After the maiden flight of the initial development 787-9 – a Rolls-Royce Trent-powered version – in September last year, Boeing has completed a relatively straightforward 1,500h flight-test programme involving three Trent-powered aircraft and two General Electric GEnx-powered aircraft (including two customer aircraft).
Boeing’s three development 787s (Trent-powered ZB001/ZB002, and GEnx-powered ZB021) undertook the bulk of the test programme. They are all being reworked for customers once their test duties are completed.
The fourth 787-9 (ZB197), which is the first for All Nippon Airways, flew in April (in ANA colours) and undertook function and reliability (F&R) testing for the Trent-powered 787-9. The first 787-9 for United Airlines (ZB167) was due to fly in July, and is undertaking the F&R programme for the GE-powered version.
Boeing received type approval from the US FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency on 13 June. However Boeing needed last-minute waivers for two flight systems. These applied to a reliability problem with the ram air turbine discovered late in testing, and a functional issue with the altitude-select dial on the mode control panel.