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Fri, Aug 26, 2011

Certified! Boeing's Dreamliner

FAA Approves Production Of The 787, EASA Simultaneously Grants Type Certification

The folks at Boeing are beaming, and perhaps heaving a huge sigh of relief. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt announced Friday that the agency has approved production of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

At an event at Boeing’s facility in Everett, Washington, Administrator Babbitt presented Boeing executives with two certificates for the design and production of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with Rolls-Royce engines. The first, a Type Certificate, is for the FAA’s approval of the airplane’s design. The second, a Production Certificate, allows Boeing to manufacture the 787 following a rigorous review by FAA inspectors of Boeing’s quality system, production tooling, manufacturing processes and controls, inspection methods, and supplier control procedures.

“The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is an incredible technological achievement – one that sets a new standard for innovation,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “The new engine technology is fuel-efficient and reduces noise, minimizing the impact on the environment. Those are key to meeting our NextGen goals.”

“Today’s achievement could not have been possible without the professionalism and dedication of the FAA team involved in the certification,” said Administrator Babbitt. “The engineers, inspectors and flight test pilots all worked diligently to ensure our high safety standards were met.”

Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Jim Albaugh said, "Certification is a milestone that validates what we have promised the world since we started talking about this airplane. This airplane embodies the hopes and dreams of everyone fortunate enough to work on it. Their dreams are now coming true."

Boeing made its initial application to the FAA on March 28, 2003 and the program was launched in April 2004. The first 787 rollout ceremony was on July 8, 2007 at Boeing’s Everett assembly factory. The airplane first flew on Dec. 15, 2009, and the six flight test airplanes have since accumulated more than 4,645 flight hours, with approximately 25 percent of those hours flown by FAA flight test crews. More than 200,000 hours were logged by FAA technical experts who were involved in the type certification of the 787.

The Boeing 787 is a medium-size commercial transport airplane. It’s the world's first major airliner to use composite materials for most of its construction, more than 50 percent by weight. Boeing says the airplane will use 20 percent less fuel and produce less noise compared to similarly sized airplanes. It was designed and manufactured by suppliers and partners around the world and integrated at final assembly. The 787 incorporates many capabilities of the nation’s Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen.

The European Safety Agency (EASA) also issued a same day validation of the FAA Type Certificate of the 787.

Boeing has over 800 Dreamliners on its order books, with contractual delivery of the first 787 now scheduled for September 25th to launch customer ANA. But there is a long row to hoe. Analysts said recently the company will have to sell 1,000 of the airliners before it sees a profit.

FMI: www.boeing.com, www.faa.gov

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