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Boeing completes 2d test flight of 787

Firm seeks clues to cause of recent battery problems

One of Boeing’s fleet of six 787 test planes landed after a test flight Monday at Boeing Field in Seattle. Company officials got federal approval for test flights under special conditions, including that the planes fly over unpopulated areas.

Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

One of Boeing’s fleet of six 787 test planes landed after a test flight Monday at Boeing Field in Seattle. Company officials got federal approval for test flights under special conditions, including that the planes fly over unpopulated areas.

Boeing conducted a second test flight of its 787 on Monday, as it looks for the cause of battery problems that have grounded the planes. It said no more tests are planned.

Boeing said Monday’s flight lasted one hour and 29 minutes and was uneventful. Flight-tracking service FlightAware showed that the plane flew from Boeing Field in Seattle, east over Washington state, and back.

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Federal officials grounded the 787 on Jan. 16 because of battery problems that caused one fire and forced another plane to make an emergency landing. Boeing won permission from the Federal Aviation Administration last week to conduct test flights under special conditions, including that the planes fly over unpopulated areas.

Boeing said Monday’s flight included two pilots and 11 flight test personnel. The test plane includes special equipment that lets it track the conditions of its two big lithium-ion batteries during the flight. It is one of Boeing’s fleet of six 787 test planes that were used for flight testing before the plane went into full production.

Boeing said it will be analyzing data from the flight in the days ahead. It said the data is part of the investigations into the battery incidents, so it would not release any details about what it found either on Monday’s flight or on the earlier one conducted Saturday.

On Jan. 7, a battery on a plane that had recently landed in Boston short-circuited and caught fire. Nine days later, a battery on an All Nippon Airways plane started smoking, forcing an emergency landing in Japan.

Boeing is continuing to build 787s while the planes are grounded, but it cannot deliver them to airline customers.

In an annual filing on Monday, Boeing Co. said it is too soon to estimate how much the 787 problems will cost. The financial impact will depend on what the cause turns out to be, how long it takes to find it, and the fix required to get 787s flying commercially again, the company said.

Shares of the company fell 69 cents, to $75.87.

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