New phase

I’m pleased to announce that our 787-9 team is starting a significant new phase of flight testing after earning type inspection authorization (TIA) for the airplane. The FAA will now bring its personnel to join the Boeing team on 787-9 test flights to gather the data required for certification.

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The 787-9 during flight test. Photo by John Parker.

The authorization applies to 787-9 test airplanes powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, which are ZB001 and ZB002, the first two members of the fleet. We expect to earn TIA soon for the third 787-9 test airplane, ZB021, which is powered by General-Electric GEnx engines.

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The first three 787-9 airplanes in a group photo at Boeing Field. Photo by Adam Tischler.

With more than 100 flights and 285 hours in the air so far, the 787-9 fleet continues to fly extremely well. To earn TIA, Boeing Test & Evaluation test crews flew the 787-9 fleet at a variety of speeds, altitudes and configurations to demonstrate the capability of the airplane throughout the flight envelope. For example, Boeing successfully completed flutter testing for the 787-9 fleet, demonstrating structural integrity. Test crews also put the airplanes through various maneuvers at high speeds to try to induce vibration into the airframe and demonstrated it dampened out without problems.

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Photo by John Parker.

Now, test crews will begin exploring extreme operations with the 787-9, including very hot and cold weather.

With the dedicated flight test fleet complete and the fourth airplane now in ground test, we’re on track to complete 787-9 testing in the spring, followed by certification and delivery to launch customer Air New Zealand in mid-2014.

It’s been a busy end of the year for the 787-9 team. Congratulations on these great accomplishments.

Comments (4)

Paula (Sacramento):

Great air to air pics and a great accomplishment. Look forward to flying in one.

Mike (Beijing, China):

787-9 is such a beauty! Wish this longer model would enter into service on time and avoid all the problems that 787-8 has experienced. Also, looking foreward to seeing the maiden flight of 787-10, the laregest Dreamliner.

Robert Sellars (Auckland, New Zealand):

Great to see that 787-9 testing is progressing so smoothly. It's a great looking plane and I'm really looking forward to seeing it when I visit Seattle in May next year. Hope I can see the Air NZ plane in flight by then!
Keep the blog updates coming, good interesting stuff.

Norman (Long Beach, CA):

The 787-9 is a great plane and I think has the potential to sell many hundreds as competitive 777-200 replacements and competitors to the A358-800. The 787-9 will truly be a great plane on capacity, efficiency, and economics.

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