The Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) has been cleared for long-range flight following the award of a supplementary type certificate (STC) for the auxiliary fuel tank system from the US Federal Aviation Administration.

The STC was originally due earlier in the year, but was delayed because of integration problems with the flight management system and existing aircraft fuel system.

The STC for the fully operational fuel system, involving up to nine tanks holding more than 14,400 litres (3,800 USgal) was awarded on 20 May. A BBJ equipped with the full tank capacity recently completed an 11,580km (7,200nm) flight lasting 13h 51min.

Boeing has delivered its 20th BBJ out of a planned 29 due for handover this year.

The first BBJ is expected to enter service around mid-July and Boeing's own demonstrator is due to begin touring in September. The aircraft's first mission will be to take the Boeing board of directors to a meeting, followed soon after by a visit to the US National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) gathering in Atlanta, Georgia, in October.

The BBJ is also due to put in an appearance at the Dubai air show in November when Boeing expects to receive an FAA STC for the winglets.

The first winglet-equipped BBJ will be delivered to fractional ownership company NetJets at the turn of the new year.

Source: Flight International