Boeing to conduct final 787 Dreamliner test flight to assess battery fix

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US aerospace giant Boeing said Friday it plans to conduct a final 787 Dreamliner test flight to assess its proposed battery fix later in the day.

"The purpose of the test is to demonstrate that the new system performs as intended during normal and non-normal flight conditions," said Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel.

Boeing said it had filed a flight plan for the 787 to take off and land at Paine Field in Everett, Washington, home to the company's largest plane-building factory.

The Boeing-owned airplane, built for LOT Polish Airlines, was currently scheduled to take off at about 11am local time (1800 GMT), but the departure was subject to change.

The flight was expected to last about two hours.

Boeing's fleet of 787 planes were grounded globally on Jan 16 after a series of overheating problems with the cutting-edge plane's lithium-ion battery system.

The planes were pulled from the skies after a battery fire on a parked Japan Airlines 787 at Boston's Logan Airport and an incident in which battery smoke forced an emergency landing of an All Nippon Airways 787 in Japan.

On March 12, the Federal Aviation Administration approved Boeing's plan for testing the batteries. The FAA described the certification plan as the "first step in the process to evaluate the 787's return to flight."

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