The Seattle Times’ aerospace reporter Dominic Gates has just published some additional revelations concerning what Boeing insists is the tiny side-of-body (a.k.a wing failure) issues with the plastic fantastic 787 Dreamliner.
The report clarifies that the original wing root failure late in May occurred just above ‘load limit’ that is defined as 100% of the load the structure would ever be expected to encounter in airline service.
The ‘ultimate’ load test is 150% of the nominal operational maximum load limit and represents the test that must be passed for certification for airline service.
With the possible exception of the Bristol Brabazon, a post war folly of the British aircraft industry, no part of the wing of any airliner is believed to have failed at such low stress levels.
This is the super light 300 passenger ‘game changer’ twin engined jet that Boeing promised was based on technology that no longer held any surprises, and was falsely rolled out as a prototype when it was in fact just a shell in July 2007 and promised for testing and delivery by May of 2008.
The genius and vision of the design is undeniable. The Dreamliner concept was exciting and relevant and at one stage had generated more than 900 orders.
But it is all fantasy and hype? Boeing’s disclosures concerning the status of the program have been 100% unreliable. There is no longer any certainty that any of the promises made for the applications of laminated reinforced sheets of carbon fibre to the 787 design are realisable.
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It is a gravely disappointing situation, and one in which the public guidance and general competency of the management of this once great company is continually exposed as being completely untrustworthy and incompetent.