Testing of New GEnx-1B Boeing 787

There is a huge build up of excitement surrounding the new GEnx-1B Boeing 787 aircraft, as two of the aircraft are almost ready to undergo functionality, reliability and ETOPS evaluations. It is estimated that if all goes well, evaluations will be able to begin in July 2011. General Electric has confirmed that two Boeings, which are nearing the end of their certification tests, have amassed numerous flight hours. ZA005 and ZA006, which are GE-powered aircraft, have been performing better than expected and General Electric have expressed that they are pleased at the progress being made.

Boeing looks at complete flights in regard to the progress of the testing of an aircraft, and the aircrafts have therefore completed approximately two hundred and eighty flights, which means that over eight hundred hours of flight have been accumulated. Looking at General Electric statistics, the aircrafts have completed 1 150 engine flight cycles and more than one thousand five hundred engine flight hours. The aircraft now stand on approximately seventy percent completion of certification tests and eighty percent of tests conducted by Boeing. Boeing commented that they will begin reliability, functional and ETOPS tests by the end of June, before the aircraft go for final certification. They hope that if all goes according to schedule that the first aircraft, which was commissioned by All Nippon Airways with a Rolls Royce engine, can be launched by August or September. Bill Fitzgerald, the General Manager of the GEnx product line, commented: “We’re several weeks from entry-into-service of the GEnx-1B-powered 787 in October with Japan Airlines.”

In total, there are seven aircraft in the 787 test fleet, and all have accumulated close to four thousand flight hours. The aircraft with the most flight time, ZA001, is scheduled for undergoing maintenance, while ZA002 is now undergoing auxiliary power unit tests, and ZA003 is being inspected by being stripped down. The aircraft ZA004 is currently being upgraded with Package B Rolls Royce engines. General Electric, as engine manufacturers, are extremely excited to see the first aircraft being delivered to its first customers, and soon the Boeing 787 Dreamliners will be taking to the skies with their first passengers.