Boeing sets back 787 following blaze on test plane

Boeing Co. is modifying portions of the electrical system on its forthcoming Dreamliner, after an in-flight fire aboard a test plane two weeks ago again threw the timetable for the flagship program into doubt.

Boeing-787 Dreamliner


Boeing said the Dreamliner fire was “most likely caused by the presence of foreign debris.”

The move marks just the latest setback for the Dreamliner, which is running nearly three years behind schedule and is in danger of again missing a key milestone: its first delivery to a customer, which Boeing has projected for early next year.

Boeing didn’t provide a new delivery or flight-certification timetable. The Chicago-based company said Wednesday it was assessing how long it would take to implement “minor design changes” and software upgrades and what effect that would have on the overall program. The company said it expected to have a new schedule in the next few weeks.

Boeing has suspended test flights since the fire.

Boeing isn’t alone in grappling with design complications. European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. recently warned that deliveries of its Airbus A380 might be delayed next year because of problems discovered after an engine blowout on a Qantas Airways Ltd. flight Nov. 4. Qantas grounded its A380 fleet for several weeks.
Whatever solution Boeing and its suppliers devise for the electric and software problems would be subject to regulatory approval, which could further delay full implementation of the fix.

Boeing didn’t mention when the fleet of six test Dreamliners would resume flight.

– Wall Street Jourmal


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