The Boeing Co. (Everett, Wash., USA) reported on June 16 that the 787-9 Dreamliner has been certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for commercial service. Boeing is now in the final stages of preparing for the first 787-9 delivery to launch customer Air New Zealand.
"Certification is the culmination of years of hard work and a rigorous flight-test program that started with the 787-9's first flight last September," says Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner. "With this validation that the airplane is ready for commercial operations, Boeing, along with our airline and leasing customers, now look forward to introducing the newest member of the Dreamliner family to passengers around the world."
To earn certification for the 787-9, Boeing undertook a test program with five airplanes and more than 1,500 hours of flight testing, plus ground and laboratory testing. Following the certification process, the FAA and EASA each granted Boeing an Amended Type Certificate for the 787-9, certifying that the design complies with aviation regulations and is safe and reliable.
"Throughout 787-9 development, the dedication and discipline of our entire global team drove outstanding performance," says Mark Jenks, vice president, 787 Airplane Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "From the start of assembly last spring to a flawless first flight and now our on-time certification, we thank everyone on the Boeing and partner team as well as our customers for making 787-9 development so successful."
The FAA also has granted Boeing an Amended Production Certificate, validating that the Boeing production system can produce 787-9s that conform to the design. EASA accepts FAA oversight of Boeing production certificates, just as the FAA accepts EASA oversight of European manufacturers' production certificates.
The new 787-9 Dreamliner will complement and extend the composites-intensive 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 20 ft/6m over the 787-8, the 787-9 will fly more passengers and more cargo farther with the same environmental performance — 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes.
Twenty-six customers around the world have ordered 413 787-9s, accounting for 40 percent of all 787 orders.