'Final gauntlet' testing for 787

AP News
Posted: Dec 09, 2009 2:01 PM

Boeing Co. has started "final gauntlet" testing on its first 787 jetliner, an important step before the new plane makes its first flight.

In an e-mail Wednesday to The Associated Press, a Boeing Commercial Airplanes spokeswoman said the static tests will last a couple of days and will verify the flight readiness of the aircraft. Technicians also are retesting changes made to the plane's software in recent months. When the tests are completed Boeing will run the plane through taxi tests before the first flight, which could come as early as next week.

Boeing has repeatedly postponed the 787's inaugural flight and deliveries, putting it more than two years behind schedule.