WRAPUP-Boeing finishes 787 testing, focus shifts to regulators

NEW YORK, April 5 Fri Apr 5, 2013 4:56pm EDT

NEW YORK, April 5 (Reuters) - With a successful flight on Friday, Boeing's 787 Dreamliner completed tests aimed at proving that a revamped safety system can prevent the jet's lithium-ion batteries from catching fire or overheating.

Friday's test flight marks a major step toward resuming passenger flights and jet deliveries, which would stem millions of dollars in losses that have piled up at airlines and Boeing since the jet was grounded more than two months ago.

The end of testing also turns attention from Boeing Co to regulators in the United States, Japan and Europe, who must decide whether the battery fix is safe.

Amid gusty winds, a LOT Polish airline plane rose from a runway near the Boeing factory just north of Seattle and soared out along the Pacific Coast, covering 755 miles in just under two hours before touching down at 12:28 pm Pacific Time (1928 GMT).

The jet carried test equipment and Federal Aviation Administration officials, and flew a similar route to a test run March 25. At the conclusion, Boeing pronounced the flight "straightforward" and "uneventful."

"Boeing will now gather and analyze the data and submit the required materials to the FAA ... in coming days," the company said in a statement.

"Once we deliver the materials we stand ready to reply to additional requests and continue in dialog with the FAA to ensure we have met all of their expectations."

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