One of the most complex labs ever built by Boeing Test & Evaluation (BT&E) – and only the second such lab ever built for Commercial Airplanes – was recently completed for 777X in Seattle, Wash. Its completion marks the transition from planning and building to actual testing of the new airplane’s complex systems.
Called “Airplane Zero,” the lab occupies the nearly 11,600 square feet of space and consists of a functional 777X flight deck surrounded by monitoring stations and a room filled with bays of complex electronics. A separate room filled with actual 777X power units powers the airplane’s systems from a room below.
Because the lab represents the full functionality of the aircraft, test teams are able perform many of the systems tests that would normally be carried out during testing on the first flight-test airplane, called “Airplane One.” In addition to identifying and resolving issues early, this reduces risk and keeps flight-test team members safe during actual flight testing that will begin in 2019.
“Beginning testing on time supports our goal of delivering a service-ready airplane for first flight, which will allow for an efficient flight-test program and ultimately help us deliver on our commitments to our customers,” said Chris Muhich, 777X Systems Test manager.
The test team’s motto is, “right at first flight.”
By Kenn Aguilar