Boeing 717-200 Completes Milestones, Draws Customer Interest

The Boeing 717-200 has successfully completed ground vibration and pneumatic testing of the first airplane in development, and continues on its path toward a rollout ceremony June 10 and first flight this summer at the Douglas Products Division.

Ground-vibration testing (GVT) was finished in fewer than four days - sooner than expected. "GVT usually takes about 10 days to complete," said Mike Delaney, head of 717 Testing and Validation. "Fortunately, we've experienced a leap in software technology since we last conducted a GVT in 1992. We've benefited by getting a great return on our investment."

GVT uses up to six electromagnetic shakers to record the dynamic responses of 300 accelerometers located throughout the aircraft. The Douglas test team used results to verify vibration modes and frequencies of the first test airplane (T-1), as required for certification by regulatory agencies.

The T-1 airplane has also completed pressure-pit testing, which began on schedule. This testing verifies the pneumatic functions of the airplane, including air conditioning, bleed, and overall air systems.

Meanwhile, more than 30 European airlines and leasing companies attended a Boeing 717 awareness conference last week in Berlin. The objective was to show customers that the 717-200 is the best short-range jetliner on the market today.

"This level of airline response is an encouraging indicator of widespread interest in the 717-200," said Jim Phillips, vice president - 717 program.