Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Another Setback for Boeing 787

Boeing's in-testing 787 Dreamliner program, beset with problems that have caused a three-year delay in planned deliveries, is coping with a new setback. Boeing has now postponed test flights.

A test flight of a 787 made an emergency landing after an onboard electrical fire knocked out primary electrical power during approach to loredo, Texas.

Here is the latest statement on the incident from Boeing:

"Backup systems, including the deployment of the Ram Air Turbine (RAT), functioned as expected and allowed the crew to complete a safe landing. The cause of the fire is still under investigation ... The pilots executed a safe landing and at all times had positive control of the airplane and all of the information necessary to perform that safe landing.

"Initial inspection appears to indicate that a power control panel in the aft electronics bay will need to be replaced on ZA002. We are inspecting the power panel and surrounding area near that panel to determine if other repairs will be necessary.

"We have retrieved flight data from the airplane and are analyzing it in Seattle. This process will take several days. We are committed to finding the cause quickly but will not rush the technical team in its efforts.

"The team was conducting monitoring of the Nitrogen Generation System at the time of the incident but there is no reason to suspect that the monitoring or earlier testing of that system had anything to do with the incident.

"Consistent with our internal processes, until we better understand the cause of the incident on ZA002, we have decided to postpone flight test activities on other airplanes. Ground test activities will be conducted until flight test resumes.

"Likewise, we cannot determine the impact of this event on the overall program schedule until we have worked our way through the data. Teams have been working through the night and will continue to work until analysis is complete and a path forward is determined


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