Boeing 777-300ER Receives U.S. and European Certification Approval

The Boeing [NYSE: BA] 777-300ER, the newest member of the market-leading 777 commercial airplane family, now is certified by U.S. and European regulators to carry passengers to destinations around the world.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have formally recognized that the 777-300ER passed all testing and safety requirements during an eleven-month flight-test program.

"This milestone affirms the safety, reliability, and performance of the 777-300ER," said Lars Andersen, Longer Range 777 program manager. "This airplane offers more range, payload capability, and fuel efficiency than any airplane in its class."

International Lease Finance Corp. customer Air France will receive the first 777-300ER next month. Offering airlines more flexibility in serving the non-stop routes passengers demand, Boeing has so far received orders for 71 777-300ERs from eight customers.

The FAA and EASA certifications grant an amended type certificate for the 777, as well as a production certificate, which authorizes Boeing to build the 777-300ER.

Three 777-300ER flight test airplanes completed nearly 1,500 flight- and 1,000 ground-test hours during the program, starting with the first flight on Feb. 24, 2003. The thorough and rigorous test program demonstrated the airplane's capabilities, often in extreme environments such as frigid Yakutsk, Russia and sweltering Alice Springs, Australia. Major test activities included aerodynamics, stability and control, flight controls, structures, and systems.

Excellent performance during flight testing led Boeing to offer the airplane with higher range and payload capabilities than planned. New technological features, including raked wingtips, semi-levered landing gear, and tail strike protection system, provide the capability enhancement.

The world's most technologically advanced airplane, the twin-engine 777-300ER carries 365 passengers up to 7,705 nautical miles (14,270 kilometers). Powered by General Electric's GE90-115B engine, the largest and most powerful commercial jet engine in the world, the 777-300ER can serve such routes as Paris-Los Angeles and New York-Tokyo.

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Marc Birtel