Update, 1:30pm PT: The flight test is complete. Boeing issued this statement:
Boeing (NYSE:BA) completed a 787 certification demonstration flight today on line number 86, a Boeing-owned production airplane built for LOT Polish Airlines. Today’s flight marks the final certification test for the new battery system, completing the testing required by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Today’s flight departed from Paine Field in Everett, Wash. at 10:39 a.m. Pacific with a crew of 11 onboard, including two representatives from the FAA. The airplane flew for 1 hours and 49 minutes, landing back at Paine Field at 12:28 p.m. Pacific.
The crew reported that the certification demonstration plan was straightforward and the flight was uneventful. The purpose of the flight was to demonstrate that the new battery system performs as intended during normal and non-normal flight conditions.
Boeing will now gather and analyze the data and submit the required materials to the FAA. We expect to deliver all of the materials to the FAA in the coming days. Once we deliver the materials we stand ready to reply to additional requests and continue in dialog with the FAA to ensure we have met all of their expectations.
Boeing scheduled is critical certification flight test for the 787 today.
Boeing has filed a flight plan to conduct the 787 battery certification demonstration flight today on Line number 86, a Boeing-owned production airplane built for LOT Polish Airlines.
Today’s demonstration flight is the final certification test for the new battery system. The purpose of the test is to demonstrate that the new system performs as intended during normal and non-normal flight conditions.
The flight plan (which is always subject to change) can be viewed via FlightAware, which can also be used to track the airplane’s route, location and progress throughout the flight, at this link: http://flightaware.com/live/flight/BOE272
The flight will take off and land at Paine Field in Everett, Wash. The flight is currently scheduled to depart at approx. 11:00 am Pacific time, but is subject to change. The flight is expected to be approximately 2 hours in length.
We plan to provide updates via Twitter (@BoeingAirplanes). A statement will be distributed to the media via e-mail after the flight is completed.
Separately, Boeing had this to say about advance preparations to return the airplane to service:
We have formed a series of AOG teams to help our customers implement the improvements once certified. One of the teams has already deployed but will not perform battery work until the solutions are certified. Details about the AOG teams are considered proprietary.
Our Aircraft-on-Ground Services team (AOG team) is prepared and equipped to support the implementation of approved modifications to the in-service fleet of 787s. The content of their work packages is driven by our customers’ requests. No work is being done on the battery systems at this time as we are still working through the certification process. AOG teams provide the unique capability for an on-site, comprehensive and integrated modification to airplanes. As always, the safety of those who fly aboard Boeing airplanes is our highest priority.
Reuters quotes Ray LaHood, US Secretary of Transportation (his department oversees the FAA), as saying Boeing has a good solution to the battery issues.