AMERICAS: 787 powered on two weeks early

Boeing achieved full power-on for its first 787 two weeks ahead of schedule, a significant milestone as the company seeks to restore a reputation tarnished by a trio of delays to the aircraft’s first flight. The power-on process started on June 12 and brings electrical power onto the airplane in stages. The complexity of that […]


Boeing achieved full power-on for its first 787 two weeks ahead of schedule, a significant milestone as the company seeks to restore a reputation tarnished by a trio of delays to the aircraft’s first flight.

The power-on process started on June 12 and brings electrical power onto the airplane in stages. The complexity of that process is increased by the fact that on the 787 the pneumatic (bleed air) system is replaced totally by electronics.

“The team has made great progress in bringing the bold innovation of the 787 to reality,” Pat Shanahan, VP and GM-787 program, said in a statement. “There is plenty of work to be done between now and first flight, but with every step forward we grow more and more confident.” Boeing first applied power to verify that wiring had been connected properly. After the completion of those checks, engineers plugged in an external power cart and slowly began to bring full power into each segment of the system, beginning with the flight deck displays. From that point, the pilot’s controls were used to direct the addition of new systems to the power grid. The next significant step will be moving ship one onto the flight line at Everett, followed by engine testing and then taxi trials. First flight is expected in the fourth quarter, with the end of October the target for seasoned program observers