Boeing 787 Dreamliner on track for delivery

The wide-body aircraft, which has been subject to supply chain delays and budget overruns, gets the green light from the FAA, paving the way for a first delivery in September.

Andrew Nusca Special to CNET News
Andrew Nusca is the editor of SmartPlanet and an associate editor at ZDNet. He has written for New York, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics, and Money. He is based in New York.
Andrew Nusca

The 787 Dreamliner makes its first flight, from Payne Field in Everett, Wash., on December 15, 2009. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

And all the engineers breathed out.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration last week gave Boeing certification for its 787 Dreamliner, saying that the company's years-in-the-making aircraft is finally safe for passengers. The announcement came after the aircraft completed its final flight tests on August 17.

The green-lighting will allow Boeing to make its first delivery to Japan's All Nippon Airways on September 28, at Tokyo's Haneda airport.

The Dreamliner is in many ways the aircraft on which the aerospace giant has staked its future. Constructed with composite materials, the 787 is supposed to be more fuel efficient and comfortable than any comparable aircraft in history--and there aren't too many that can compare to this wide-body aircraft.

But the future has been elusive. The aircraft was unveiled way back in 2007 and since then has been subject to a seemingly endless stream of supply chain delays and budget overruns. To date, 827 orders have been made for the much-hyped airplane. Boeing said it expects to produce 10 planes per month by the end of 2013--seven at its Everett, Wash., headquarters and three in a facility in South Carolina.

This story was originally published on SmartPlanet.