Boeing asks FAA to allow Dreamliner test flights

NEW YORK Tue Feb 5, 2013 5:52am EST

All Nippon Airways' (ANA) Boeing Co's 787 Dreamliner aircraft which made an emergency landing on last Wednesday, is seen through a window of the ANA's Airbus A320 jet, at Takamatsu airport in Takamatsu, western Japan January 19, 2013. REUTERS/Issei Kato

All Nippon Airways' (ANA) Boeing Co's 787 Dreamliner aircraft which made an emergency landing on last Wednesday, is seen through a window of the ANA's Airbus A320 jet, at Takamatsu airport in Takamatsu, western Japan January 19, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Issei Kato

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Boeing Co (BA.N) has asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for permission to conduct test flights of its 787 Dreamliner, suggesting the company is making progress in finding a solution to the battery problems that grounded the entire 787 fleet last month.

Boeing said it has submitted an application to conduct test flights, confirming a report in the Seattle Times. The newspaper reported that the FAA might grant permission as soon as Monday night, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. The FAA said it is evaluating Boeing's request.

Boeing would test a potential fix for the problem that caused two batteries to burn on 787s last month, the paper said. But passenger flights would still be weeks if not months away, the paper said, citing two sources.

(Reporting By Alwyn Scott; Editing by Gary Hill and Ian Geoghegan)

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Comments (3)
WJL wrote:
The issue is why the Dreamliner was permitted to be in service for over 1 year while there was still an unresolved design issue with batteries and electrical circuit?

Luckily no one has died.

Feb 04, 2013 8:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Humanist11 wrote:
I don’t think they knew there was an issue until it had been flying for the past year. My guess is that Boeing received a bad batch of batteries from the manufacturer. It seems to be tricky to produce these batteries and any imperfection could result in failure. Good luck to Boeing. They have been making solid airplanes for 50 years.

Feb 04, 2013 9:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
HadleyJohn wrote:
It is well documented that Boeing flight test aircraft suffered a serious electrical systems fire on one of its later test aircraft and close to customer launch. This retrospectively raises a big question over the integrity of the electrical system which at that stage should have been mature.
The Dreamline has the capability to generate 1.5 Megawatts of electrical power, far in excess of any other commercial airliner. It is a radical design advancement in aerospace terms.
With radical design comes risk; every major advance in technology carries risk until the product matures having been in service for a period of time.
Being a Project Engineer in the Aerospace Industry I know how pressured designs teams can be to get product to market. There will be Boeing electrical systems engineers who are saying to themselves ‘I knew that we had an issue here’.
This is no time to point a finger however, as this is how technology moves forward; in nervous leaps.
Engineers do a great job; we are the unseen heroes!

Feb 05, 2013 4:01am EST  --  Report as abuse
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