Boeing 787 passes test flight

The 787 Dreamliner has been grounded since mid-January.
Mark Mulligan/The Herald via Associated Press
The 787 Dreamliner has been grounded since mid-January.

Boeing said its trial flight of a 787 jetliner on Friday should wrap up the testing for its fix of the battery problems that have kept the plane grounded.

Boeing called the flight ‘‘the final certification test for the new battery system.’’ It will analyze the data and submit materials to the Federal Aviation Administration, which will then decide whether Boeing’s battery fix is good enough for airlines to safely fly it again. Boeing said it expects to submit the material ‘‘in the coming days.’’

Friday’s flight took off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., according to flight-tracking service FlightAware. It returned one hour and 49 minutes later.


‘‘The crew reported that the certification demonstration plan was straightforward and the flight was uneventful,’’ Boeing said. It said the flight was to ‘‘demonstrate that the new battery system performs as intended during normal and nonnormal flight conditions.’’

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The 787 Dreamliner has been grounded since mid-January because of smoldering batteries, including a fire on the ground in Boston.

Boeing has designed what it says is a fix, including more heat insulation and a battery box designed so that any meltdown of the lithium-ion battery will vent the hot gases outside of the plane.

On March 12, the Federal Aviation Administration approved Boeing’s plan to test the redesigned battery system, and Friday’s flight test was the final part of that plan.

The same plane, built for LOT Polish Airlines, flew on Monday in a pre-delivery check flight, where pilots did things like raise and lower the landing gear and run backup systems.


The FAA will still need to approve the results and certify the battery system before airlines can fly 787s again.