Boeing 787 delivered only 3 weeks before battery fire

Boeing 787 delivered only 3 weeks before battery fire »Play Video
NTSB Investigator Mike Bauer works inside the Boeing 787 "Dreamliner" airplane under investigation at Boston's Logan Airport on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, in Boston.
WASHINGTON — Federal investigators say the Boeing 787 Dreamliner that experienced a battery fire earlier this month was delivered to Japan Airlines less than three weeks before the fire.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Sunday in an update of its investigation of the incident that the airliner was delivered on Dec. 20. It had only recorded 169 flight hours and 22 flights when the fire erupted in one of the airliner's two lithium ion batteries on Jan. 7.

The fire occurred at Logan International Airport shortly after the plane landed. NTSB said the battery was manufactured by GS Yuasa of Japan in September 2012.

A second battery incident led to an emergency landing by another 787 in Japan on Jan. 16. The 787 fleet worldwide has since been grounded.

Investigators still have not figured out what caused the fires, but earlier said built-in safeguards that were supposed to prevent them from happening obviously did not work.

Meanwhile, the Boeing Co. is moving full steam ahead with production of the Dreamliner, despite the worldwide grounding.

A Boeing spokesperson confirmed the company is not only keeping its current production schedule for the jets, but it also plans to double production by the end of the year.

A slowdown in production would be costly for Boeing and its suppliers. And the company still has an order of 800 Dreamliner jets to fill for airlines.