More than eight years after the program was conceived, the FAA and Boeing announced on Friday that the FAA has approved production of the 787, meaning that airlines can begin receiving deliveries of the plane.
The program has seen numerous delays over the years, partly due to the innovative designs being implemented in the mostly-composite aircraft. But Friday’s announcement means that passengers will soon be flying in 787s to destinations around the world. With over 800 orders for the plane, it is sure to become a staple of medium to long-range international travel over the decades to come.
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.”
Next up for Boeing will be ramping up production lines on order to deliver as many 787s to customers as possible in a timely fashion. Some experts have predicted that given the numerous delays to the plane, Boeing may have to deliver over 1,000 787s before the line even becomes profitable, putting a lot of pressure on Boeing’s ability to streamline its production line.
First delivery to launch customer All Nippon Airways will occur on September 26th.