Boeing says it is developing “minor” design changes to the 787’s power distribution panels and updates to the aircraft’s power distribution software in the wake of the electrical fire on 787 development aircraft ZA002 earlier this month which has led to the suspension of the flight test program.
“We have successfully simulated key aspects of the onboard event in our laboratory and are moving forward with developing design fixes,” said Scott Fancher, VP and general manager of the 787 program. “Boeing is developing a plan to enable a return to 787 flight test activities and will present it to the US Federal Aviation Administration as soon as it is complete.”
Boeing says it engineers have determined the fault that caused the fire was either a short circuit or an electrical arc in the P100 distribution panel “most likely” caused by foreign debris.
The company is “assessing” the time required to make the design and software changes, with a revised 787 program schedule now due to be finalised “in the next few weeks”.