Boeing runs first 787 through gauntlet testing

By Stephen Trimble

Boeing yesterday launched the first of three phases of gauntlet testing on the first 787 flight test aircraft, ZA001, as the programme edges closer to first flight.

The factory gauntlet is the first phase of full integrated systems testing that sees ZA001 hooked up to an external computer and "flown" in a simulated environment to see how systems react.

Gauntlet testing also marks the handover of the first 787 from the assembly workforce to the flight test team.

Most of the aircraft's onboard systems will be tested during the first phase of the gauntlet. The aircraft's power will be drawn from ground cart and battery. The engines and auxiliary power unit (APU) will not be turned on during this indoor phase of gauntlet testing.

The final two phases of gauntlet testing, intermediate and final, will both take place once ZA001 exits Building 40-24 for the Everett flight line.

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