The FAA granted Boeing expanded type inspection authorization (TIA) yesterday for the 787 Dreamliner, clearing the way for the agency’s personnel to fully participate in future test flights and for the collection of required flight-test data. The agency on February 11 granted initial TIA, which supported the collection of flutter certification data.
The expanded TIA marks the FAA’s confirmation that the airplane and team stand 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,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, commercial airplanes.
Meanwhile, Boeing also finalized the 787’s aerodynamic configuration.
“We have completed sufficient testing to decide that no additional changes to the external lines or shape of the airplane are required,” said Fancher. “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 on April 16. On April 18, ZA003, the flight-test airplane outfitted with interior elements, landed in Florida, where it will undergo extreme weather testing at McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Eglin AFB.