I haven't been able to blog much recently, but there's a good reason for that.
Almost 4 and a half years ago I began working on an electric braking system for the new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. Well, things are heating up as we approach first flight.
In Mid April Dreamliner ZA001, which is the first Flight Test aircraft, had its classification changed from "production status" to "Flight Status". Soon after that, the aircraft was moved to the paint hanger at Boeing's Everett facility. On May 3rd, it emerged looking mighty pretty.
On May 13th, the Hamilton Sundstrand auxiliary power unit was started up and today, at 9:31 PT, the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines were fired up and ran for about an hour before being shut down. They were fired up again later this afternoon for some higher power testing.
Jon Ostrower explains
In a very simplified way, the electrical power sources - the tail cone's auxiliary power unit or an external ground car - convert electrical power with two 250 kVA variable frequency starter generators (VFSGs) that sit on gearboxes and act as motors to begin spinning up the engine.
ZA001 is heading steadily towards it's first flight sometime around June 21st when our electric braking system will get it's first real-world test on the aircraft. The 787-8 will be the first commercial aircraft to be fitted with electric brakes.
Here's a look at the brake
Here you can see the four actuators that are located in front of the carbon heat sink. All together, our system controls 8 brakes.
The team I led wrote the software that controls the actuators and they've been working hard over the past four and a half years to make this system work.
As you can imagine, this close to flight test, we've been very busy making sure all goes well during the testing.
I'll be back to regular blooging soon.