Boeing 787 Undergoes First Battery Functional Test

A Boeing 787 completed a two-hour flight on Monday in the first test of the troubled airliner’s redesigned lithium battery system.

The Dreamliner departed Everett, Washington, just after noon local time and flew along the Pacific coast into Oregon before returning to land at Paine Field. Afterward Boeing said the flight went “according to plan.”

The FAA grounded the Boeing 787 on January 16 after two fires in the Dreamliner's lithium batteries. The Dreamliner used for the Monday test flight is an undelivered Boeing-owned model built for LOT Polish Airlines.

With the FAA's approval, Boeing has redesigned the 787's internal battery components to reduce the chances of a short circuit. Boeing says the new battery system incorporates improved insulation of battery cells and a new containment and venting system to prevent overheating and smoke from entering the cabin or cockpit.

Boeing will conduct at least one more test flight before the 787 is cleared to resume regular passenger flights.


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