The FAA May Let Boeing Run Dreamliner Test Flights This Week

Illustration for article titled The FAA May Let Boeing Run Dreamliner Test Flights This Week

Since Boeing's operational 787 Dreamliners were grounded, engineers have been trying hard to solve the problem. Now, the Seattle Times is reporting that Dreamliner test flights could start as early as this week.


Boeing seeks to gain additional information about the battery system during the test flights—and apparently also has a possible fix it wants to try out. It's already approached the FAA to seek approval for the flights and, if all goes well, they could happen some time this week.

That could come as some relief to Boeing, which was no doubt saddened by a statement from an FAA spokesman over the weekend who said it could be years before the Dreamliners were back in the air.

The Seattle Times explains that the fix that Boeing is hoping to implement involves improving the batteries' ability to withstand overheating, along with new venting systems to keep them cool. The first flights, though, would be a new round of stress tests to work out how the batteries fair during take-off and landing. It remains to be seen if the FAA will definitely give the go-ahead for test flights this week—we'll keep you posted. [Seattle Times via Verge]


I really don't see why it will take years. Elon Musk made a statement this past week on the issue, and he seems to have it figured out already: they used too big of a lithium cell to manage heat and thermal runaway. Just redesign the battery, or buy a Tesla one. None of these failures resulted in a crash that requires tedious reconstruction of the shrapnel that once resembled a plane before impact.