Boeing has grounded it six 787 test aircraft following Tuesday's aft electrical bay fire aboard ZA002.
"We have decided to focus on ground tests while we better understand the incident on ZA002," says Boeing.
According to a source briefed on the incident, the fire caused a series of cascading failures including drop out of some of the flight deck displays and autothrottle systems.
The extent of damage to the aircraft's systems and composite primary structure has not been officially disclosed by Boeing, but is believed to be extensive, say those familiar with the incident.
UPDATE 2:45 PM ET: A representative from the Laredo Fire Department Airport Unit says upon boarding ZA002 fire fighters found heavy smoke, but no flames, though test personnel told the firefighters that the fire was still ongoing upon landing at Laredo.
UPDATE 3:34 PM ET: The National Transportation Safety Board is officially "monitoring" the situation in Texas, says Keith Holloway, a spokesman for the board and is "assessing information we are getting" from the FAA. The NTSB adds that no board personnel have been dispatched to Laredo. ZA002 has been moved off of the taxiway to a secure area on the airport. An industry source with direct familiarity of the incident says the FAA, NTSB, Boeing interaction is a bit of a "gray area" as the aircraft is in its development phase.
UPDATE 4:40 PM ET: Did ZA002 lose its Primary Flight Displays? Yes. And No.
A source familiar with the details of the situation said yesterday the pilots lost the primary flight displays while on approach to Laredo. Boeing disputed the claim this morning, saying the pilot did have a PFD on landing. The 787 flight deck allows both to be true. In load shedding situations the outboard displays which are the typical home for the PFDs, enter a reversionary mode and disable the pilot's outboard display and first officer's inboard display.
On the pilot's PFD, which takes up two-thirds of the outboard screen in normal operations, is shifted to a one-half arrangement on the inboard display and combined with the EICAS display. For the first officer, the outboard display goes to a one-half arrangement with the PFD and ND. While the primary flight display would be lost due to the electrical issue, the PFD would be sustained on the left inboard and right outboard display.
UPDATE 6:06 PM ET:
Boeing issues an update
on the ZA002 fire. Schedule impact is unknown as the investigation unfolds.
Initial inspection appears to indicate that a power control panel in the aft electronics bay will need to be replaced on ZA002. We are inspecting the power panel and surrounding area near that panel to determine if other repairs will be necessary.
This is a developing story and will be updated.