The Boeing Company this week celebrates 50 years of designing, building and selling safe, high-quality airplanes under its Production Certificate.
The production certificate is issued to a manufacturer by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after the manufacturer demonstrates it has adequate facilities and a quality-control system to ensure it meets stringent safety and reliability requirements.
The Boeing production certificate was originally issued in 1949 by the Civil Aeronautics Administration, predecessor of the FAA, before the first jet transport was put in service and before the average Boeing employee was born. Every jet transport built by Boeing has been delivered under the privileges of what is now PC 700, which includes the incorporation of the McDonnell Douglas Production Certificate 27 in 1998.
"PC 700 has allowed us to build the machines that ushered in the safest means of mass transportation in history, and 75 percent of all large jet transports in the world carry the Boeing name," said Liz Otis, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group vice president - Quality. "When viewed in these terms, the 50th anniversary of PC 700 is truly significant."
The Boeing production certificate is a single certificate with a one-page supplement that lists all approved production sites, and a seven-page Production Limitation Record (PLR) that lists all approved airplane models. PC 700 goes all the way back to the -G2 - an early version of the venerable DC-3 - which was approved for production on July 7, 1941. The latest airplane to be added to the PLR is the 757-300, approved for production on January 22, 1999.
The most significant change to the Boeing production certificate took place in 1998 after the merger with McDonnell Douglas, when its PC 27 was returned to the FAA, and the models and facilities from that document were added to the "new" PC 700.
"On the 50th anniversary of PC 700, we celebrate many achievements, including our strong relationship with the FAA," said Scott Peterson, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group director - Regulatory Affairs. "We continue to work together to provide customers and the flying public with airplanes that are designed and manufactured to the highest quality standards."
A production certificate must, according to law, be displayed in the "main office of the factory in which the product concerned is manufactured." Boeing always displays the original current certificate in the office of the president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group, which today is occupied by Alan Mulally.