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  (Source: Boeing)

  (Source: Boeing)
Boeing glides along with Dreamliner development

Boeing has a lot riding on its 787 Dreamliner program, and after a two-year delay, things appear to be panning out nicely for the Seattle-based company. The first 787 Dreamliner made its maiden flight on December 15, 2009 and stayed aloft for roughly three hours.

The second 787 Dreamliner took to the air a week later featuring the markings of the first customer which will receive the new planes: All Nippon Airways (ANA). In total, 15 flights (totaling nearly 60 hours) have been made so far using the first two aircraft.

Another milestone was reached late last week; the 787 Dreamliner achieved "initial airworthiness" status. This milestone allows Boeing to open up the testing phase to more aircraft. Boeing flight engineers will also be allowed on the flight deck now according to the Associated Press.

"This is an important step forward," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes VP Scott Fancher. "We are very pleased with the results we have achieved so far. The airplane has been performing as we expected."

The previous test flights have seen the 787 Dreamliners reach a top speed of Mach 0.65 and an altitude of 30,000 feet. In the coming weeks, Boeing test pilots will take the aircraft to Mach 0.85+ and in excess of 40,000 feet.

"The pilots have told me the results we are seeing in flight match their expectations and the simulations we've run. That's a real tribute to Boeing's expertise and the international team that helped develop and build the airplane," Fancher added.

ANA is expected to receive its first 787 Dreamliners during the fourth quarter of 2010. The Japanese airliner has ordered 55 of the aircraft.

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RE: Conventional looking now
By theapparition on 1/20/2010 8:15:15 AM , Rating: 1
Again, I was talking in generalizations and in context of aircraft manufacture. I thought I made that clear.

Some things, particuarly fiberglass, can be made by more conventional means. Keep in mind though, the round objects are manufactured by spin weaving composite threads. The other objects you mentioned (and as I mentioned) are technically composite, but are not continuous weave fabrics. So while they have some of the benefits of composites due to scrim reinforcement, those manufacturing processes would in no way be acceptable for airframe manufacture.

Your hypothetical manufacturing enviroment is not anywhere close to being correct either. Cheap fiberglass work does not equal carbon fiber or kevlar manufacture. You need an autoclave to properly cure the resin under pressure to eliminate voids. Why you see people doing hand layups is simple, because they don't have too many machines that can take the fiber and properly orient and apply in a custom situation. They do have machines that cut the fiber in the propper pattern. But actual assembly is still mainly a hand operation, especially in a custom enviroment.

BTW, a stamping machine to form metal is far cheaper in the long run than a team of skilled composite technicians.

RE: Conventional looking now
By drewidgho5t on 1/20/2010 3:06:33 PM , Rating: 1
@ theapparition

in defense of you I would like to tell 91ttz to STFU. Try learning instead of arguing.

@ 91ttz Those "mass produced parts" you speak of are usually fab'd as FRP--fibre re-inforced polymers. There is very little control regarding the orientation of the fibres. They are dumped into a big batch of molten polymer.

theapparition was kind enough to share knowledge with us, you included. You are rude enough to argue the minute details of semantics. See the part about additives-steel wool, fibreglass, etc??

Read the part where theapparition breaks down the difference in terminology. Resin impregnated fibre cloth is almost always laid by hand. That is how the fibre orientation is assured.

What a shame that the concept needs to be explained TWICE.

@theapparition--your explanation of terminology is eloquent and accurate. Just tell 91 titties to STFU and go rub some of his 91nplz.

RE: Conventional looking now
By 91TTZ on 1/20/2010 4:09:34 PM , Rating: 3
Wow, you seem overly upset over a non-issue.

The apparition was able to explain his case clearly while you come across as being an emotional 15 year old whose mom just took his XBox.

RE: Conventional looking now
By drewidgho5t on 1/20/2010 10:37:12 PM , Rating: 1
So if the case was explained clearly why did you attempt to find an inconsistency with what theapparition posted? CLEARLY, you chose to find whatever point you thought could be argued and emphasize the innaccuracy.

That is much more indicative of "the 15yr old" than someone berating a man-child for choosing to ignore an exceptionally informative post. Getting upset over nothing? No, I got upset over you choosing to argue instead of learn. Now STFU, read and learn.

BTW, have you noticed that none of the other clearly knowledgable people in this field have taken the same position as you.

theapparition did you (and me) a favour and you took a pass. You sure you want to discuss who is coming across as a 15 yr old?

RE: Conventional looking now
By 91TTZ on 1/21/2010 9:03:09 AM , Rating: 2
You clearly behave like an adolescent. You were either beaten up too much as a child or maybe you weren't beaten up enough. I'm not really sure.

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