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Boeing 787 Through 'Final Gauntlet,' Ready For Test Flight

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 3:39am

SEATTLE (AP) — Boeing Co. says the long-anticipated first flight of its new 787 jetliner could come as early as Tuesday.

Boeing announced Thursday that its window for a first flight would open on Dec. 15 with the actual flight timing dependent on final internal reviews, taxi testing and Federal Aviation Administration documentation.

The company also said it has completed "final gauntlet" testing on the 787 and verified the success of fixes it made to a structural problem.

Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, says two days of testing checked out all the airplane systems, such as avionics, hydraulics and electrical.

Boeing earlier reinforced weak points near the area where the wings attach to the fuselage, then conducted a so-called static test — essentially bending the wings — on the repairs.

Fancher says Boeing has completed its analysis of that static test and called it successful.

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