Dreamliner Test Flight 'According To Plan'

Boeing has said the first test flight of its Dreamliner plane since the type was grounded went according to plan.

The US company's redesigned lithium-ion battery was put to the test during the flight, as it attempts to demonstrate it meets regulatory safety standards.

The Dreamliner flew for just over two hours, departing and returning to Everett, Washington, it said in a statement.

Six crew members - two Boeing pilots, two instrumentation engineers, a systems operator and a flight analyst - were on board.

"Today's flight was a normal Boeing production check flight intended to validate that all systems function as designed," the company said.

"The crew reports that the flight went according to plan."

In January, two battery fires - one in the US and another in Japan - led regulators to ground all 50 Dreamliner planes.

Boeing said it was planning a second test flight that would "demonstrate that the new battery system performs as intended during flight conditions".

It will collect data for the US' Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which must approve the new system before the 787 can be used for commercial flights.

Earlier this month the FAA approved the test flights, which they described as the first step in evaluating the Dreamliners' return to flight.

The grounding of the fleet is estimated to be costing Boeing $50m (£32.9m) a week, and airlines across the world that own the planes have also been hit.

The company is continuing to build 787s, but cannot deliver them while they are grounded.