Mon, Feb 11, 2013 - Page 5 News List

Boeing reports uneventful 787 Dreamliner test flight

Reuters, CHICAGO

Boeing Co completed what it called an uneventful flight on Saturday of a test 787 Dreamliner, its first since the airplanes were grounded more than three weeks ago after a series of battery-related problems.

The test flight to gather detailed information on the airplane’s lithium-ion batteries lasted 2 hours, 19 minutes, taking off from and returning to Boeing Field in Seattle, Boeing said in a statement.

“The crew reports that the flight was uneventful,” Boeing said.

The 50 Dreamliners in commercial service were grounded worldwide on Jan. 16 after a series of battery-related incidents including a fire on board a parked 787 at Boston’s Logan International Airport and an in-flight problem on another airplane in Japan. The groundings have cost airlines tens of millions of dollars, with no solution yet in sight.

The US Federal Aviation Administration said on Thursday it would allow 787 test flights, under more stringent rules, to monitor the batteries in flight.

Boeing said the information gathered during the flight was part of the investigations into the battery events that occurred last month and that additional details could not be shared.

The airplane is Boeing’s fifth 787 flight test airplane, marked as ZA005, and the only member of the test fleet in service. The flight had a crew of 13, including pilots and testing personnel, Boeing said.

Boeing said no flights of the airplane were planned yesterday, but it planned to resume flights early in the coming week. Boeing does not provide advance flight schedules.

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