Relief as 787s return to flight

written by australianaviation.com.au | April 29, 2013
An Ethiopian 787. (Boeing)

Ethopian Airlines and All Nippon Airlines (ANA) have conducted their first 787 flights since the aircraft type was grounded more three months ago.

On April 27 Ethopian operated the world’s first 787 commercial flight since the US FAA approved design changes to enhance the robustness of battery systems aboard the aircraft.

The following day ANA successfully conducted a proving flight from Haneda Airport carrying ANA and Boeing executives, including the manufacturer’s head of commercial airplanes Ray Conner, as well as flight test engineers.

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ANA had been gearing up for the aircraft’s return to service, deliberating on plans to arrest Japense customers’ unease.

The airline’s new CEO Osamu Shinobe told The Wall Street Journal in an interview: “Seventeen of our planes are out of action, so we can’t just tell our customers to fly on the planes as soon as we’re finished fixing them,” adding “ANA first will have to take steps to reassure customers the planes are truly safe.”

Japan Airlines will begin test flying its seven 787s during May and hopes to have the aircraft back in commercial service in June.

Meanwhile, Boeing’s Conner is simply relieved to see the aircraft flying again.

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“After three months it’s a terrific feeling to have an ANA 787 back in the air, and I am very pleased to say that it was a perfect flight on a perfect day,” Conner told reporters present at the first flight.

Boeing will continue to work with airlines to undertake the modification work, which weighs approximately 68kg, to return 787s to flight in the coming weeks.

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6 Comments

  • Dee

    says:

    The 787’s flew for a period of time prior to the start of the battery problems. I’ll wait a few more months of trials before thinking of boarding one !

  • JACK CAIRNS

    says:

    HI FOLKS – I HAVE BEEN AN A+P [ ELEC. ] FOR 55 YRS AND HAVE WORKED ON MOST AIRLINERS – I HAVE NEVER SEEN OR HEARD OF A MAIN BATTERY THERMAL RUNAWAY SOLUTION BEING TO INSTALL A BLAST CABINET OR OVER BOARD CHUTE TO DUMP HOT BURNING LI-ON BITS ONTO UNSUSPECTING FOLKS ON THE GROUND – I AM ASTOUNDED AT INACCURATE STATEMENTS BY MANY FOLK ON THIS TOPIC – E.G. – THE AIRPLANES ELECTRICAL LOAD IS HANDLED BY THE BATTERIES WHILST AIRBORNE – TOTALLY INCORRECT – THE ALTERNATORS DO THAT – THEY SHOULD HAVE QUALIFIED THE B.787 WITH STD. OFF THE SHELF MAIN NI CADS – F.A.A HAVE A LOT TO ANSWER FOR – AS WELL AS BOEING – LI-ON IS WELL KNOWN TO BE AN UNSTABLE CHEMICAL COUPLE – ESP IN MAIN BATT [ 65 A/H ETC. ] SIZE – THANX J.C.

  • Robin Hall

    says:

    Hi Jack

    thanks for your comments but I wonder why you needed to shout at us? The message would have been received just as well in lower case.

    cheers

  • Ron

    says:

    With all due respect to Jack, someone who’s worked for 55 years would be quite senior in age & probably writes everything in capitals – my parents do too. He may not be fluent in blogging etiquette, but then again, he does say “thanx”. Interesting comment anyway Jack.

  • PHILLIP WOOD

    says:

    JACK CAIRNS WAS NOT SHOUTING MAYBE HE HAS POOR VISION LIKE ME AND APPRECIATES UPPER CASE THE SAME AS I DO
    LUKLUK

  • Raymond

    says:

    I have a question: wasn’t the primary purpose of using the new-generation Li-ion batteries to save weight? Therefore, after all the issues they experienced, why didn’t they just install Ni-Cad instead, rather than go to all the expense and effort and end up adding 68kg in mods anyway… or is this new total weight still less than the old way? Can anyone enlighten me please?

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