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A Boeing 787 Dreamliner will fly for the first time in three weeks in a so-called ferry flight after the company won permission Wednesday from US regulators.
In the special one-time flight, the plane -- with no passengers and just the minimum crew needed to fly it -- will travel Thursday from Forth Worth, Texas, where it was being painted, back to Boeing's assembly plant in Everett in the northwestern state of Washington.
The 50-strong fleet of Boeing's newest plane was grounded January 16 because of repeated problems with its lithium-ion battery. One of them caught fire on an All Nippon Airways flight in Boston a week earlier.
The Federal Aviation Administration said that before the ferry flight, the crew must carry out a number of inspections to be sure the batteries and cables show no signs of damage.
"The pre-flight checklist will include a mandatory check for specific status messages that could indicate possible battery problems," the FAA said.
"While airborne, the crew must continuously monitor the flight computer for battery related messages, and land immediately if one occurs."