FAA Approves 787 Maintenance Program

 - December 23, 2008, 6:50 AM

Boeing yesterday announced that the FAA has approved the 787’s scheduled maintenance program, marking a particularly noteworthy accomplishment for an airplane billed as 30 percent less expensive to maintain than any “comparable product.” The company bases its claims on projections for the performance of the 787’s composite structure and highly integrated systems architecture, which, it says, allow for fewer maintenance tasks and longer time intervals between tasks.

The scheduled maintenance program defines the maintenance tasks and intervals operators will use to maintain the airplane documented in Boeing’s 787 Maintenance Review Board Report (MRBR).

“The MRBR approval is a result of the most comprehensive maintenance program development effort in the history of the industry,” said Mike Fleming, 787 director of services and support. “It is supported by more than 33,000 pages of supporting analysis, as well as the participation of eight regulatory agencies, 25 airlines and 30 suppliers and partners.”

The 787 program’s latest schedule now calls for first flight in the second quarter of next year and first delivery in the first quarter of 2010. A two-month machinists strike and new problems with fastener applications recently contributed to the fourth major delay of the new design, leaving it almost two years behind schedule.