Deliveries of 787 Dreamliner aircraft resume
May 17, 2013, Chicago, Il. - Boeing has resumed deliveries of its wide-body, twin-engine 787 Dreamliners, a development which ends a nearly four month-long grounding of the aircraft.
The 787 was plagued by several safety incidents this year, including a crack in the window of a cockpit, an oil leak from a generator inside an engine, a brake problem and fuel spillage.
U.S. aviation regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded all 50 787s in service from January to April, following a battery fire on a 787 that landed in Boston's Logan International Airport and another case of an overheated battery, which prompted Japan's All Nippon Airways' jetliner to make an emergency landing.
During this period, Boeing was unable to provide new aeroplanes to its customers due to safety concerns about the battery system.
The first 787 Dreamliner featuring a redesigned battery system, which costs $207 million at list prices, has been delivered to Japan's All Nippon Airways, which is set to resume Dreamliner flights on 1 June.
The development is a major turning point in Boeing 787 crisis, which allows the aircraft manufacturer to book revenue for completed sales of the jetliner.
FAA had approved Boeing's design for modifications to the 787 Dreamliners battery system on April 19, following which, the aircraft manufacturer modified existing fleets for airlines.
The redesigned battery system included improved insulation of the cells, new design of the internal battery components to lower initiation of a short circuit within the battery, and a new containment and venting system.
Ethiopian Airlines was the first carrier to resume commercial flights of 787 on 27 April – the other airlines are expected to begin services later this month or in June.
Boeing reaffirmed that it expects to deliver more than 60 787s by the end of this year.
Last week, Boeing rolled out the first 787 manufactured under the increased production rate of seven aeroplanes a month, up from five per month earlier.
In addition, it plans to ramp up the production rate to ten airliners a month by the end of year and expects to deliver the first aircraft built at the new rate in 2014.
Meanwhile, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating into what caused the battery of 787 to overheat and catch fire on a Japan Airlines aeroplane parked in Boston in January.