To me, an EIS beyond 2024 would in first instance raise the question of Boeing's ability to design new planes and get them certified.
To me, that question is already on the table. How can you keep asking for a TIA at several meetings while the FAA is just requesting a proper fix…
Zeke posted a link to a copy of the FAA letter here:viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1455929&start=500#p22856885
It reads differently from how the Seattle Times reported it. The Times says "sternly worded" and that the FAA hints at "a degree of exasperation." The real letter is factual and neutral toned (almost like it was written by engineers at the FAA, interested in communicating clearly, rather than by journalists interested in controversy).
The letter does not indicate Boeing has been ignoring the FAA's requests. Rather, it mentions a long period of discussion over the TIA request, and appears to conclude that discussion for the present time. Boeing requested on May 7 to conduct the TIA in phases (2175301 suggested further upthread
that this has been done in the past when there are some items ready for certification and others not). The letter in question is the FAA's formal response the following week to notify Boeing that they do not consider such a phased TIA to be a realistic option this time.
The FAA then goes on to list the reasons for their position. The fact that the Common Core System affects so many of the other systems involved in the certification appears to be a significant part of the reason, as it is called out in several of the reasons in the list. They need to know that the CCS is mature enough to certify the systems it interacts with, and that it will provide accurate data.
Do you have a source for the EIS of 2025? All I have seen is certification in mid to late 2023.
No, it's my guess based on the ultimate results of the 787, 747-8, and MAX programs. The MAX was the only one that was on time and then...
Those programs would suggest an EIS later this year. They all entered service within 2 years of the start of flight testing; even the 787, which was still validating the fix for the wing static test failure far below ultimate load, was working on significant design changes to remove literal tons of excess weight, and would during the time of the flight test programs have an engine failure (during ground testing) and an electrical fire. The 777X is now 18 months after the start of flight testing and expecting at least 2 more years. That is unprecedented.
Obviously, that's because the circumstances are different this time.
I do not know how much the difference in the magnitude of post-first flight slides is the FAA being more conservative to be certain nothing is missed this time, and how much is Boeing actually being less prepared. Frankly, considering the mess that the 787 program was, and how differently the 777X seemed to be run from the start (eg - over 6 years planned development time for a derivative compared to less than 5 years for a fairly radical clean sheet, with much more work done in-house for the 777X), I am strongly inclined to expect the 777X is actually more ready than the 787 was, and it is mainly the FAA is being more conservative - presumably as conservative as they should have been before, plus a little extra to re-establish their own reputation. The letter suggests they want to know very precisely how the aircraft they will be testing compares to what is expected to be certified, and can be certain the analysis that drives the test plans is properly documented before the testing starts.
The last time Clark commented on the timeframe, he clearly had inside information. Emirate's marketing department even leaked the 2023 date in an advertisement for fancy new seats on their A380's
. A few weeks later, Boeing confirmed this time line in the earnings report.
This time, Clark is quoted as basically saying he has no idea: "we don’t have any visibility as to when the first one will arrive.
It’s either the back end of 2023, 2024 or possibly even 2025."
It would be interesting to see the 777x fuselage rupture root cause analyses.
It would be interesting, but I doubt we will see it. The FAA expressed no concern of any kind in the letter about the fuselage rupture during the static test. That was a very high profile event, which I suspect led to Boeing being very thorough about it. It is possible that the static test is evaluated by the FAA as a distinct enough topic from the flight testing that concerns still could exist but are irrelevant to the TIA. Therefore, I won't dismiss it entirely even though the FAA so far seems unconcerned, but unless and until the FAA or Boeing indicates there is some remaining concern about the static test failure, there's not much reason to be suspicious.
The 777X development period coincided with the post 787 frustration of all new design, the unexpected NEO success. This translated in Boeing successfully pushing congress for FAA "streamlining" and increased self certification via several well documented re-authorizations.
The decision to streamline significant portions of the certification processes was made by Congress in 2003 and implemented as the ODA program in 2005.
Although the process continued to evolve after that time, the big step was taken long before the 777X program began, and even before the MAX program began.