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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Boeing Completes 787 Test Flight With New Battery System

Woodrow Bellamy III

Boeing conducted a test flight Monday with its 787 Dreamliner to test the aircraft’s newly redesigned lithium-ion battery system, the first step towards returning the grounded worldwide fleet to commercial service.

The two-hour flight featured a Boeing-owned 787 built for LOT Polish Airlines, allowing the flight crew to cycle the landing gear, operate all backup systems and perform electrical system checks from the flight profile.

In mid-January, FAA grounded all in-service 787s after two incidents involving the plane’s lithium-ion battery system on separate commercial flights operated by Japanese Airlines and All Nippon Airways. Since then, safety officials in the U.S. and Japan have been conducting an investigation into what caused the two battery failures.

Boeing recently released details on the redesign of its lithium-ion battery system, which include new safeguards to address the conditions laid out in the airworthiness directive issued by FAA that grounded the planes in January.

On Monday, the company said it would analyze the data from the flight and then prepare for certification ground and flight demonstration “in the coming days.” More

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