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Boeing’s Damaged 787 Test Jet Returning to Seattle

A Boeing Co. Dreamliner test jet damaged in an in-flight fire on Nov. 9 is returning to Seattle today from Laredo, Texas.

The 787 took off at 2 p.m. Central Standard Time and is expected to arrive about four hours later, according to the website that tracks the aircraft. Technicians replaced a power panel and burned insulation, and made repairs to the internal structure, Lori Gunter, a Boeing spokeswoman, said today in a telephone interview.

The plane made an emergency landing in Laredo after a fire knocked out some of the systems during a test flight. The incident led Boeing to halt flights of all six test aircraft. Last week, the Chicago-based company said it will revise the Dreamliner’s program schedule as it alters some software and power-distribution panels.

Today’s flight is being staffed by two pilots and four crew members. The plane will land at Boeing Field, the flight-test home base for the fleet, where four other test planes sit. The sixth plane is in Everett, Washington, undergoing scheduled maintenance, Gunter said.

Boeing fell 59 cents to $63.77 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have gained 18 percent this year.

The company has said the fire in its 787 was likely caused by “foreign debris” that led to a short circuit or electrical arc. A stray aluminum washer shorted out a power panel, causing the blaze during the Nov. 9 flight, said three people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because Boeing hasn’t confirmed the details.

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