On 22nd January 2018, Boeing announced that The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had issued its 787-10 Dreamliner an amended type certificate (ATC) which clears the aeroplane for commercial service in the US.
Flight testing of the 787-10 began in March 2017 and although it was envisaged that four flight test planes would be needed, it proved to have so much in common with the smaller 787-9 that only three flight-test airplanes were used, over a total of around 900 test hours.
Although the 787-10 is around 5.5 meters longer than the 787-9, adding about 40 more passengers (up to 330 passengers in total), the 787-10 uses 95% common part numbers to the 787-9. Boeing 787 Chief Project Engineer Bob Whittington stated:
“....the customers told us they really wanted the -10 to be as common as we could with the -9...”
Indeed the group of airlines that makes up the program’s advisory panel, apparently insisted that unity was more important even than range.
Because of its size, the 787-10 has been built entirely in Charleston, South Carolina, rather than being transported to Everett, Washington. However, according to Whittington, it has “flowed seamlessly through the production system...... The manufacturing system doesn’t really know the difference between a -9 and a -10.”
The amended certification issued by the FAA will now hopefully lead the way for approval by other regulatory agencies around the world so that customers such as Singapore Airlines and Emirates can launch the aircraft into service later this year