Boeing reports that all flight testing required for type certification of its overdue 787 commercial jet powered by Rolls-Royce engines has been completed, and the much anticipated program now waits for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to verify the reporting before delivery may begin. Chicago-based Boeing has orders for 827 of the new jets and remains confident they will deliver the fuel-efficiency and other advantages of the design.
The final test flight from Billings, Mont., to Everett, Wash., was completed August 13 onboard ZA102, the ninth 787 to be built. During the flight, the 14-person crew completed simulations of a dispatch with a failed generator and failed fuel flow indication, according to Boeing.
Flight tests continue for 787s powered by GE Aviation engines. Boeing selected the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 and the General Electric GEnx engines to drive different variants of its new jet.
The 787, or “Dreamliner,” is a wide-body twin-engine aircraft with long range and carrying capacity for 210 to 330 passengers. Boeing has said it will be its most fuel-efficient commercial jet, with a structure based on a large volume of composite materials helping to reduce fuel consumption by up to 20% versus similar-size jets. A more advanced aerodynamic design than previous jets, more-electric systems, and modern engines add to the 787’s appeal to airlines.
According to Boeing, the 787 will achieve “unprecedented levels of fuel economy, maintenance cost improvements, and environmental sensitivity to the marketplace through the use of new technologies including composites, more electric systems, advanced aerodynamics and the latest advancements in propulsion.”
However, the Dreamliner is nearly three years behind its scheduled delivery date because of various delays in design, production, and testing. "We are very pleased with the performance of the airplane during the Function & Reliability and Extended Operations testing over the last month," stated Scott Fancher, v.p. / general manager of the 787 program. "The Dreamliner continues to demonstrate that we will indeed deliver a truly revolutionary airplane that will be a game changer in the marketplace."