UPDATE 1-Boeing 787 Dreamliner undergoing test flight

Sat Feb 9, 2013 5:13pm EST

CHICAGO Feb 9 (Reuters) - Boeing Co said a test flight of its grounded 787 Dreamliner to collect more data on potential faults in the aircraft's lithium-ion batteries had taken off from Seattle and was scheduled to return late Saturday afternoon.

The 50 Dreamliners in commercial service were grounded worldwide on Jan. 16, after a series of battery related incidents, including a fire on board a parked 787 in Boston's Logan International Airport and an in-flight problem on another plane in Japan.

The groundings have cost airlines tens of millions of dollars, with no solution yet in sight.

The test flight on ZA005, a Boeing 787 test plane, departed Boeing Field in Seattle at 12:32 p.m. Pacific time (3:32 p.m. ET/2032 GMT) and was scheduled to land at 2:59 PT (5:59 p.m. ET/2259 GMT), the company said.

A company spokesman declined to comment until the flight was completed.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said on Thursday it would allow 787 test flights, under more stringent rules, to monitor the batteries in flight.

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