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Dreamliner 787 finishing final tests

April 23, 2009 at 5:26 PM
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EVERETT, Wash., April 23 (UPI) -- Boeing Co. Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney says the repeatedly-delayed Dreamliner 787 is undergoing its final indoor tests.

"In the coming days, airplane number one will move out of the factory to the flight line," McNerney said to reporters during a conference call, The Seattle Times reported Thursday.

In fact, it will be the second time the plane will have been rolled onto the runway. In July 2007, the plane made it onto the tarmac before it was hauled back in to fix major flaws.

As a result, next week's rollout ceremony will lack some of the pomp of the previous rollout, the Times said.

This week, technicians put Dreamliner No. 1 through a full flight simulation, albeit with its wheels on the ground. Regardless of altitude, test pilots put the plane's fight control hardware and software through their paces.

Dreamliner No. 2 took a harder shot. Scheduled for a vibration test Saturday, technicians jolted the plane with electricity to see if it could hold up if struck by lightening.

The tests "went very well," said Terry Beezhold, director of 787 airplane integration.

If runway tests go well, the plane will rev up its engines with test pilot Mike Carriker at the controls for a flight in June, the newspaper said.

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