Boeing asked the FAA this week for permission to conduct new test flights of the 787, suggesting it is making progress in finding a solution to the problems, but the government agency has not yet announced a decision.
While that request is pending, the FAA said on Wednesday it would allow a one-time 787 “ferry” flight. The plane, with a minimum crew, would have to land immediately if the flight computer displays any battery-related messages. It was not immediately clear when the flight would take place.
The head of the Japanese firm that supplies composites for the 787’s wings and part of the fuselage said there had been no slowdown in production for the aircraft since the global grounding of the 50 Dreamliners in service.
“We are continuing production at our planned pace, which is for 5 aircraft a month, and our intention is to accelerate up to a planned 10 planes a month,” Toru Fukasawa, vice-president of Toray Industries Inc, told reporters after the firm released quarterly earnings on Thursday.
“It will take time to complete the battery investigation, so our hope is that can be completed quickly and deliveries can restart. Should the grounding continue for a long time, that would begin to have some impact on us, but for now it’s not something we are considering.”