This is the first picture of the broken wing box on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner which has been tested to destruction in Everett near Seattle.

It isn’t yet clear if this is good news or bad news. The wing box was meant to break at not less than 150% of the maximum stress load anticipated in its service life of many decades.

The Boeing press release says the testing to destruction of the component has been successfully completed, but the unanswered question is at what loading?

The ideal result is right on 150% because that will mean the wing has been perfectly designed to achieve its certification requirements by being neither too heavy nor too light.

The A380 test wing snapped at just over 147% loading but was given a pass mark after further analysis showed that by moving some of the sub structure of the wing and strengthening the area where the failure occurred it would have remain unbroken up to the required degree of stress.

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