The Boeing Dreamlifter, the specially modified 747-400 used to transport the major assemblies of the all-new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, was granted type certification on Saturday, June 2, from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The certification recognizes that the Dreamlifter has successfully passed all of the stringent testing and safety requirements required by the FAA. The Dreamlifter does not need to be certified by other regulatory agencies.
"This certification reflects not only the safety and reliability of the Dreamlifter but also its remarkable performance," said Scott Strode, 787 vice president of Airplane Definition and Production.
As part of the flight test program, FAA officials flew on board the Dreamlifter as it delivered major sections of the Dreamliner from partner sites around the world to the Boeing factory in Everett, Wash., for final assembly. The flights allowed the FAA to validate the overall delivery process and tools. The Dreamlifter is not certified to carry passengers beyond essential crew. The Dreamlifter completed 437 flight-test hours and 639 hours of ground testing since its first flight on Sept. 9, 2006.
With certification achieved, operation of the Dreamlifter fleet will soon be assumed by Evergreen International Airlines (EIA) of McMinnville, Ore. EIA must first complete the required New Airplane Process Document process proving it is ready to operate the aircraft. Boeing expects the transition to EIA to occur in June.