Boeing says it is to early to tell the impact the onboard electrical fire on and subsequent emergency landing by 787 test aircraft ZA002 made on November 9 will have on the 787 flight test program.
Boeing said in a December 10 statement that it “cannot determine the impact of this event on the overall program schedule until we have worked our way through the data. Teams have been working through the night and will continue to work until analysis is complete and a path forward is determined.”
Continued the statement, “Consistent with our internal processes, until we better understand the cause of the incident on ZA002, we have decided to postpone flight test activities on other airplanes. Ground test activities will be conducted until flight test resumes.”
Boeing said the incident occurred “During approach to Laredo, Texas, yesterday, [when] airplane ZA002 lost primary electrical power as a result of an onboard electrical fire. Backup systems, including the deployment of the ram air turbine (RAT), functioned as expected and allowed the crew to complete a safe landing. The cause of the fire is still under investigation by Boeing.”
Boeing explains that ZA002’s flight test crew were “conducting monitoring of the nitrogen generation system at the time of the incident but there is no reason to suspect that the monitoring or earlier testing of that system had anything to do with the incident.”
“Initial inspection appears to indicate that a power control panel in the aft electronics bay will need to be replaced on ZA002. We are inspecting the power panel and surrounding area near that panel to determine if other repairs will be necessary.”