NEW YORK (
said late Thursday it's still pouring over data related to the fire that broke out during a test flight of a 787 Dreamliner earlier this week.
"We continue to evaluate data to understand this incident," the company said in a statement. "At the same time, we are working through a repair plan. In addition, we are determining the appropriate steps required to return the rest of the flight test fleet to flying status."
In its latest press release about the fire, Boeing said it's determined a failure in one of the plane's power panels caused the fire, which involved an insulation blanket. The company said the insulation then "self-extinguished once the fault in the P100 panel cleared," and it characterized the damage to the panel in the ZA002 test plane as "significant."
As it has in previous statements about the incident, which near the Laredo, Texas airport on Tuesday, Boeing stressed that backup systems performed well during the fire and that it's still inspecting the damaged area of the plane, where molten metal has been found.
"The backup systems engaged during the incident and the crew retained positive control of the airplane at all times and had the information it needed to perform a safe landing," the company said, adding later: "Inspection of the surrounding area
of the panel will take several days and is ongoing. It is too early to determine if there is significant damage to any structure or adjacent systems."
Boeing shares fell for a fourth straight session on Thursday, sliding 2.5% to $65.37 on volume of 10 million, more than double the issue's three-month daily trailing average of 4.8 million. The stock has now fallen more than 8% since closing at $71.27 on Nov. 5 with the bulk of the decline coming in the past two sessions following news of the fire.
Wall Street is wondering if the incident will push Boeing's delivery of its first 787 Dreamliner out once again. In August the Dow component said it now expects to deliver the first of the models, which were designed to carry significant amounts of passengers over longer distances with greater fuel efficiency, to Japan's All Nippon Airways in the middle of the first quarter. The prior target was for delivery in the first few days of 2011.
The 787 Dreamliner is already about three years behind its original delivery schedule. It
announced the original order
from All Nippon on April 26, 2004, saying at that time it expected to deliver the planes in 2008.
Written by Michael Baron in New York.
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