Friday, August 19, 2011

Boeing receives type certification for 747-8F

Boeing Photo
Boeing announced today that it has received type certification and the company now has clear path to start delivering the freighter version of the newest member of the 747 family in early September to Cargolux.
Cargolux will receive the first 747-8F early next month. The next four months will see Boeing delivering 3 new airplanes to customers (787-8, 747-8F and 747-8I) which is unprecedented in commercial aviation history. The FAA has given Boeing the Amended Type Certificate as well as the Amended Production Certificate (which allows Boeing to produce the 747-8F using FAA validated methods). EASA has also granted the amended type certificate to the 747-8F.
Even though the FAA has certified the 747-8F this is not the end of certification activities for this particular airplane. The 747-8F was certified with the flight management software for the 747-400. Full certification with the improvements to the software would have delayed the entry into service of the aircraft thus Boeing elected to certify the airplane with the older version of the software and then certify the 747-8 flight management software later this year.
Here's a description of the 747-8 flight management software from Guy Norris of Aviation Week:
The debate over readiness centers on the standard of software in the Honeywell-supplied Next Generation Flight Management System (NGFMS) at the heart of the 747-8 avionics suite. The system enables Required Navigation Performance (RNP) 0.1, and enables operators to comply with both the U.S. NextGen Air Traffic Management (ATM) and the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) program. The system also supports Wide Area Augmentation System Localizer Performance with Vertical guidance, Future Air Navigation System 1 (FANS-1) and FANS-2 requirements.

The core of the new FMS also is flying on the Gulfstream G650 ultra-long range business jet, but incorporates an architecture that partitions the flight management code from the user interface. This has enabled 747-8-specific user interfaces, inputs and outputs to be connected to the advanced FMS via a number of “abstraction” layers. The NGFMS software also will run in the same basic FMS box as the current Boeing 747-400, which will be upgraded by inserting a single processor card.
There is no word on when flight testing will be complete on the 747-8 flight management software. Boeing is continuing flight testing on the 747-8I and thus far it has flown just under 500 flight test hours of the 600 flight test hours that is needed for certification. Boeing still plans to start deliveries of that aircraft by the end of the year.

Meanwhile Boeing is awaiting FAA certification of the Rolls Royce powered 787-8. It is being reported that the certification is expected in another week for the 787-8. Meanwhile ZA101, the first 787 to be delivered started its Trent-1000 engines for the first time yesterday and I anticipate B-1 flight (Boeing first flight) very soon after type certification fy the FAA. Boeing is also planning to start F&R/ETOPs testing on the GEnx powered version of the 787 sometime in September though the date is still unknown. Boeing's 787 backlog is heavily skewed in favor of GEnx powered aircraft thus it is highly important for Boeing to conduct those final tests in order to certify and deliver that version of the plane. The derivative the GEnx-1B that powered the 787, the GEnx-2B will be flying for customers first when the 747-8F enters revenue service.

Here's Boeing's Statemeent of the 747-8F type certificate:

New Boeing 747-8 Freighter Certified for Entry into Service

U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, European Aviation Safety Agency certify design of new member of 747 family

SEATTLE, Aug. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) received U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification Friday for the new 747-8 Freighter, passing two of the final landmarks on the airplane's journey to entry into service. The FAA granted Boeing an Amended Type Certificate (ATC) and an Amended Production Certificate for the 747-8 Freighter, while the EASA also granted the company an ATC for the airplane.

With these certificates, the program is in the final stages of preparing to deliver the first 747-8 Freighter to launch customer Cargolux in early September.

"This is such a great day for everyone on the 747 team," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Over the last several years, this team has overcome challenge after challenge. Through their hard work and dedication, they have ensured that the 747, the Queen of the Skies, will fly for decades to come."

The drive to certify the 747-8 Freighter was a team effort, said Elizabeth Lund, vice president and general manager, 747 Program. "This is a day to express our profound thanks to everyone at Boeing and at our suppliers who played a part in designing, building and testing this airplane," she said. "It's a day to thank our colleagues at the
FAA and EASA for all of their hard work. And it's a day to appreciate our customers for their commitment to the program."

The Amended Type Certificate acknowledges that the FAA and EASA have certified that the design of the 747-8 Freighter is compliant with all aviation regulatory requirements and will produce a safe and reliable airplane. The airplane logged more than 3,400 hours of flight testing and many thousands more of ground, part, component, materials and other testing on the road to certification.

The Amended Production Certificate shows the FAA has validated that the Boeing 747
production system can reliably produce airplanes that will conform to the airplane's design. EASA accepts FAA oversight of Boeing production certificates as sufficient for its regulations, as FAA accepts EASA oversight of European manufacturers' production certificates.

The 747-8 Freighter is the new high-capacity 747 that will give cargo operators the lowest operating costs and best economics of any freighter airplane while providing enhanced environmental performance. It is 250 feet, 2 inches (76.3 m) long, which is 18 feet and 4 inches (5.6 m) longer than the 747-400 Freighter. The stretch provides customers with 16 percent more revenue cargo volume compared to its predecessor. That translates to four additional main-deck pallets and three additional lower-hold
pallets. The 747-8 Freighters will be powered with GE's GEnx-2B engines.


johnv777 said...

Have seen a few hints on the web that Friday, 8/26 will be the 787 FAA certification date.

Uresh said...

Yes, the 787-8 will have its ATC on Friday. Deliveries can start and Boeing can deliver them as fast as they can finish all the work on those planes.

johnv777 said...

Just read on FlightGlobal that the second frame to be assembled in Charleston will be Line # 57.


Uresh said...

Yup, I saw that too.