The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted type certification to the Boeing Next-Generation
737-600. This signifies the successful completion of stringent testing requirements mandated by the federal agency and required of all commercial airplane models prior to entering passenger service.
"Attaining FAA certification validates the 737-600's safety, reliability and enhanced performance capabilities," said Ron Woodard, president - Boeing Commercial Airplane Group. "Extending our Next-Generation family begins with our customers and suppliers, and our commitment to them has helped bring this aircraft to the threshold of passenger service."
Boeing employees worked for three years, completing extensive engineering, laboratory and airplane tests to ready the 737-600 for its certification.
"Now that the 737-600 is certified, we can begin deliveries to our airline customers around the world," said Jack Gucker, vice president - 737/757 Derivatives. "The success of this program/airplane certification would not have been possible without the dedication of each and every Boeing employee that has worked so diligently on this program."
A key element in gaining FAA certification for the 737-600 was the comprehensive flight-test program, which started in February 1998 and included three airplanes. The 6.5-month program spanned more than 800 in-flight hours, 459 ground-test hours and 635 flights. Test criteria included measuring airplane performance during takeoff and landing; fuel consumption during cruise; flying qualities under varied conditions and weights; flight management system verification; structural dynamic response; and loads, avionics and systems tests.
The Next-Generation 737-600 program was launched in 1995 when Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) placed an order for 41 jetliners. Deliveries are scheduled to begin next month pending Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) type certification approval.
In addition to the 737-600, the Next-Generation 737 family also includes the 737-700/-800/-900. Like the 737 Classic models, these new family members are offered in three sizes, ranging from 108 to 189 seats in mixed-class configuration. All of the Next-Generation models are powered by CFM56-7 engines, which have a 10 percent greater thrust capability than the engines that power the 737 Classic models.
While gaining FAA certification for the 737-600, Boeing also received certification for the dual annular combustor (DAC) engine, which now is approved for installation on all Next-Generation 737 models. Produced by CFMI, the DAC engine produces significantly lower levels of emissions than current airplane engines.