Truely Amazing!!!

March 30, 2010 at 1:23 am | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

Another milestone yet again in the testing and development of the 787. Last night Boeing successfully bent the 787 wings to 150% of their in-service aerodynamic load (http://www.seattlepi.com/business/388382_air19.html).  This is a HUGE accomplishment considering the last static wing test found delamination at the root of the wing which required an engineering repair that held up flight testing on the aircraft.

The goal of the static wing test is the prove the wings of the airplane will support all possible loading conditions the aircraft might see in flight. The picture below shows the test rig and wing bending.

One of the questions that might be running through people’s minds at this point is, why do we bend the wings at all? Why don’t we just make them rigid? The answer to these questions is actually quite simple. We can build a lighter airplane which can support more load by allowing things to bend and flex. Consider the following example:

Just image if you didn’t let your knees bend when you jumped off a truck bed. You actually “feel” more load. By allowing your knees to absorb some of the energy, you are able to jump from greater heights without feeling anything. The same basic principle applies to aircraft wings.

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