Thursday, March 19, 2015

Boeing 747-8I Receives FAA Approval For ETOPS 330

By Roberto Leiro / Published March 19, 2015

The newest generation of the Queen of the Skies is the first four-engine aircraft in receiving this certification. (Photo credits: Boeing)

The newest generation of the Queen of the Skies is the first four-engine aircraft in receiving this certification. (Photo credits: Boeing)

Boeing has announced that the 747-8 Intercontinental aircraft has received the 330-minute Extended Operations (ETOPS) approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), marking another major operational milestone in the 747 program as it became the first four-engine aircraft ever in receiving this type of certification.

Although ETOPS has been a requirement for twinjets since the introduction of the regulation three decades ago, revised regulation 14 CFR 121.161 requires four-engine passenger airplanes built after February 2015 to observe ETOPS if the flight route is more than 180 minutes (3 hours), at single-engine speeds, away from a suitable diversionary or emergency en-route airfield.

This new rating extends the maximum distance the 747-8 can fly away by 150 minutes (2.5 hours), thus benefitting operators to fly most direct routes through remote geographic zones such as the south Pacific and certain regions in Africa, covering virtually any worldwide city pair routing. However, ETOPS is not applicable to four-engine cargo aircraft, and government-owned aircraft (including military) are excluded from observing it.

RELATED: FAA Approves 330-Minute ETOPS Rating for Boeing 787

“Our customers will benefit from this additional level of reliability inherent to ETOPS design approvals, while still leveraging the vast network of routes ideal to the 747-8 capabilities, including 330-minute ETOPS routes” said Bruce Dickinson, vice president and general manager, 747 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The 747-8 already offers fuel savings from an improved aerodynamic design. Flying long-distance routes directly helps our customers fly even more efficiently – saving fuel and emitting less carbon dioxide.”

Lufthansa (LH) is the largest 747-8 operator, with a total of 17 units. (Photo: Lufthansa)

Lufthansa (LH) is the largest 747-8 operator, with a total of 17 units. The German carrier placed an order for 20 aircraft in December 2006 (Photo credits: Lufthansa)

RELATED: Boeing’s 1,500th 747 Goes to Lufthansa

PHOTOS: Lufthansa Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental Inaugural

Since its first flight on February 20, 2010, Boeing has delivered a total of 83 747-8s to eleven customers worldwide. According to the manufacturer, the combined aircraft fleet has logged up more than 619,000 flight hours and over 101,000 flight cycles.

RELATED: A History of Boeing’s 747 Factory

PHOTOS: Inside Boeing’s 747 Factory

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Contact the editor at jack.harty@airwaysnews.com

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