Boeing Gives Dreamliner a Test Flight

4798 Boeing has taken its first test flight of its 787 Dreamliner since problems with lithium-ion batteries aboard two planes grounded the worldwide fleet of the new planes nearly a month ago. But no results were announced.
Boeing said the plane flew for two hours and 19 minutes on Saturday afternoon. A crew of 13 people monitored the main and auxiliary batteries on the plane.

"The crew reports that the flight was uneventful," said spokesman Marc Birtel.

The Federal Aviation Administration and other regulators worldwide grounded the fleet of 50 planes on Jan. 16 after battery problems aboard two planes. The first was a battery fire in a Japan Airlines plane parked in Boston on Jan. 7 and a smoldering battery that forced an emergency landing of an All Nippon Airways plane in Japan on Jan. 16.

Since then, the FAA allowed Boeing a one-time "ferry flight," which happened Thursday, to move a 787 from a painting facility in Texas to Washington. Later Thursday, the FAA allowed Boeing to conduct test flights.

Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate the Boston fire. On Thursday, investigators pinpointed the origin of the fire in one of eight cells of the auxiliary battery. But they continue to search for a cause in possible flaws in how the battery was designed, manufactured or charged.


Source: USA Today | Bart Jansen
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