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FAA certifies Boeing 787 Dreamliner; on track for delivery

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The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has given Boeing certification for its 787 Dreamliner aircraft, paving the way for a first delivery in September.

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 was finally safe for passengers. The announcement came after the aircraft completed its final flight tests last Wednesday.

The green lighting will allow Boeing to make its first delivery to Japan's All Nippon Airways on Sept. 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.

Photo: Pilot Mike Carriker guides the 787 back to its base at Paine Field in Everett following a 90-minute flight. (Boeing)

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Andrew Nusca

Editor Emeritus

Andrew Nusca is editor of SmartPlanet and an associate editor for ZDNet. Previously, he worked at Money, Men's Vogue and Popular Mechanics magazines. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and New York University. He is based in New York but resides in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure