Boeing 787 flight test work horse ZA001 continues to run through certification tests involving “what if” failure scenarios and back-up system checks. The aircraft recently completed certification tests of the drop-down ram air turbine (seen circled below on this photo taken at Boeing Field on April 23), and is expected later this week to tackle similar testing for the fuel-vent system and verify controllability limits with a simulated engine failure.
ZA001 touches down at Boeing Field. Observers describe the sound of the deployed RAT as being like an “over-powered Cessna” on approach. (Joe Walker)
ZA002 is meanwhile set to begin certification tests of the entry-into-service version of the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine, following several days of tests of the fuel tank inerting system. The initial “Gold” standard engine will ultimately be superseded by improved variants with lower fuel burn.
RC021 in partial Lufthansa livery takes to the air for its maiden flight. (Boeing)
Following successful taxi tests yesterday, the second Boeing 747-8 passenger variant, RC021, made a successful first flight on April 26. Flown by Captains Keith Otsuka and Ron Johnston, RC021 took off at 9:26 a.m. Pacific time from Paine Field in Everett, Wash, and completed a 3 hour 20-minute flight before returning to Paine Field. During the flight, the 747-8 reached an altitude of 28,000 feet and a top airspeed of 275 knots, or about 316 miles per hour.
RC021 will be used primarily for testing interior systems that differentiate the passenger model from the 747-8F freighter. These include heating, venting and air conditioning, smoke detection and galleys. In addition, RC021 will be used to conduct fuel consumption and function and reliability tests.
The first test aircraft, RC001, is starting the first phase of tests of the outboard aileron model suppression (OAMS) system developed to counter the vibration issue encountered on the early 747-8F flight tests. It is also beginning further tests of directional stability control functions, including the yaw damper.
Building on the lessons learned by the more extensive 747-8F test program Boeing expects to complete certification of the passenger variant within approximately 600 hours of flight testing.