Boeing has completed the side-of-body modification on the first 787 and shortly expects to conduct validation testing, ahead of the delayed airliner’s first flight, which it still expects to make by the end of the year.
The modification involved installing new fittings at 34 stringer points within the wing-body joint, and was completed on the first 787 on November 12. The same work is expected to be completed on the 787 static test aircraft and the second flight test aircraft within days.
“Completing this work is a significant step toward first flight. We continue to be pleased with the progress of the team and remain confident the first flight of the 787 Dreamliner will occur before the end of the year,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. “We will test the modification on the full scale static test airframe later this month. As soon as we confirm the loads are being handled appropriately in the joint we will complete preflight activities on the airplane.”
Access doors, systems, seals and fasteners removed from the first 787 to provide access are being restored in preparation for the aircraft to resume preflight testing, ahead of its expected first flight in late December. Other 787s will be modified in the weeks ahead.