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in autopilot approval, braking and landing-performance tests, cross-
wind and tailwind operations, early long-distance flights, water-in-
gestion trials, and other performance-related work.
A380PLUS The European manufacturer will fly a “relatively short ”
A380plus flight-test campaign, should it proceed with a study un-
veiled in June. “ We need to assess impact on aero/structure-cou-
pling behaviour and [to] measure fuel saving [from] the improved
aerodynamics,” says Airbus.
Boeing is testing the latest (fourth-generation) single-aisle 737 and
twin-aisle 787 models, and preparing a second generation of 777
737 MAX Flight-testing with four 737 Max 8s (identified as aircraft
1A001 to 1A004) has been completed, with two Max 9s (dubbed
1D001 and ‘002) being used for model-specific work. Boeing esti-
mates that 30 percent of Max 8 testing, particularly involving stability
and control work, will be repeated on the Max 9 “initial-stretch”
model and should be completed before next year.
The Max variants are powered by CFMI Leap-1B engines that
replace earlier CFM56 units. Two test Max 9s are respectively occu-
pied with auto-land, avionics, flutter, and stability and control testing
work, and confirmation of environment-control system performance.
Subsequently delivered to a customer, the initial flight-test Max
8 completed flutter, stability, and control testing and take-off per-
formance data verification. The second Max 8 1A002 flew with
production-representative Leap-1B engines for powerplant and
performance testing, with 1A003 employed for auto-land and other
Related 737 Max developments include the smaller Max 7 and
a high-density Max 200 variant aimed at low-cost carriers (LCCs)
and the “second-stretch” Max 10. The Max 10 required a redesigned
main undercarriage for take-off and landing runway clearance and
other changes calling for additional flight-testing. Boeing expects
to finalise configuration of the Max 10 and to join the Max 7 fuselage
and wing by December.
787-10 In October, Boeing rolled out the first production 787-10
(ZC003) ahead of planned 2018 certification and delivery to launch
customer Singapore Airlines (as its second such aircraft, after com-
pletion of flight-testing work). Engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has
received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for
the 787-10’s Trent 1000-TEN powerplant that can equip all three
airframe variants. (The upgraded engine powered a 787-8 that
completed an 18-hour endurance test flight in August.)
The first 787-10 (dubbed ZC001) has been engaged in auto-land,
avionics, flight-envelope expansion, flutter, propulsion, primary
flight-controls, and stability and control testing. The alternative Gen-
eral Electric GEnx-1B-engine powered second 787-10 ZC036 on test
flights covering flutter, performance, and stability and control, and val-
idation of the aircraft maintenance manual (AMM); 787-10 ZC002 has
a passenger-cabin interior and is used for Trent 1000-TEN fuel-burn
measurement, performance and systems testing, and AMM validation.
777X In September, Boeing began composites-wing assembly for
the 777X, on which General Electric GE9X engines will replace earlier
GE90s. The manufacturer is expected to deliver the first 777-9 to
Emirates Airline in 2020, with longer-range777-8s following in 2021.
Ground-based 777-9 airframe static and fatigue-testing is ex-
pected to involve, respectively, the first and sixth of six test aircraft.
Almost three-quarters of detail airframe-design work had been
completed by the middle of this year. Boeing has already conducted
begun avionic, and power and other systems ground testing.
C SERIES With C Series flight-testing largely complete, four of the
eight flight-test aircraft are still involved in testing or airline demon-
strations, three are available for sale, and the other has been retired.
Outstanding flight-test work covers two remaining performance
elements that Bombardier expects to clear before next April. These
are 180-minute extended twin-engine operations (ETOps) and Cat-
egory III auto-land. ETOps-related testing involves performance of
the fire-extinguishing system in the cargo bay.
For clearance to fly steep, 5.5-degree landing approaches at Lon-
don City (LCY) airport, Bombardier earlier this year flew 7.5-degree
approach flights, for which it has introduced an additional “flap 5”
setting. The manufacturer also has modified flight-control “laws” to
provide an increased deflection of spoilers to increase drag during
Based on C Series in-service experience, the manufacturer has en-
hanced aircraft specifications and is planning to upgrade fuel-burn
and range performance by the end of 2017.
China’s Commercial Aircraft Corporation (Comac) conducted the
second flight of its C919 single-aisle twinjet from Shanghai Pudong
International airport on 28 September — almost five months after the
first. The machine, MSN101, is being used to test “flying conditions,
on-board equipment, and landing gear ”.
Just over three hours of flying have been logged overall, with the
undercarriage first cycled during the second flight, conducted at
10,000ft altitude over the Chinese coast north of Shanghai. (The
flight-test programme is expected to centre on three Chinese loca-
tions: Dongying, Shanghai, and Xian.)
The second C919, MSN102, is planned to fly by the end of the year,
contributing to 4,200FH of testing that involves four other machines
(MSN103-MSN106). Having been first electrically powered up in late
July, the second aircraft is earmarked for auxiliary-power unit, engine,
extreme-weather, and fuel-system test duties. Comac plans to roll
out the third and fourth examples (MSN103 and MSN104) next year.
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