Aerospace giant Boeing Co. has asked the Federal Aviation Administration to let it begin test flights on its grounded 787 Dreamliner passenger jet.
The new plane has been grounded since Jan. 16 by the FAA because of numerous incidents and high-profile fires involving the onboard lithium-ion batteries. Investigators around the world are looking into the matter.
The company disclosed its request for in-flight testing Monday in an email.
“Boeing has submitted an application to conduct test flights, and it is currently under evaluation by the FAA,” said Marc Birtel, a company spokesman, who would not comment further.
The FAA is reportedly looking into Boeing request, but would not comment.
U.S. transport safety regulators have asked Boeing Co. to provide a full operating history of the lithium-ion batteries used in its grounded 787 Dreamliners.
The National Transportation Safety Board said in a statement it made the request after recently becoming aware of battery incidents that occurred before a Jan. 7 battery fire in a 787 parked at Boston’s Logan International Airport.
All Nippon Airways said Wednesday it had replaced batteries on its 787 aircraft some 10 times because they failed to charge properly or showed other problems, and informed Boeing about the swaps.
All 50 of the Boeing 787s in use around the world were grounded after an ANA flight on Jan. 16 made an emergency landing in Japan when its main battery overheated.
Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner flew into Tokyo from Seattle Sunday for test flights as All Nippon Airways prepares to become the world’s first airline to deploy the new fuel-efficient long-haul jet.
The wide-bodied twin-engine plane touched down at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport at 6:20 am on a maiden flight to Asia as its arrival was broadcast live online and crowds of aircraft enthusiasts gathered in and around the seaside airport.
Painted in the ANA colours of white and blue, the 787 taxied to a hangar through an arch of water sprayed from two airport fire trucks.