Just hours before the well-publicized U.S. Government shutdown Friday night, Boeing won approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its Boeing 787-10 to fly for commercial airlines. The 787-10 is the last of the innovative Boeing 787 Dreamliner variants to be developed, after the smaller 787-8 and 787-9 aircraft, both of which are in commercial service.
The FAA certification follows a remarkably short flight test program for the 787-10 that began with the type's first flight early last year. This aircraft is essentially a stretched version of the original 787-8 Dreamliner, with seating capacity for up to 330 passengers in a typical 2-class layout (on par with the capacity of the 777-200), as well as 6,430 nautical miles of range, just enough to cover a route such as New York - Tokyo.
With the approval of the 787-10's ATC (Amended Type Certificate), the innovative aircraft, the first to have its fuselage be primarily manufactured from carbon fiber, will be ready for delivery to customers. Singapore Airlines, the launch customer of the aircraft, is expected to take delivery of the first example sometime "in early 2018," according to The Points Guy.
Because the 787-10 shares so much in common with the two earlier variants, the flight test program involved just three aircraft (N528ZC, N548ZC, N565ZC) and lasted just short of a calendar year. Two of the three test aircraft, powered by the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, are expected to be delivered to Singapore Airlines. The other example, powered by General Electric GEnX-1B engines, will be delivered to North American launch customer sometime later this year. According to Boeing, the entire flight test campaign lasted approximately 900 hours.
Since the 787-10 has just received FAA type certification, we will see other aerospace regulation agencies such as EASA issue certifications for the aircraft soon. Other worldwide agencies typically follow the FAA's lead in certifying new commercial aircraft.
To date, the Boeing 787-10 has received a total of 171 orders. The airlines/lease firms that have ordered the aircraft are as follows, according to Boeing's website:
Air France (8 aircraft)
Air Lease Corporation (25 aircraft)
All Nippon Airways (3 aircraft)
British Airways (12 aircraft)
Etihad Airways (30 aircraft)
EVA Air (18 aircraft)
GECAS (4 aircraft)
Singapore Airlines (49 aircraft), Launch Customer
United Airlines (14 aircraft)
Unidentified Customers (8 aircraft)
Cover photo courtesy of Ryan Johnson via Wikimedia Commons.