Boeing Schedules Seattle Test Flight For 787 - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Boeing Schedules Seattle Test Flight For 787

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(AP Photo) (AP Photo)

SEATTLE, Wash. - Boeing said it will conduct a test flight of its 787 to see if a redesigned battery system works properly while the plane is in the air.

The company said Monday that it filed a plan to conduct a check flight on a 787 built for LOT Polish Airlines. The plane was scheduled to take off and land at Paine Field in Seattle.

Boeing Co.'s new 787s have been grounded since January, when a battery on one plane caught fire after it landed in Boston and a battery on another began smoking during a flight in Japan.

The test flight is expected to take off around 11:00 a.m. PDT and last about two hours.

In early March the company said Boeing said it expected commercial flights of its grounded 787 jets resuming "within weeks" even though it had not pinpointed the cause of battery overheating.

Boeing Co. Chief Project Engineer Michael Sinnett outlined a fix centered on a new design for the lithium-ion battery system that has layers of safeguards to prevent overheating and measures to contain malfunctions.

"We could be back up and going in weeks and not months," Sinnett told reporters at a Tokyo hotel. A third of safety tests have already been completed. A Japanese official said it was possible flights could resume next month.

The 787 fleet was grounded worldwide by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, its counterparts in Japan and other nations in January, following a battery fire in a Dreamliner parked in Boston and an overheated battery that led to an emergency landing of another 787 in Japan.

All Nippon Airways, a major Japanese carrier, was the launch customer for the technologically advanced Dreamliner planes. With Japan Airlines another customer, about half the 787 jets in use are with Japanese carriers.

The executives said it would take too long to figure out what had specifically caused the problems in Boston and southwestern Japan but the new design would ensure 787s are safe.

(NewsChannel5 and The Associated Press.)

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