Thursday, June 17, 2010

The 787 survives its first lightning strike

The 787 Dreamliner survived its first lightning strike with no damage. The plane is at the halfway point of the its flight test program. The strike occurred last month when the Jet was flying above Puget Sound, near Seattle’s Boeing Field, when it was hit unexpectedly by lightning during a rare thunderstorm in the area. Post flight inspections of the airframe systems, fuselage and wings were said to be unscathed. Engineers are still studying how lightning affects the 787, the first aircraft built mostly from composites instead of traditional sheet metal aluminum. Scheduled lightning-strike tests and simulations, mostly on the ground, are scheduled for later this year as the Chicago-based Boeing completes the U.S. certification for the plane to carry passengers.