Boeing 787 Dreamliner Completes Two Hour Test Flight


In an effort to get things back on track, Boeing tested the plane’s newly designed battery system.  The flight left from its Paine Airfield in Washington State, flew along the coast and returned to the Paine.  The entire flight lasted only two hours.  Boeing has not been able to deliver any of the Dreamliners to customers since the Federal Aviation Administration grounded the planes on January 16 due to fires in the battery system and several other mechanical failures.  The FAA has now approved Boeing’s Battery fix which includes, “a redesign of internal battery components to minimize chances of a short-circuit. It also involves better insulation of battery cells and a new containment and venting system that is supposed to prevent overheating from affecting the plane or being noticed by passengers,” according to a Boeing report.  The Plane has sold very well in Asia and the Middle East as it has the latest in airline technology including better ventilation system, better fuel efficiency due to it lighter composites materials and larger windows.  Boeing Spokesman Marc Birtel said, “The plan is to conduct one certification demonstration flight.  That flight will demonstrate that the new battery system performs as intended during flight conditions.”  That will allow Boeing to fix all of the planes currently in operation and to continue building the aircraft currently in production.  The planes would then be allowed to resume flying, following very costly downtime.  Only 50 of the 890 Dreamliners ordered by airlines around the world have been delivered.  Each plane can cost as much as $243 million depending on how the plane is set up.  That of course is at the discretion of each airline.  According to a Reuters report, “grounding the 787 already has cost Boeing an estimated $450 million in lost income and compensation payments to airlines.” The report continues, “Further restrictions on the 787’s range could send the airlines’ claims – and Boeing’s costs – higher.”  While a setback for Boeing, it was not entirely unexpected as the Dreamliner is an entirely new, revolutionary aircraft.  And of course there are no guarantees that once the battery problem is resolved that other issues won’t arise.

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