Boeing poised to complete 787 certification flight testing

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Boeing appears to have completed certification flight testing of the first delivery variant of its 787 Dreamliner, 606 days after the type first began flying.

Aircraft ZA102, operating as flight BOE102, completed its final scheduled systems functionality and reliability (F&R) flight trials on 13 August, clearing the way for final certification documentation submittals to the US Federal Aviation Administration.

Boeing has not yet confirmed the completion, pending final data analysis from the trials.

The airframer said it expects to receive its FAA type certificate by the end of the month, clearing the way for first delivery to launch customer All Nippon Airways in September.

The initial certification will provide Boeing regulatory approval for its 787 powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 Package A engines.

The second engine choice, the General Electric GEnx-1B, is expected to achieve certification in the fourth quarter.

The airframer plans to introduce a Package B upgrade for the Trent 1000 and a first Performance Improvement Package (PIP1) for the GEnx at a later date.

Boeing's F&R trials evaluated how the aircraft's systems performed in a degraded state based on the master minimum equipment list (MMEL) and dispatch deviation guide (DDG).

ZA102, the ninth aircraft built, the airframer's third production configuration aircraft, completed extended operations testing (ETOPS) on 3 August as part of a 300h block of F&R trials, which included an 18h 7min maximum endurance flight.

Boeing began flight testing on 15 December 2009, when ZA001 made its maiden sortie from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, more than two years later than planned.

Seven test aircraft, including Trent 1000-powered Airplane Nine and four R-R and two GE-powered test aircraft, have completed more than 4,800h of flight testing.