Posted by John McHale
EVERETT, Wash., 22 April 2010. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Boeing (NYSE: BA) expanded type inspection authorization (TIA), clearing the way for its personnel to fully participate in future test flights and for the collection of required flight-test data on the 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
The expanded TIA marks the FAA's confirmation that the airplane and team are ready to collect additional certification data. Boeing achieved the expansion by demonstrating the readiness of the airplane throughout a variety of speeds, altitudes, and configurations.
"This TIA expansion is another significant step toward delivering airplanes to our customers. We remain on track to deliver the first airplane to ANA this year," says Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
In addition to receiving expanded TIA, Boeing finalized the aerodynamic configuration of the 787.
"We have completed sufficient testing to decide that no additional changes to the external lines or shape of the airplane are required," Fancher says. "Having an airplane match its expected performance with so few changes is rare and speaks to the maturity of the design."
The 787 flight-test fleet logged its 500th hour of flying April 16. On Sunday, ZA003, the flight-test airplane outfitted with interior elements, landed in Florida, where it will go through extreme weather testing at McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base.