Dreamliner programme grounded by electrical fire

Boeing has halted its much delayed Dreamliner programme following an electrical fire onboard a test aircraft.

Dreamliner ZA002 lost primary electrical power as a result of the fire during approach to Laredo, Texas, yesterday.

Pictured: Dreamliner ZA002 was involved in the incident

Pilots deployed backup systems – including the Ram Air Turbine (RAT) - which functioned as expected and allowed a safe landing.

The incident is under investigation by Boeing. However, while it is still not known what caused the fire, Boeing has restricted the programme to ground test operations only.

The aircraft manufacturer has already suggested the incident may further delay the project.

“We cannot determine the impact of this event on the overall program schedule until we have worked our way through the investigation data,” the company said in a statement.

News of the fire and the test program hiatus hit Boeing hard on Wall Street. The company’s shares were down 3.15 per cent, or $2.18 earlier today.

ADVERTISEMENT

All Nippon

Boeing recently pushed the launch of the Dreamliner back to 2011, the latest in a series of delays for the troubled aircraft.

Dreamliner has now suffered almost two-years of delays since the project was launched.

Japan’s All Nippon Airways, the first carrier to place an order, was scheduled to take delivery of the first aircraft by the end of this year.

This has already been pushed back to February next year before the latest incident.