A common type rating for the Boeing MD-11 and MD-10 has been approved by the US Federal Aviation Administration, despite protests from the FedEx Pilots Association (FPA).
The MD-10 is a McDonnell Douglas DC-10 modified from three to two flightcrew configuration and equipped with Honeywell's MD-11-based VIA 2000 advanced common flightdeck. The FPA says that the MD-11 and MD-10 have too many differences in automation levels, systems and handling characteristics for a common type rating to be safe. The FAA, however, says the period of consultation has not produced evidence of any "real safety issue", although it remains open to additional evidence or suggestions.
Boeing delivered the first of 89 MD-10s on firm order to FedEx on 9 May. Deliveries will be complete by late 2006, with the programme expected to run into 2008 if FedEx confirms 30 options. Certification involved two aircraft in a 1,060h flight-test programme.
Source: Flight International