Boeing's New 787 Wings are Amazingly Flexible


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Boeing is making the wings of its new 787 out of (broken link removed).

Boeing's New 787 Wings are Amazingly Flexible

The wings are so strong and flexible that they could bend upward and touch above the fuselage, or come close. The company is expected to deliver the first 787 to All Nippon Airlines in May 2008. 'Boeing has completed static testing of a three-quarter wingbox, but engineers are still considering whether to limit testing of the full wing to a 150% load limit held for 3 sec. or to continue bending it to see when it breaks. 'There's a raging debate within the engineering team to see if we should break it or not,' says 787 General Manager Mike Bair.

They have come a long way in wing flexibility:



Break it!!! That was always some of the most interesting items as an engineer, not too mention that it is a great learning experience.



Ok, from a nervous-flier perspective, shouldn't the concern be "how far they can flex before the plane falls out of the sky"? I get nervous enough when "normal" wings flex, even just a little (and yes, my aerospace engineer brother has explained to me numerous times why they have to...)


I say break it, destructive testing is more fun! :notme:

THanks for the video, cool to see footage of it, amazing how far they can bend those wings. Curious, do they test downward flex as well?
Flexible wings? Have a look at this glider (and imagine what it would look like under a heavy g load instead of this very moderate one...):



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