Boeing announced today that the largest member of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner family, the 787-10, has received its certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This gives the all clear to Boeing to begin delivery of the 787-10. Typically, the aviation authorities of other countries such as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) follow after the FAA, and certify the aircraft for passenger service in their respective countries or regions.
A total of three test aircraft flew more than 900 hours worth of various tests to achieve certification. In the testing process, everything from stall performance to extreme weather performance was tested.
The 787-10 can carry 330 passengers in a two-class configuration and is 224 feet long. This is 18 feet longer than the most popular 787 variant, the 787-9. With this added length comes added weight, which means the 787-10 has the shortest range of all 787 variants at 6,430 nautical miles. Realistically, this puts the 787-10 in position to fly from the East Coast of North America to any European or South American city, or the West Coast to Northern Asia or Western Europe.
Airlines will most likely use the aircraft to fly shorter trans-oceanic routes or regional routes that are currently flown by widebodies such as the 777 or A330. United Airlines, which has 14 787-10s on order, will likely use the aircraft to fly from its hubs on the East Coast of the United States to destinations across Europe, potentially replacing the 777-200s that currently fly many of these routes.
After being announced in 2013, the 787-10 has 171 orders from nine different customers. The first test aircraft was rolled out February 17th of last year from Boeing’s assembly plant in Charleston, South Carolina. Unlike the smaller 787-8 and 787-9 variants, the 787-10 will be built exclusively in South Carolina because the mid-fuselage section of the 787-10 is too large to transport to Boeing primary widebody assembly plant in Everett, Washington.
Singapore Airlines is the launch customer of the 787-10 and will take delivery of its first aircraft in the first half of 2018, according to Boeing. Singapore will be the largest operator of the 787-10, with 49 of the type on order. The first and only North American carrier to operate the 787-10 will be United Airlines, which will take delivery of its first two aircraft by the end of the year.
Featured image from Boeing.