June 16--On the eve of Boeing's first delivery of its 787-9 Dreamliner, the Federal Aviation Administration and its counterpart in Europe have certified the new passenger jet for commercial service.
The aircraft, a larger version of the 787-8 assembled in North Charleston and Everett, Wash., will be delivered to Air New Zealand in July.
"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," said 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 comprehensive test program with five airplanes and more than 1,500 hours of flight testing, plus ground and laboratory testing. Following the rigorous certification process, the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency 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," said Mark Jenks, vice president of 787 airplane development for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Assembly of the larger passenger jet began last year. Parts for the plane are made in North Charleston, and full assembly of the aircraft at Boeing's facility near Charleston International Airport is expected to begin this fall. It is now assembled in Everett.
The fuselage of the 787-9 is 20 feet longer than the 787-8, it will carry more passengers and cargo, fly farther and use less fuel than similarly sized planes. It also features large windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.
Twenty-six customers around the world have ordered 413 787-9s, accounting for 40 percent of all 787 orders.
Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.
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