Boeing begins final phase of 787 flight testing

This final phase of work involves Function & Reliability (F&R) testing and extended operations (ETOPS) demonstrations.

"We are ready for this final phase of flight testing," says Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 programme at Boeing. "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 aircraft, 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 aircraft'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 programme for that version of the aircraft.

Around 50% of the primary structure of the B787 Dreamliner (including the fuselage and wing) will be made of composite materials.