Boeing conducted a functional check flight Monday on Line number 86, a Boeing-owned production aircraft built for LOT Polish Airlines. The flight was to test the redesign of the 787 lithium ion battery system, which was responsible for two failures that grounded the fleet earlier this year.
According to Boeing, the aircraft landed safely at Paine Field in Everett, Wash., after a 2 hr. 9 min. flight. The crew tweeted, “787 flight went according to plan. Teams now prepare for battery certification flight test in coming days.”
The manufacturer said the flight was a “normal Boeing production check flight intended to validate that all systems function as designed. During a functional check flight, crews cycle the landing gear and operate all the backup systems, in addition to performing electrical system checks from the flight profile. Across airplane programs, more than 600 functional check flights were completed in 2012.”
Boeing said in a preflight statement, “Following the completion of the functional check flight, we will analyze the data from the flight and prepare for certification ground and flight demonstration in the coming days. The plan is to conduct one certification demonstration flight. That flight, which will take place on Line 86, will demonstrate that the new battery system performs as intended during flight conditions.”
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) also announced Monday it would hold the first of two Boeing 787-related public events April 11-12, focusing generally on lithium ion batteries in transportation.