Dreamliner May Fly Dec. 22
The Seattle Times is reporting that the beefed-up wing root structure of the Boeing 787 survived testing on Monday and the aircraft is scheduled for a first flight on Dec. 22. Quoting unnamed sources, the newspaper said it had been told that while engineers have not yet given the final approval on the tests, those who conducted them have declared them a success. Just before the twice-delayed first flight in June, a wing stress test revealed delaminations in support stringers where the wing meets the fuselage.
Boeing said the failure was a design flaw and, according to the Times, redistribution of the load and the addition of some fasteners have fixed it. The 787 is Boeing's first predominantly composite airliner and it's about two years behind schedule. The Times says the airplane slated for the first flight was fixed by Nov. 11, and has been moved to the fuel bay and will repeat the high-speed taxi tests that were done in June.