BOEING TESTING BUILDS BETTER AIRPLANES
BOEING TESTING BUILDS BETTER AIRPLANES DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- A senior
Boeing (NYSE: BA) executive today said that flight and structural testing are primary factors in building better jet airplanes.
Chris Longridge, vice president-sales, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, told delegates to the Emirates Aviation Conference that the key to designing airplanes is to begin by building airplanes meant for the low-end range capability, building gradually to a longer range capability, and also by using the minimum number of engines. Longridge cited testing of the 767 airplane structure in the 1980s as an example. During tests, the wing was pulled up over 14 feet (4.5 m) from its normal position to verify the structural capacity of the aircraft. With this information, along with aerodynamic and flight data, Boeing then knew how to increase the airplane's gross weight, thereby improving the airplane's range and payload capability. As for minimizing the number of engines, Longridge said the practice is aimed at reducing operating costs. He explained that Boeing's first attempt to design an airplane for the medium-range was the Boeing 720, powered by four engines. Longridge said the airplane had good technical performance, but burned too much fuel and was ultimately a poor performer. Boeing's second effort to design an airplane for middle distances, the 727, was far more successful with Boeing ultimately delivering 1,831 of the popular 727s, including a stretched model. "What had we learned?" asked Longridge. "First, we learned we could build a more economical medium-range airplane with fewer engines. Second, after structural testing of the initial model, we could increase range. Third, we could stretch the fuselage to give even better economics to airlines that needed more capacity." Boeing applied these lessons in developing the twin-engine 757 and 767 models. Longridge said these airplanes give the airlines a family capable of delivering 40 to 50 percent better economics than the 720. Boeing is currently developing the 777 airplane family, with first delivery scheduled in May 1995. Based on its 30 years of experience building commercial jet airplanes, Boeing believes it makes more sense to add range and payload capability after, not before, structural testing. Longridge said that "the 777 is a continued application of the lessons we have learned from designing and building airplanes for the medium-range market." Eighteen months after the first 777 delivery, Boeing will follow with a 777 airplane featuring increased gross weight capable of flying almost 2,000 miles (3,000 km) further. -0- 11/6/91 /CONTACT: Tim Meskill (Seattle), 206-237-0223, or Mark Hooper (Dubai), 971-4-699-686, both of Boeing Commercial Airplane Group/ (BA) CO: Boeing Commercial Airplane Group ST: Washington IN: AIR SU: SC -- SE002 -- 1655 11/06/91 11:30 EST
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|Date:||Nov 6, 1991|
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