February 10, 2013

Boeing sends 787 up for test flight over Northwest

The Associated Press

SEATTLE - Boeing sent a 787 up on a test flight Saturday, the first since the new airliner was grounded three weeks ago because of a battery fire.

The aircraft took off from Boeing Field in Seattle and spent nearly two and a half hours flying back and forth over the inland Columbia Plateau. According to flight-tracking website FlightAware, the aircraft flew for 1,131 miles.

The Federal Aviation Administration granted permission for test flights on Thursday.

The 787 is the first commercial airliner to rely heavily on lithium-ion batteries, the same kind used in cell phones. Each plane has two of the 63-pound blue power bricks, one near the front to provide power to the cockpit if the engines stop, and one near the back to start up the auxiliary power unit.

On Jan. 7, a battery on a plane that had 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.

 

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