posted on Jun, 10 2014 @ 09:59 PM
The 787-9 testing program has gone perfectly, and deliveries are scheduled to start within the next few days. But to do so, Boeing will have to get
waivers from the FAA to fly the aircraft. Two critical flight systems have been deemed non-compliant with airworthiness regulations.
First is the RAT. The system passed a year long certification process, but on a non-certification flight recently, a problem developed with a
capacitor in the system that may render it inoperative. It was found that the capacitor was unreliable. There is a redesign in progress, but the new
parts won't be available until February, when they will be installed in a refit.
The second problem is in the altitude select dial. In Vertical Navigation Mode to turn it, you have to push it in, but when it gets pushed in, it can
accidentally be turned one to two positions without noticing, because it lacks sufficient torque resistance. There is a new control panel being
rolled out next May that will resolve this problem.
Hopefully the FAA can come through quickly so they can deliver the aircraft on time. Everything else has gone through perfectly with this program.
Boeing needs a last-minute regulatory intervention to avoid a delay of the entry-into-service date later this month for the 787-9.
The company has asked the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to quickly approve exemptions that would allow the 787-9 to be delivered on
schedule despite two critical flight systems deemed non-compliant with airworthiness regulations.
“The certification process provides a method for identifying component issues that do not result in an immediate safety concern but need to be
addressed,” Boeing tells Flightglobal. “We have followed that process and proposed plans to the FAA to address two components on the 787-9.”
The requested exemptions would cover a newly-discovered reliability problem with the ram air turbine (RAT) and a functional issue with the
altitude-select dial on the mode control panel, according to a Boeing petition for relief filed on 4 June