturing issues going to stressed skins... is that what you meant?
Yes, but maintenance issues as well (ref Aloha Air 243).


RE: Many of the problems surrounding the 787....
By MozeeToby on 12/14/2009 11:19:40 AM , Rating: 2
You make it sound like there is A) No reason to move to a composite airframe and B) No composite airframes flying today. Neither of which are true and besides that there is a reason that flight testing happens before passengers are flown.

A nearly 100% composite airframe reduces weight considerably, saving on fuel costs and indirectly saving on maintenance. It also allows for larger windows and a higher cabin pressure, since composite doesn't suffer from fatigue stress damage as much as aluminum does.

Saying that it isn't certified and trying to assert that therefore the Boeing engineers don't understand the physics and materials science does a discredit to engineering. Do you really think that Boeing would put as much money as they have into this plane without knowing if it would fly without tearing itself apart?

Composites have been used in airframe construction since the 80's. The nearly all composite airframe is the result of more than 30 years of R&D on a wide variety of airframes. It's going to fly just fine.


RE: Many of the problems surrounding the 787....
By Amiga500 on 12/14/09, Rating: -1
By Oregonian2 on 12/14/2009 1:14:38 PM , Rating: 2
Overweight compared to the design target weight or overweight compared to the more conservative alternative?


RE: Many of the problems surrounding the 787....
By Amiga500 on 12/14/09, Rating: -1
By rangerdavid on 12/14/2009 2:29:53 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not starting a flame war, I'm just calling "BS" on you on you for this:

quote:
For the moment, composites are heavier, harder to design, quite unknown in terms of impact tolerance, environmental degradation, lightening strike attenuation, crack propagation...


Please explain this further. Are you suggesting that Boeing used composites solely to reduce the part count for ease of manufacturing? Are you talking about extruded or intruded plastics?

If Boeing says it has used such a high proportion of composite materials in this airframe to reduce weight, what evidence do you have to the contrary (both of some ulterior motive, and (what I consider a very strange assertion) that composites are "heavy" and untested?


By rangerdavid on 12/14/2009 2:22:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Composites have been used in airframe construction since the 80's. The nearly all composite airframe is the result of more than 30 years of R&D on a wide variety of airframes. It's going to fly just fine.


Amen. I was going to post the same comment...

Composites have been seeing use in a variety of modern airframes, many used in the military (where wing load can be quite extreme) and engineers from Boeing, McDonald Douglas, and others have quite a lot of experience with this material.


RE: Many of the problems surrounding the 787....
By Suntan on 12/14/2009 12:33:27 PM , Rating: 2
Enough with your silly "I know more than everyone at Boeing" insinuations and half comments.

You seem to want everyone to think of you as a real smart engineer based on the comments you make, fine then. As one engineer to another, lay out your actual proof to back up what you say or shut yer yapper. Or are you just a guy who took a comm-college course in Pro-E and now you call yourself a "deisgner?"

-Suntan


RE: Many of the problems surrounding the 787....
By Amiga500 on 12/14/09, Rating: 0
RE: Many of the problems surrounding the 787....
By Suntan on 12/14/2009 2:25:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
[as you can prob guess, its not Boeing I work for - and Im not going to start listing off design allowables on here]


Pretty much what I thought.

More unfounded blathering with nothing of substance to back it up…

-Suntan


RE: Many of the problems surrounding the 787....
By Amiga500 on 12/14/09, Rating: 0
By Suntan on 12/14/2009 4:32:35 PM , Rating: 2
Now you are throwing out completely wild assumptions about which you know nothing… not very “engineering-like.”

I hope you aren’t prone to doing that at your day job.

…In any case, just more hot air from you with nothing of substance.

-Suntan


By Reclaimer77 on 12/14/2009 1:11:48 PM , Rating: 3
You are an idiot. Please show me your credentials. Because I'm pretty sure Boeing engineers have forgotten more about designing planes than you will ever know.


RE: Many of the problems surrounding the 787....
By DBRfreak on 12/14/2009 1:25:08 PM , Rating: 3
I would be interesting in hearing your credentials as a composite materials engineer. They may be better than mine, but I'm skeptical. You realize that the use of fiberglass panels (yup, those are composites) and other composites goes back for decades?

Also, PR doesn't dictate anything to Engineering, Marketing does - they decide the size, the mission profile and sometimes the subcontracted components (engines, etc.) - but to say that Engineering simply rubber-stamps everything is a bit silly.

As has already been pointed out, FAA, EASA and Transport Canada certification (only ones I'm familiar with) is not a short or simple process. Boeing was talking to the cert. bodies well before the product roll-out. To think that any OEM would develop a new platform without understanding how the ship would be certified is simply naive.

Today, ships are designed specifically around the cert requirements and if something is very questionable, it won't make it on board.


RE: Many of the problems surrounding the 787....
By DougF on 12/14/2009 4:12:00 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Many of the problems are simply due to us not fully understanding composite behaviour in a whole realm of situations
That may be the cause of some of the problems, but most of the problems are from trying to fit together large structures with clearance tolerances in the thousandths of inches. On any older production line, aircraft were jammed and jimmied together; and if there were two production lines, it was probable that panels/doors/windows could not be swapped between aircraft from different lines. It's gotten a lot better, but trying to get 20-30ft pieces to fit together like a glove when manufactured at separate facilities is still a minor miracle.


By Amiga500 on 12/14/2009 4:21:09 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
That may be the cause of some of the problems, but most of the problems are from trying to fit together large structures with clearance tolerances in the thousandths of inches.


Especially when the components often warp by some quite massive amounts in manufacture.

Hence all the shimming.


haha?
By Suomynona on 12/14/09, Rating: -1
RE: haha?
By HotFoot on 12/14/2009 8:10:46 AM , Rating: 3
Not too sure... I mean, 2 years delay (so far) is bad.

But, you know, this is still the hottest-selling airliner in history, in terms of pre-orders.

I look forward to flying on a 787 someday and seeing what it's like from a customer point of view. Seeing an A380 in action is fun, but I don't actually wish to get on one at any point.


RE: haha?
By cocoman on 12/14/09, Rating: 0
RE: haha?
By rikulus on 12/14/2009 9:20:53 AM , Rating: 5
From my standpoint, there isn't any particular reason to look forward to a flight on an A380, it should be a typical flight experience... just with LOTS of people. The 787 is interesting because:
The composite body allows higher pressurization of the interior due to decreased fatigue of the materials. So it should be a more comfortable, less drying flight.
The windows are larger than other planes, and more importantly higher. So tall people like me should be able to look directly out the window, rather than stooping down to peek out it.
They redesigned the typical shape of the cabin to put the widest point at shoulder level rather than hip level, which should make the plane feel less cramped.
And, there's a better chance I'll actually fly in one, since they will do typical routes. Although, maybe that's a reason to hope for an A380 flight, because that would mean I'm flying somewhere distant and interesting! :)


RE: haha?
By inperfectdarkness on 12/14/2009 9:36:15 AM , Rating: 2
you're still going to dry out. unless they start pumping water vapor into the cabin throughout the flight, it's just going to happen. 30k feet doesn't contain nearly as much moisture as sea level.


RE: haha?
By hduser on 12/14/2009 3:15:24 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, there's not too much water in the air up there but then again, with higher pressure and warmer temperature, the air in the 787 can hold more grains of water. I think it also uses less bypass air from the engines and the interior cabin of the 787 is filtered more than other designs so it'll retain more moisture than normal designs. The other metal aircraft prefers it to be dry to reduce moisture/corrosion but it's not the case for the 787.


RE: haha?
By HotFoot on 12/14/2009 9:45:16 AM , Rating: 3
Those are exactly the reasons I'm interested in flying in a 787. I thought they might have gotten rid of the larger windows, but the 6000' pressure alone would make me interested in trying it out versus the 767 or A330s I've been on.

And as far as patriotic reasons go... well, I'm Canadian. Boeing does a lot of work in Canada, I suppose, but so do they do a lot of work in Japan and many other countries. It's high time people got a little less paranoid on the web and stopped assuming everyone has an ulterior motive. I meant exactly what I said and nothing else.


RE: haha?
By amanojaku on 12/14/2009 12:29:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They redesigned the typical shape of the cabin to put the widest point at shoulder level rather than hip level, which should make the plane feel less cramped.
Hm... I just looked around my office, then at the street. I think wider at the hips would be more comfortable for many people. Maybe we'll see the birth of obesity airlines?


RE: haha?
By gregpet on 12/14/2009 5:10:12 PM , Rating: 2
We flew on the inaugural flight of the first Quantus A380 between LA & Sidney (Oct 2008). Amazing plane but as you stated - nothing really that interesting from the passenger's standpoint. The economy cabin looks pretty much like any wide body plane. The entertainment options were nice and they mounted a camera at the top of the planes tail which is interesting to watch. Seats, windows, legroon - all pretty typical...


RE: haha?
By Amiga500 on 12/14/2009 8:25:18 AM , Rating: 2
Most problems on A380 were the result of inept management running incompatible CAD systems on different design sites.

Most problems on the 787 are the result of pushing the technical boundaries. I predict there to be a host of continuing problems on the 787, particularly in its first few years of service. A350 will suffer the same fate.


RE: haha?
By bubba551 on 12/14/2009 9:04:58 AM , Rating: 2
I think that my unwillingness to fly on any Airbus is based on perception.

Two airbuses falling apart in mid-air in this decade has tainted that perception.


RE: haha?
By MrFord on 12/14/2009 10:18:48 AM , Rating: 4
I hope you never have to fly a DC-10 then. Or a 737. Or a CRJ. Or a 727. Or a 747. Come to think of, Lauda Air lost a 767 due to thrust reverser mid-air.


RE: haha?
By Oregonian2 on 12/14/2009 1:20:02 PM , Rating: 1
What do those planes have to do with Bubba's avoidance of Airbus planes? Or is Airbus now using Boeing designations like the ones you list?

He may like to walk. :-)


RE: haha?
By MrFord on 12/14/2009 1:57:29 PM , Rating: 2
All had one or more mid-air disintegration. In fact, barring the 777 (and maybe the ERJ series AFAIK), pretty much every airplane models had at least one. I hope he likes ground transportation!


RE: haha?
By chromal on 12/14/2009 2:20:51 PM , Rating: 2
You're far more likely to die in ground transport than an aircraft, composites or no.


RE: haha?
By hduser on 12/14/2009 3:18:19 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know why but I never felt safe on a DC-10.


RE: haha?
By hduser on 12/14/2009 3:37:15 PM , Rating: 2
And not because of the DC-10 track history, just the way it flew and landed.


RE: haha?
By Leomania on 12/14/2009 4:13:01 PM , Rating: 2
Older planes like the 737 and DC-10 had some early life failures that were rectified and have since been proven reliable. The most recent Airbus crashes appear to have a smoking gun (the airspeed sensors) but until those are replaced and some amount of time passes without similar incidents, I'd say it's not unreasonable to have an elevated concern about an Airbus.


RE: haha?
By oxymojoe on 12/14/2009 4:23:26 PM , Rating: 2
So what do you suggest people fly in? Do you have any idea how many 727's and 737's are in service right now? Your comment is ridiculous.


RE: haha?
By MrFord on 12/15/2009 10:28:13 AM , Rating: 2
I just made a sarcastic comment as a response to irrational fear.

I'm just saying that because one A330 was lost mid-air doesn't make every Airbus unsafe, just like all these planes are still safe to fly in even if they were victims of similar breakup.

737's rudder reversal didn't stop people from flying in it, and is one of the safest plane around, but they still lost 2. Took years to finally find out the problem in the hydraulic rudder activator, and it took a pretty rare chain of event to trigger it. Similar to the A330 pitot tube problems, where heavy thunderstorms, probable icing, and I'm sure other failures brought the plane down.


RE: haha?
By bubba551 on 12/15/2009 4:01:39 PM , Rating: 2
You'll notice that I indicated "this decade."

The Laudia Air 767 incident (1991) occurred after the pilots received a visual warning of the potential for thruster reversal and ignored it.

In contrast, the NYC Airbus crash occurred when the pilot steered too hard and the rudder fell off. (If you crashed your car solely because the wheels fell off, would you accept 'oh you steered too quickly' as an excuse from the manufacturer?)


RE: haha?
By OCedHrt on 12/14/2009 8:13:01 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know anything about the technical merits of Airbus over Boeing but from having been in both, I definitely feel more comfortable in a Boeing. This may be a subconscious preference, but I do feel more frame stressing(?) on the Airbus.


"This is from the DailyTech.com. It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki