A year and a half after its maiden flight, Boeing announced today that the company’s long-anticipated new plane, the 787 Dreamliner, has entered its final test phase meaning the launch is only a a couple of months away.
“We are ready for this final phase of flight testing,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. “The team has created a solid plan for accomplishing the hours and test points required for F&R and ETOPS testing in support of delivery to our customer ANA in the August to September time period.”
F&R testing simulates various normal and non-normal operations for the airplane, in a realistic airline-like flight environment. ETOPS refers to extended operations – for twin jets, flights that are more than 60 minutes away from a suitable landing field. During ETOPS demonstrations the company validates the airplane’s ability to safely divert for a variety of reasons, including long diversions with one engine shut down.
The 787 program has been plagued by numerous delays caused by inefficiencies in the global supply chain, a workers strike, and technical issues that arose during flight testing. Today’s announcement is evidence that the revolutionary plane may finally be ready to fly passengers, ushering in a new era in commercial aviation.