Boeing Begins B-1 Structural Fatigue Testing

Boeing has begun a five-year fatigue test on a B-1B bomber wing at the company’s facility in Tukwila, Wash., to help validate the aircraft’s predicated life expectancy, announced the company. The test will reveal potential areas of concern and help the Air Force and Boeing to develop maintenance and repair plans, states the company’s Aug. 30 release. “This comprehensive testing is a proactive way for Boeing to meet its mission of keeping the B-1 bomber fleet ready and viable,” said Rick Greenwell, the company’s B-1 program director. Fatigue testing on a B-1 fuselage will begin in Tukwila in November 2013, according to the release. Boeing projects that the B-1 will remain structurally viable out to 2050. (For more on the Air Force’s efforts to sustain and modernize the B-1 fleet, see Old Bombers, New Again from Air Force Magazine’s 2012 archive.)