(Corrects spelling of Boeing executive's name to Sinnett from
Sinnette in 2nd paragraph)
WASHINGTON, April 23 A top Boeing Co
executive said on Tuesday it was too early to determine whether
problems with the lithium ion batteries on its new 787
Dreamliner that led to the plane's grounding in January stemmed
from a design error or some manufacturing problem.
Mike Sinnett, Boeing's chief 787 engineer, told an
investigative hearing of the National Transportation Safety
Board that the batteries had been through thousands of hours of
testing before the new airliner began flying, plus additional
hours during flight testing.
He said the batteries were part of a layered system that
sought to avert a safety problem on board the airplane. He said
there was no evidence that the batteries involved in two issues
in Japan had been subjected to any abuse.
(Reporting By Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick
and Grant McCool)