Boeing has received 330-minute Extended Operations (ETOPS) approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental. It is the first time a four-engine airplane has received this type of design approval.
With this approval, required for four-engine passenger airplanes built after Feb. 2015 to fly beyond 180 minutes from an en-route alternate airport, the 747-8’s design is approved to conduct 330-minute ETOPS missions. These missions allow operators to fly long-distances more directly on virtually any worldwide city pair routing.
Although ETOPS has been a requirement for twin-engine airplanes since the 1980s, the regulations have recently been applied to the design of passenger airplanes with more than two engines.
“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.”
With 83 airplanes in service with 11 customers, 747-8s have logged more than 619,000 flight hours and more than 101,000 flight cycles.