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Boeing Test Flying with Delivery Registrations

Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:36 am

For example, BA's latest heavies are both test flying at the moment, G-STBN out of PAE with Boeing and G-XWBH out of TLS with Airbus. The Airbus has an F-Wxxx test reg over the final G- reg whereas the Boeing equivalent is flying with British marks. Did Boeing not used to do test flying with N- test registrations and if so, what was the reason for the change?
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Re: Boeing Test Flying with Delivery Registrations

Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:58 am

Are you referring to letters/numbers that are painted or stenciled on the airplane or the Mode-S code that is being transmitted?
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Re: Boeing Test Flying with Delivery Registrations

Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:37 am

As far as I recall Boeing has always test flown their aircraft with the final registration shown on the aircraft. However, I don't know whether or not it is actually actually registered that way in the FAA database prior to delivery to the customer.
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Re: Boeing Test Flying with Delivery Registrations

Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:46 am

It is standard practice in some juristrictions, Australia included. Their are various requirements both from a certification & operational point of view which vary, in Australia the aircraft had to carry a stainless steel plate with the actual registration indeliably inscribed on it. I do not know if this is still required.

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Re: Boeing Test Flying with Delivery Registrations

Sat Oct 24, 2020 9:17 am

It’s just differences between what the FAA allows and what the EASA does. The FAA is ok with manufacturers doing normal pre delivery test flying with the customer’s registration displayed, even though I’m pretty sure officially Boeing is still flying them under an N number. EASA requires that the temporary European registration is always displayed until the plane is delivered and no longer flying under the European registration.
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Re: Boeing Test Flying with Delivery Registrations

Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:01 pm

Sometimes when Boeing is testing other stuff than the normal pre-delivery test flights, the aircraft is getting a temporary reg with an experimental tag. Just search N5022E in the database.
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Re: Boeing Test Flying with Delivery Registrations

Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:17 pm

The registration used depends on the type of permit or certificate required by the regulatory agency (In Boeing’s case the FAA usually). For production flight tests with no uncertified or untested equipment on the aircraft Boeing along with any other manufacturer is allowed to use a Special Flight permit for Production Flight Test and can fly the aircraft on its delivery registration either foreign or US.
If there is any new and uncertified equipment being tested on the aircraft then a Special Airworthiness Certificate for Experimental Flight Test is required and to avoid having to deal with foreign Civil Aviation Agencies (CAAs) some of who do not deal with experimental certificates very often, Boeing will normally put a temporary US registration on the aircraft so that they can obtain a Special Airworthiness Certificate from the FAA. This N then has to be put on the aircraft while it is flying for the testing.

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