In late May, Boeing commenced four to six weeks of winglet feasibility tests with the goals of boosting the climb, cruise and fuel economy performance of the BBJ. If all goes well, the BBJ might lose its 10th belly fuel tank and still achieve a 6,200-nm maximum range. During the preflight briefing at Boeing's Seattle flight test center on May 30, you could feel the heat of the tension among the engineers and test pilots. No wonder. The test card was chock full of high stress load ...


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