Smoke in the cabin of ZA002, Boeing's second 787 flight test aircraft prompted an evacuation of the 30-plus test personnel on board. The test aircraft was enroute to Harlingen, Texas for trials of the aircraft's nitrogen generation system, when smoke was seen in the main cabin. Boeing says ZA002 "continued its approach and landed safely in Laredo, Texas." Adding that the "crew evacuated the airplane safely."
Update 6:57 PM ET: Boeing says ZA002 is on the ground in Laredo, Texas with its evacuation slides deployed. Boeing is "continuing to collect data" on the source of the smoke, which is currently unknown. The FAA says the aircraft landed at 2:54 PM Central Time.
Update 7:30 PM ET: A source familiar with the incident says ZA002 touched down in Laredo after a fire broke out in the aft electronics equipment bay causing the flight deck primary flight displays and auto throttle to fail, additionally the ram air turbine was deployed on landing. The aircraft landed in visual flight rules (VFR) conditions.
Update 8:04 PM ET: Hamilton Sundstrand, which is responsible for the 787's electrical system, says it is in touch with Boeing and is participating in the investigation. A spokesman for the company had no additional details regarding the incident.
Update 10:56 PM ET: Program sources say all planned flight tests for Wednesday have been postponed until Thursday at the earliest. ZA001, ZA005 and ZA006 have been shifted to ground tests as a result of ZA002's in-flight fire. ZA003 and ZA004 had been previously scheduled to conduct ground testing.
Update 10:08 AM ET: Boeing released some additional details this morning, including the total occupancy of the aircraft, which stood at 42 at the time of the incident. That number is not uncommon when beginning a remote stay as the plane acts as a ferry for test crews. Boeing says "contrary to some reports" the pilot did not lose primary flight displays during the fire, though did not specify if any of the five were inoperative at the time of the fire.
Additionally, programmes sources say ZA002 test crews in Texas are being updated on the status of the aircraft in a briefing this morning.
This is a developing story and will be updated.