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Boeing Dreamliner: 787 Passes Initial Flight Test After Past Battery Malfunction

Travelers Today      

Updated: Mar 27, 2013 11:24 AM EDT

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Boeing 787
A Boeing 787's first flight. Since then, Boeing has updated their battery system on the entire fleet.(Photo : Wikicommons)

Boeing put their new Dreamliner 787 fleet through flight tests Tuesday, after past planes experienced some battery-related malfunctions earlier this year.

In a BBC article, the firm claims the improved system "went according to plan," mentioning that they will continue looking at the data to prepare for a two-day forum held by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

The NTSB organized the public forum (scheduled for April 11th-12th) in light of the malfunctions from January: a fire started in a battery pack of a Japan Airlines 787, while an All Nippon Airways plane was forced into emergency landing, when lights went on indicating a battery issue.

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Since then, Boeing has been working on their previous mainly carbon-composite aircrafts-planes that, according to Reuters, caused a whole host of mechanical snafus.

Said complications led Boeing to ground their entire 787 Dreamliner fleet, causing them to lose an estimated 50 million dollars per week.

The Dreamliner is the first plane worldwide that uses a lithium-ion battery in transportation. These batteries charge more speedily than their predecessors, are lighter and more powerful. They also feature an encasement system that eschews any overheating, an obstacle they encountered with past planes.

They have also added more stringent steps to the testing processes, looking at the battery cells before they're even installed into the aircrafts.

"Our top priority is the integrity of our products and the safety of the passengers and crew who fly on them," said Boeing chief executive Jim McNerney in a statement released March 12th-when Boeing's projected redesign was approved by the US Federal Aviation Administration. "Our team has been working around the clock to understand the issues and develop a solution based on extensive analysis and testing."

Boeing is still tweaking the new system, saying, "additional details of the new design will be provided...in the days ahead."

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