Boeing has successfully completed Year 2000 (Y2K) flight demonstrations of its commercial airplanes, reconfirming earlier laboratory and simulation studies that showed there are no safety of flight issues related to the Y2K date rollover.
Alan Mulally, president - Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group, was on board a one-hour demonstration flight of a Boeing Next-Generation 737-600 today, completing the nine-airplane-model test program.
"We are pleased to confirm that Boeing airplanes are Year 2000-ready and will fly safely into the next century," said Mulally. "We hope these demonstrations will provide confidence to the flying public."
Prior to departure from Seattle's Boeing Field, the flight crew set the captain's clock forward to Dec. 31, 1999; then during the hour-long flight, let it roll over to Jan. 1, 2000. There were no effects to the flight deck and nothing out of the ordinary occurred. Seattle's Air Traffic Control Center reported solid airplane-radar surveillance and communications throughout the event.
While in flight, the company also tested a wide range of possible computer-date anomalies such as Feb. 29, 2000, which is a leap year. None were experienced.
In its demonstration of current production models, Boeing conducted flight tests on the 717, Next-Generation 737, 737 Classic, 747, 757, 767, 777, MD-11 and MD-80/90 airplanes. Avionics and other systems tested on board included flight management computers made by Honeywell, Inc., Smiths Industries and other suppliers.
An earlier Boeing supplier assessment showed that only three equipment items were sensitive to the Year 2000 date on some Boeing airplanes, but none affected safety of flight or operation of the aircraft. Boeing issued service bulletins to the airlines early last year outlining the extent of the nuisance messages that may occur on these aircraft and how to correct the problems.
The 737-600 used in today's demonstration is scheduled to be delivered to Scandinavian Airlines System before the end of April.
"Year 2000 Readiness Disclosure"
FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO RISK AND UNCERTAINTY
Certain statements here contain "forward-looking" information that involves risk and uncertainty, including discussions of plans for addressing the Year 2000 challenge and timetables for accomplishing such plans. Actual future results and trends may differ materially depending on a variety of factors, including the Company's successful execution of internal performance plans, including technical solutions to the Year 2000 problem, and performance issues with suppliers, subcontractors and customers. Additional information regarding these factors is contained in the Company's annual Report on form 10-K for the year ended 1998.