Certification of the 777X should only take place in the second half of 2023, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) said in a letter sent to Boeing in May.
The document, which was revealed by The Seattle Times last week, raises several concerns from the US Civil Aviation Agency regarding test data for the 777-9, a variant Boeing is prioritizing for entry into service.
Among the aspects highlighted by the FAA are problems with software, including the occurrence of an anomaly during a test flight in December that caused one of the prototypes to exhibit pitch axis oscillations independently.
The authority also claims that the twin-engine jet “is not yet ready for TIA, even if it is a phased TIA of limited scope with a small number of certification flight test plans proposed.”
The TIA (Type Inspection Authorization) is a milestone in the certification process which means that the aircraft is as expected to meet the requirements.
“The FAA will not approve any aircraft unless it meets our safety and certification standards,” the agency states in the letter.
Boeing is expected to perform a major software update on the 777X soon that promises to resolve most of these issues. The work is focused on the Common Core System (CCS), a modular avionics architecture that centralizes several vital functions in the aircraft.
The fixes to be implemented by Boeing could cause the 777-9 to start commercial operation only in 2024, further delaying the program.
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