26 Mar 2013

Test flight of troubled Dreamliner a success: Boeing

10:53 pm on 26 March 2013

Boeing says it has successfully conducted the first of two test flights of its troubled 787 Dreamliner, aimed at returning it to service.

Boeing redesigned its battery after malfunctions on some planes led to the grounding of the entire 787 fleet in January.

The 787 successfully travelled for 2 hours 9 minutes on Monday, departing and returning to Everett, Washington, a company statement said.

"Today's flight was a normal Boeing production check flight intended to validate that all systems function as designed," Boeing said. "The crew reports that the flight went according to plan."

After analysing the results, Boeing plans a "certification demonstration flight", AFP reports, to demonstrate that the new battery system performs as intended during flight conditions.

On 12 March, the Federal Aviation Administration approved Boeing's plan for testing the batteries. The FAA described the certification plan as the first step in the process to evaluate the 787's return to flight.

Boeing has said its fix includes the addition of new insulation materials, stepped-up production and testing processes and a containment system.