16 DECEMBER 2013
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Just weeks after the project was formally announced, Boeing has begun low-speed wind tunnel testing on the Boeing 777X, with the work being undertaken in the UK.
Testing began on 5 December at QinetiQ's test facility in Farnborough, and will allow engineers to test different configurations for the aeroplane. These low-speed tests measure performance with a variety of high-lift surface settings to simulate take-off and landing conditions.
The low-speed model currently being tested is a 5.5% scale rendering of the baseline 777X, measuring about 4.22m (166in) long with a wingspan of 3.92m (154in). Hundreds of sensors are embedded in the model to measure pressure to determine the in-flight loads as well as provide valuable diagnostics of the aerodynamic performance of a given design.
Low-speed testing is expected to last approximately five months then further tests will be conducted next year at the Boeing Transonic Wind Tunnel in Seattle to further validate 777X high-speed performance projections.
"This is the first major development milestone for the program since we launched the program last month," said Terry Beezhold, vice president and chief project engineer of the 777X programme. "We are on track to complete our top-level design in 2014 and reach firm configuration in 2015." www.boeing.com
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