The newest member of the 767 family, the 767-400ER (extended range), today received certification approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as well as type design approval for 180-minute ETOPS (extended-range, twin-engine operations).
The certification and ETOPS approval, following an extensive flight test program, formally recognize that the 767-400ER has -- as expected -- passed all the stringent regulatory requirements and is ready to enter passenger service.
"This is a significant acknowledgement of the 767-400ER's safety, reliability and performance," said John Quinlivan, 767 Program vice president and general manager. "Our customers expect a service-ready airplane, and that's what we'll deliver."
Now that the approval process is complete, airlines soon can begin using the airplane for its intended purpose: to economically and efficiently fly passengers long distances in comfort unmatched by any airplane in its class.
Today's FAA certification provides an amended type certificate for the 767, as well as a production certificate -- which authorizes Boeing to build the 767-400ER under the Boeing production certificate.
The 767-400ER's type certification means the airplane is expected to share the same type rating as the existing 767-200 and 767-300 airplanes, and the common type rating with the 757-200 and 757-300. Final FAA flight crew qualification endorsement is expected in August.
Sharing the same and common type rating with the existing 757/767 family of airplanes means all flight crews qualified on existing 757 and/or 767 variant airplanes will also be qualified on the 767-400ER -- a major operational advantage for customers with both 757s and 767s in their fleets.
The 767-400ER embarked on its eight-month flight test program when it flew for the first time on Oct. 9, 1999 -- with 767 chief pilot Buzz Nelson at the controls. "This airplane has outstanding handling characteristics," Nelson said. "It is a dream to fly."
Three flight test airplanes completed 1,150 flight- and 1,200 ground-test hours to validate the design. Major test activities included:
"The 767-400ER has been superbly engineered and thoroughly tested. We're very pleased with its performance," said Dan Mooney, 767 chief engineer. "Compared to our original expectations, testing confirmed the airplane burns less fuel, needs less runway takeoff length, has better altitude capability and weighs less -- all significant benefits to our customers."
The improved fuel consumption is attributed, in part, to the innovative new raked wing tips, unique to the 767-400ER.
Testing of the airplane was thorough and rigorous -- and, on occasion, went to extremes to demonstrate the 767-400ER's capabilities. The airplane spent time in Alice Springs, Australia -- one of the hottest places on earth -- to test the environmental control system.
Boeing submitted more than 400 certification documents to the FAA, providing substantiation that the airplane complies with all applicable U.S. federal regulations.
Sized between the Boeing 767-300ER and the Boeing 777-200, the 767-400ER features a lengthened fuselage, aerodynamic improvements, increased takeoff weight capability and an all-new main landing gear. And, it has a new interior and modernized flight deck -- both similar to the award-winning 777's -- now the industry standard.
The 767-400ER is 21 feet (6.4 meters) longer than the 767-300, and provides approximately 15 percent more seats -- accommodating 245 passengers in a three-class configuration and up to 375 in a high-density, single-class configuration. Every member of the versatile Boeing 767 family, which also includes the 767-200ER and 767-300ER, has lower operating costs per trip than any airplane in its class.
"This is a great addition to the 767 family," Quinlivan said, on board a 767-400ER in Gatwick, England, during the airplane's month-long world tour. "As the most efficient airplane in its category, it gives our customers a tremendous competitive advantage."
Launched in April 1997, the 767-400ER enters revenue service this summer with Delta Air Lines and Continental Airlines. To see the airplane inside and out and learn more about the 767-400ER -- first new airplane model to enter service in the 21st century -- visit the website at http://www.boeing.com/767tour.