Boeing has begun function and reliability (F&R) testing and extended operations (ETOPS) demonstrations with its Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 powered 787 test fleet, the final phase of flight testing before FAA certification later this year.
F&R testing aims to simulate various “normal and non-normal” operations in a realistic environment, while ETOPS will evaluate the aircraft’s ability to safely divert in case of a major problem, including engine failure. Boeing is also continuing certification testing on 787s with General Electric engines, and is expected to begin a separate F&R/ETOPS program at a later date.
The 787 is due to enter service with 180 minutes ETOPS clearance, with 330 minutes ETOPS following in early 2012, after a software upgrade.
Boeing 787 vice president and general manager Scott Fancher said the company was ready for the final phase of testing before first deliveries of the 787 are made to launch customer ANA in the coming months. “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,” he said