According to news published today by the Seattle Times and also by Reuters, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has told Boeing that the 777X is not yet ready for certification; warning that they will not “realistically” certify the airplane until mid-to-late 2023.
Reuters explained that the FAA sent a letter to Boeing citing a number of issues, such as lack of data and the lack of a preliminary safety assessment for the FAA to review, and rejecting the manufacturers request to issue a Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) Readiness “The aircraft is not yet ready for TIA”. The FAA also warned Boeing that they may have to increase the number of test flights planned, identifying that they only have “a phased TIA of limited scope with a small number of certification flight test plans”.
“The technical data required for type certification has not yet reached a point where it appears the aircraft type design is mature and can be expected to meet the applicable regulations.”
Ian Won, the manager of the local FAA office wrote
The Seattle Times says that the US authority also cited an other issue; a serious flight control incident occurred during a test flight on Dec 8th 2020, when the plane experienced an “un-commanded pitch event” — meaning the nose of the aircraft pitched abruptly up or down without input from the pilots. The FAA also expressed concern about proposed modifications, involving late changes to both software and hardware in the electronics of the jet’s flight controls.
“The FAA will not approve any aircraft unless it meets our safety and certification standards.”
the agency said in a statement Sunday
The new version of the popular wide body aircraft has been in development since 2013 and was expected to be delivered to airlines in 2020; this latest delay means that the jet will now probably enter into commercial service in early 2024, four years later than originally planned.
“Boeing remains fully focused on safety as our highest priority throughout 777X development. As we subject the airplane to a comprehensive test program to demonstrate its safety and reliability, we are working through a rigorous development process to ensure we meet all applicable requirements.”