Monday, June 27, 2011

Boeing starts 787/Trent 1000 F&R and ETOPs Testing

Boeing announced the start of F&R/ETOPs testing today. The sole aircraft that is conducting the tests, ZA102, kicked the testing off yesterday with a seven hour and thirty minute flight along the west coast of the US. This airplane will be conducting all the F&R and ETOPs testing with the Trent 1000 engine.

This phase should last about 300 flight test hours after which Boeing should receive type certification and can proceed with deliveries to ANA around August or September. Given the amount of testing and allowing for maintenance, I anticipate that this final phase of testing should last about 45 days which means a mid August completion for the final phase of testing.

Boeing will still have to submit any remaining deliverables to the FAA and EASA and they would take at least a couple of weeks to issue the final type certification for the 787. Therefore, it is looking like an early to mid September delivery time frame for the 787 to ANA.

F&R is testing that measures the production aircraft's response to normal as well off-normal operations which would include simulated engine and systems failures. This testing is only to certify the Trent-1000/787 engine airframe combination.

Boeing is still in discussions with the FAA regarding F&R/ETOPs testing for the GEnx version. Until those discussions are completed it is unknown which aircraft(s) with the GEnx-1B engines will be used for those tests. It is anticipated that GE F&R/ETOPs should start around August. Given this time frame the GEnx powered 787 should be delivered to Japan Airlines around October.

Meanwhile Boeing is still using the other airplanes for testing purposes. ZA001 just returned from Europe and the Paris Air Show and will be spending a week at Boeing Charleston as workers prepare to load the first 787 into the tooling fixtures at that plant. ZA002 will be making the trip to Japan for service ready validation operational validation. That airplane will be there for about a week conducting those tests. ZA003 is conducting Boeing test flights to evaluate the hybrid laminar flow control system proposed for the 787-9. ZA004 is conducting nautical air miles tests (NAMS) using the package "B" Trent 1000 engines. This testing will be used to evaluate the improved fuel efficiency over the package "A" Trents. ZA005 and ZA006 will continue certification flight tests with the GEnx-1Bs.

Here's Boeing Press Release on the start of F&R/ETOPs:

Boeing Begins Final Phase of 787 Flight Testing

EVERETT, Wash., June 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) yesterday started Function & Reliability (F&R) testing and extended operations (ETOPS) demonstrations on the 787 Dreamliner. This is the final phase of flight testing prior to certification of the airplane.

"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.

In addition to F&R and ETOPS testing for the 787 with Rolls-Royce engines, Boeing continues certification testing on 787s with General Electric engines and will conduct a separate F&R/ETOPS test program for that version of the airplane. Other activities will continue on the flight test fleet to support Boeing objectives including examining potential technologies for the 787-9 and testing engine improvement packages.


johnv777 said...

Uresh, I have 2 questions regarding F&R/ ETOPS testing.

Will the Trent Package "B" engined aircraft have to undergo the full 300 hours of F&R/ETOPS testing or will it only require a subset of this to be given ETOPS certification?

Also, It has been reported that the initial ETOPS will be for 180 minutes, with 330 minutes following next year after some software updates are made. Do you anticipate another round of 300 hours to achieve this ?

Uresh said...

As far as needing ETOPs for the package "B" Trents I'm not sure about that and I think that is something between RR, Boeing and the FAA (also with GE whenthey roll out their PIP changes for GEnx). My gut feel is probably not but it is all up to the FAA.

With regards to your second question, remember that the 300 hours are for F&R testing not ETOPS. ETOPs certification is done based on test points accomplished and not flight hours flown so it won't take 300 flight hours for ETOPS 330 but a few flights to validate the reauired FAA test points.

johnv777 said...

Hello Uresh,
Per the Paine Field Blog, LN14 has completed Side of Body mods, and the final frame needing the modification (LN15) is now in the tent.


Uresh said...

More progress...Now hopefully they can accelerate teh pace of re-work and get Paine Field cleared of all those 787s!

GZ said...

Not ETOPS or ANA...

As of late April there were painted JAL and China Southern 787s at Paine Field. I do imagine that ANA will be upset if their 787 crown is taken too quickly, but any idea of the EIS schedule for these units? Is there a Chinese domestic testing regime, or do they simply adopt US standards as sufficient?