"Boeing airplanes will continue to fly safely when the clock strikes midnight in the year 2000," said Walt Gillette, leader of engineering and product development for the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group.
Few airplane equipment items are date-sensitive; the few that are date-sensitive do not affect the flight operations of the airplane, Gillette said.
An extensive analysis of thousands of Boeing-built and supplier-provided equipment items determined that only three were found to be date-sensitive. The systems affected involve the onboard navigation database found in the flight management computers or inertial navigation systems on some 737, 747, 757, 767, MD-80 and MD-90 models, based on their delivery configurations.
Boeing has sent service bulletins to customers detailing software, procedural or hardware changes. "In addition to implementing the changes, the airlines also are reviewing systems they've installed themselves," Gillette added.
When designing its newer airplanes - the 717, Next-Generation 737, 757-300, 767-400, 777, MD-10 and MD-11 - Boeing made sure all systems were Year 2000 ready. In addition, the MD-90, 747-400, 757 and 767 airplanes already equipped with the Future Air Navigation System (FANS-1) have been updated. Earlier Boeing models, such as the 707, 727, early 737, DC-8, DC-9 and DC-10 jetliners, were delivered to airline customers as analog airplanes and are not affected.
Boeing is making necessary corrections to all infrastructure systems to ensure design, production and after-sale support organizations are ready. Also, the company has been working for the past five years with suppliers, customers, regulatory agencies and the aviation industry to ensure a smooth transition into the next millennium.