Boeing plans 787 battery test flights for end of week
SEATTLE (REUTERS) - Boeing plans to conduct two flight tests of its revamped 787 battery system, possibly as soon as the end of the week, according to three sources familiar with the matter.
The 787 flights, the first since last month, would mark another step toward Boeing's recently announced goal of returning the grounded jet to service in a matter of weeks, not months.
Regulators banned the plane from the skies in January after lithium-ion batteries burned on two 787s in quick succession that month. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave Boeing permission for a single "ferry" flight on Feb 7 to move a jet to Washington state from Texas, carrying minimal crew and no passengers.
The FAA on March 12 approved Boeing's plan to test a redesigned battery system, to prove it is safe. The plan includes a rigorous battery testing standard Boeing helped develop but did not previously use. Boeing said last week that it was one-third of the way through the testing, and expected to finish in a week or two.