I would like to know how many hours a new aircraft such as Boeing's 787 Dreamliner needs to fly prior to being certify as ready for commercial flight?
ANSWER: The amount of test flight time depends on the complexity of the aircraft and the FAA's flight test program.
The FAA has a series of tests that are required (both flight and ground tests) and when those tests have been satisfied a type certificate will be issued to the aircraft manufacturer and then they can start producing the aircraft for sale.
The six B787 Dreamliner aircraft involved in the test flight program as of Nov 16, 2010 have logged 765 flights and over 2,300 hours. Boeing has a great website to follow the development of the 787.
You can visit that website by clicking here.