By Nancy Trejos Jan. 09, 2014,
An Ethiopian Airlines 787 Dreamliner that was damaged in a fire at London’s Heathrow Airport is back in service.
The Seattle Times reports that Boeing repaired the plane, and that it flew from Frankfurt, Germany to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Dec. 23 after a few test flights in England.
Boeing spokeswoman Kate Bergman told the Times on Wednesday that “the repair and refurbishment took approximately two months and has returned the airplane to full structural integrity, with no degradation to passenger safety or comfort.”
The Dreamliner has been hailed as one of the most innovative planes in years because it is 20% more fuel efficient and has 20% fewer emissions than similar planes. It is made from composites, a first for the industry, and is the first Boeing plane to use rechargeable lithium ion batteries.
But the jetliner has been plagued with problems since last year, when a battery caught fire on an All Nippon Airways flight in January. Other incidents led the Federal Aviation Administration to ground all Dreamliners for four months.
The Heathrow fire broke out on Jan. 12 when the aircraft was parked and empty.
According to the Times: “Investigators say it was likely caused by the incorrect installation of a small lithium battery inside an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT), an electronic device that transmits location data to satellites in the event of a crash.”
Bergman declined to give details of the repair method.
The United Kingdom Air Accident Investigation Branch is still investigating the cause of the crash.
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