The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted General Electric 330min extended operations (ETOPS) approval for its GEnx-1B powerplant, in another step toward the powerplant's final certification for long over water flights aboard the Boeing 787.
The engine-maker completed the required 3,000 cycle ETOPS ground endurance validation in April and will enable 787s to fly 330min from a primary or alternate airport, providing optimal routes for long-range flying.
Final FAA certification of the GE engine-airframe combination was expected in late 2011, but is expected to slip into early 2012, following the late readiness of a production 787, Airplane 35 for Air India, to satisfy final regulatory requirements for systems functionality and reliability and ETOPS validation.
First delivery to GEnx-1B launch customer Japan Airlines is planned for early 2012, said Boeing Commercial Airplane CEO Jim Albaugh on 30 November.
Despite the 330min certification of the GEnx-1B and Rolls-Royce Trent 1000, the aircraft remains limited to 180min ETOPS until a software fix for the flight deck's fuel quantity indication is implemented in 2012.