787 Dreamliner starts fuselage fatigue tests

Boeing has begun fatigue tests on the fuselage of its new 787 Dreamliner.

The beginning of the test, to measure the durability of the mostly-composite fuselage over many landings and takeoffs, is about 18 months behind schedule.

The plane won’t leave the ground, but will be tested in a Boeing rig at Paine Field in Everett.

Over the next several weeks, the fuselage will go through thousands of simulated events to duplicate a lifetime of airline service. Boeing is designing the Dreamliner for a lifetime of some 44,000 landings and takeoffs. The fuselage will tolerate many more before developing problems if Boeing’s projects are correct.