An Air India Boeing 787 has became the 50th, and final, aircraft to receive the battery modification, thereby clearing the last of the previously-delivered fleet to return to service. The move marks a significant milestone for Boeing’s recovery effort following the worldwide grounding of the fleet in mid-January this year following two battery failures.
Air India 787-8 pictured at Boeing Field (Joe Walker)
In other positive news for the program, workers in the Everett assembly plant are in the final stages of preparing to install – or load - the major fuselage sections of the first 787-9, ZB001, into the production tooling. The aircraft is widely expected to be completed and ready for the start of flight tests in the late August timeframe. Meanwhile the long-anticipated start of 787 deliveries from Everett to China is expected to begin on June 1 with the departure of the first aircraft to China Southern. The airline is expected to take eight aircraft by the end of 2013.