A Bolt of Lightning Is No Match For the Boeing 787
Boeing’s 787 performed well on a recent unscheduled test high above the Puget Sound. The plane was doing its usual thing while engineers and pilots were busy testing its systems when the plane was unexpectedly struck by lightning. Apparently thunderstorms are somewhat rare in the area, but the plane was able to show off its durability a little sooner than originally anticipated.
The 787 Dreamliner passed the impromptu lightning test without a problem. Best of all—since it’s a composite plane—the airplane stood up to the jolt just as well as a traditional aluminum plane. It would have been quite unfortunate if we'd had other news on it to report today, but after the strike there was absolutely no damage. Originally the plane was scheduled to complete on-the-ground simulated lightning tests later this year, but they've gone and tangoed with the real thing.
There are far more electrical doodads on the 787, and there’s about five times as much juice flowing through its systems when compared to its 767 airplane siblings, so there initially was some concern over how well the 787 could handle a lightning strike.
Testing pretty much continues each and every day, and plane number six is expected to hit the skies within the next month. Boeing seems happy thus far with the testing, and they’re thinking about finally allowing the plane to make its public debut. If they can spare some time from the testing schedule, they might just add one of the new birds to the roster for next month's Farnborough Air Show in England.
· Boeing 787 Weathers Lightning Strike as Tests Advance [Bloomberg Businessweek]
· The Boeing 787 Dreamliner Gets New Engines and a New Movie [Jaunted]
· Boeing coverage [Jaunted]