New York/ New Delhi: The US agencies have cleared Boeing 787 for test flights and demanded a closer look at how the batteries were approved, a news wire reported on Friday.
Boeing Co. has submitted an application with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for permission to conduct test flights of its 787 Dreamliner after recent incidents revealed safety issues of the new aircraft earlier yesterday.
The 787's battery systems were called into question Jan 7 when a smouldering fire was discovered on the underbelly of a Dreamliner in Boston operated by Japan Airlines.
In a separate incident Jan 16 involving a 787 operated by All Nippon Airways, smoke was seen swirling from the right side of the cockpit after an emergency landing related to the plane's electrical systems.
Recent events have become a public relations nightmare for Boeing, which has long heralded the Dreamliner as a forerunner of the 21st century air travel.
On Feb 1, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its seventh update on the investigation into the lithium-ion battery systems, saying it has begun CT scanning the battery cells to examine their internal condition.
Boeing 787, a twin-aisle aircraft that can seat 210 to 290 passengers, is the first large commercial jet with more than half its structure made of composite materials rather than aluminium sheets. It's also the first large commercial aircraft that extensively uses electrically powered systems involving lithium-ion batteries. Boeing's lithium-ion batteries are made in Japan by Kyoto-based GS Yuasa Corp.
With Agency Inputs