Boeing 787: The long certification journey comes to an end

By Joe Wlad

Joe WladToday, Boeing delivered its first 787 aircraft to All Nippon Airways (ANA) marking a huge technical, moral and financial achievement. Lorraine Bolsinger, president and CEO, GE Aviation Systems, commented in today’s news release: “This is an opportunity for 787 partners to celebrate their role in bringing the 787 Dreamliner to ANA and the world.” We at Wind River are immensely proud to be part of the supplier team on the Boeing 787 program and our VxWorks 653 operating system environment has enabled Boeing to reduce size, weight and power of the avionics platform thereby reducing aircraft operating costs for its customers.

Certification of the Boeing 787 has been a long road. While some people have focused on the challenges surrounding production and certification delays of the Boeing 787, it’s important to understand how revolutionary this airplane really is. The 787 is the most fuel efficient, technically advanced aircraft ever certified. Given how much new technology is built into the 787, it’s understandable that the certification process took longer than some had hoped. Key attributes of the 787 include a mostly composite aircraft structure (replacing many aluminum parts), elimination of pneumatics to power aircraft systems, a highly efficient wing design and Integrated Modular Avionics which reduce weight and enable reusability of software, among others.

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