Dreamliner Fire Stops Testing For Now
Boeing says it can't say when it might resume flight testing of the 787 Dreamliner after an onboard fire forced an emergency landing in Laredo, Texas, last week. The company has received ferry permits from the FAA to fly two 787s back to Seattle, one from Victorville, Calif., and the other from Rapid City, S.D. The airplane with the fire remains in Laredo as the company tries to figure out what caused it. The company appears to be zeroing in on that cause since it knows the duration of the fire (30 seconds) and the duration of the emergency (90 seconds) but it does not know the short-, medium- or long-term consequences of what might be the most significant glitch so far in the troubled program. "Boeing cannot comment on the potential impact of this incident on the overall program schedule," Boeing said in a statement.
The fact that it had an in-flight fire notwithstanding, the company tried to put a brave face on, saying the emergency demonstrated "many aspects of the safety and redundancy in the 787 design." So far, the first delivery, to All Nippon Airways, is scheduled for less than six months from now.