aklrno
Topic Author
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What Is The Certification Process?

Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:12 am

I hope this is the right forum. I don't want my hand slapped again!

Since Boeing appears to be a few months from certification of the 787 I was wondering what the final process is like. Do they gather all the data and plans, load a truck, and drive it to the FAA all at once, or is the certification done part by part, so that some parts may already be accepted and its just a matter of the final details in the closing weeks?

I can see a reason for doing it the first way, since changes in one area could have an unforeseen impact in another. On the other hand, done all at once it would take a long time from the end of testing to EIS.

Is Boeing likely to get initial type certification soon, and then ETOPS later (but still before EIS)? If that were the case they could paint out the Experimental signs in the next couple of months. I imagine that doing ETOPS testing of an experimental aircraft is a hassle because they would need special permission from every county they fly to.

Considering the foreign exchange earned by delivering 20 787s this year (they are all going overseas), even if they are discounted, it will be a big plus for the US balance of payments. I hope the FAA is devoting enough resources to get it done.
 
regliner
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RE: What Is The Certification Process?

Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:47 am

Quoting aklrno (Thread starter):
Do they gather all the data and plans, load a truck, and drive it to the FAA all at once, or is the certification done part by part, so that some parts may already be accepted and its just a matter of the final details in the closing weeks?

It's done bit by bit. We pass at stages. Several tests are actually conducted with an FAA pilot as captain
"Plane's don't fly in the air. They fly on paper!"
 
KELPkid
Posts: 5247
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RE: What Is The Certification Process?

Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:23 pm

Quoting aklrno (Thread starter):
Is Boeing likely to get initial type certification soon, and then ETOPS later (but still before EIS)? If that were the case they could paint out the Experimental signs in the next couple of months. I imagine that doing ETOPS testing of an experimental aircraft is a hassle because they would need special permission from every county they fly to.

Some of the early dreamliner frames may carry the "EXPERIMENTAL" tags all of their lives, as early prototypes (even articles used in certification testing) aren't completely conformal to the specs of the ultimate design and drawings that the FAA ultimately certifies. If it's going to a customer, though, Boeing will figure out a way to bring the airframe into compliance so that the status of the airframe can be changed from experimental class.
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
roseflyer
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RE: What Is The Certification Process?

Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:48 pm

The certification process started about 6 years ago. Each component gets certified on its own and things eventually roll up. The FAA reviews certification plans and the qualification process for each new part. The workload is immense and some things are delegated to individuals at Boeing or a supplier and some go through the FAA. Hundreds of thousands of hours of lab testing go into a new airplane design. The process leads to parts earning safety of flight standard. System level certification requires flight and ground tests. Everything is electronically submitted gradually. Type certification cannot be granted until everything is done and processed or letters that exempt certain criteria are given.

The robustness of the certification process is why airplanes enter service nowadays with few problems compared to previous generations of aircraft. The lack of a fatal accident with the 777 and A380 proves this and is a major part of the reason why new airplane programs cost so much and often face delays. A problem found during the analysis can lead to a delay, but a few aircraft generations ago, the problem might not have been found until the airplane was in service.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
dlednicer
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RE: What Is The Certification Process?

Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:48 pm

The US Government publishes a set of regulations in TItle 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations that a manufacturer must show compliance with to receive a FAA Type Certificate for a design. Part 25 of TItle 14 covers jet aircraft with a gross weight of 12,500 lbs or greater and prop aircraft with 19 seats or more or a gross weight of 19,000 lbs or greater. Part 23 covers aircraft below these limits.

Early in the process, the FAA and the manufacturer must come to agreement on which subsections of the regulations are appliable and what special conditions apply. The manufacturer has five years from the date of application to demonstrate compliance, by analysis or testing, with all of these subsections and special conditions.

The Type Certificate only covers approval of the design. To produce and deliver aircraft, the manufacturer must also get a Production Certificate, which also involves more demonstrations of compliance with the federal regulations.
 
aklrno
Topic Author
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RE: What Is The Certification Process?

Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:41 pm

Is Boeing nearing the 5 year limit on the 787? Has it been extended?
 
citationjet
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RE: What Is The Certification Process?

Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:16 am

According to this website Boeing made application on March 28, 2003 for the 787-8 passenger airplane. It must have been extended.

http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Gu...01404!OpenDocument&ExpandSection=1

From Boeing's April 2, 2003 press release:
"This is a very exciting part of the development effort," said Mike Bair, Boeing senior vice president of the 7E7 program. "Manufacturers typically begin this process about five years before anticipated certification date. We expect certification and 7E7 entry into service in 2008, so now is the time to file our applications."
http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2003/q2/nr_030404g.html

[Edited 2011-03-17 19:26:47]
Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
 
tdscanuck
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RE: What Is The Certification Process?

Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:21 am

Quoting aklrno (Thread starter):
Since Boeing appears to be a few months from certification of the 787 I was wondering what the final process is like. Do they gather all the data and plans, load a truck, and drive it to the FAA all at once, or is the certification done part by part, so that some parts may already be accepted and its just a matter of the final details in the closing weeks?

Final details in the closing weeks...if they waited until all the paperwork was done on everything, them submitted the whole thing to the FAA, it would be another 5-6 years before type certification was granted.

Quoting aklrno (Thread starter):
Is Boeing likely to get initial type certification soon, and then ETOPS later (but still before EIS)?

Boeing said a few weeks ago that they were still shooting for ETOPS at delivery.

Quoting aklrno (Thread starter):
If that were the case they could paint out the Experimental signs in the next couple of months.

Unlikely...even if type certification is granted, any aircraft Boeing keeps would be for testing and would carry an Experimental ticket anyway (you can do a lot more things with an EX ticket airplane than a regular ticket).

Quoting aklrno (Thread starter):
I imagine that doing ETOPS testing of an experimental aircraft is a hassle because they would need special permission from every county they fly to.

It's not that big a deal...as long as you give them a few business days warning, most "friendly" countries are very accommodating. 787's have already overflown Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, the UK, France, Denmark, Bolivia...plus whatever intervening countries they may have crossed en route to those places.

Quoting aklrno (Reply 5):

Is Boeing nearing the 5 year limit on the 787? Has it been extended?

Yes, and yes, although I think they had to renegotiate since some regulations changed in the 5 year interval.

Tom.

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