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Boeing To Start 787 Fatigue Tests Midyear

Plane maker will begin fatigue testing of its 787 aircraft by midyear to help determine the expected lifetime of the new plane.

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) -- Boeing will being fatigue testing of its new 787 aircraft by midyear in the state of Washington.

Boeing said Tuesday that the tests will help determine the expected lifetime of the new plane, which has been delayed several times because of production problems.

In fatigue testing, the airplane structure is subjected to conditions designed to simulate up to three times the number of takeoffs and landings that a plane would experience during its lifetime.

The 787 is made largely from composite materials designed to produce a lighter, more fuel-efficient plane. The project has been hampered by a series of delays and is two years behind schedule.

Boeing recently said it had 851 orders for 787 models as of Jan. 7.

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