The Boeing Co. (Seattle, Wash., USA) announced on Dec. 23 that it will resume flight test activities on the 787 Dreamliner. The company has installed an interim version of updated power distribution system software and conducted a rigorous set of reviews to confirm the flight readiness of ZA004, the first of the six flight test airplanes that will return to flight.
"Initially, we will resume a series of Boeing tests that remain to be completed in the flight test program. That testing will be followed later by a resumption of certification testing," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. Dec. 23 testing will include an intentional deployment of the Ram Air Turbine (RAT), which is a small turbine that is deployed when back-up power is required.
Boeing and Hamilton Sundstrand completed testing of the interim software updates earlier this week. Verification of the system included laboratory testing of standalone components, integration testing with other systems, flight simulator testing and ground-based testing on a flight test airplane.
In the last several weeks, the company continued ground testing as part of the certification program. Additional ground testing will be done by the company on the production version of the airplane to further verify performance of the changes being made.
"As we return to flight test and determine the pace of that activity, we remain focused on developing a new program schedule," Fancher added. "We expect to complete our assessment of the program schedule in January."
Flight testing of the 787 was suspended last month following an in-flight electrical incident on a test flight in Laredo, Texas, in November.