Boeing is set to perform a crash test today on its 787 Dreamliner — by dropping a section of the fuselage from the height of a second-story window.
Boeing has not done crash tests to get previous jets certified to fly. It's necessary this time because the 787 is the first airliner built largely out of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, which is more brittle and less shock-absorbent than metal.
(T)he test isn't designed to simulate a full-tilt fall to Earth. Rather, it replicates the vertical impact of an emergency landing in which the plane hits the ground harder than normal — often referred to as a crash landing.
Today's vertical drop will be Boeing's third and final crash test on the Dreamliner.
While none of these tests are "pass-fail", both previous tests matched the mathematical models Boeing used and were considered successful. Boeing officials expect this test to also match the models.