February 4, 2014 / 7:04 AM / in 4 years

Dreamliner computer glitch forces Polish airline to switch jets

WARSAW (Reuters) - A computer malfunction on a Boeing (BA.N) 787 Dreamliner forced LOT LOT.UL to call off a transatlantic flight from Warsaw late on Monday and switch the passengers onto another jet instead, the Polish airline said.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner belonging to Polish airline LOT flies after taking off from the Chopin International Airport in Warsaw in this June 1, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

The glitch, the latest in a series of operational problems that have dogged the Dreamliner, caused the passengers’ departure for Toronto, Canada, to be delayed by a few hours.

“We had to restart the on-board computer just before take-off,” broadcaster TVN24 quoted a LOT spokeswoman as saying.

“Since such a restart and a consequent check-up of all systems takes a few hours (...) we changed the plane.”

LOT is due to receive about $30 million in compensation from Boeing for earlier faults that grounded its Dreamliner jets.

The Dreamliner was supposed to be a game-changer for the aviation industry as its lighter body and electrical systems cut fuel consumption by 20 percent and reduced maintenance.

But it has been beset by problems including a battery fire that grounded all 787s in service for three months last year and forced Boeing to re-design the powerful lithium-ion battery and enclose it in a tough new steel containment box.

Other issues on the Dreamliner still facing Boeing include the reliability of flight controls, particularly for the wing spoilers, brakes and electrical power components.

Last month, Boeing said the Dreamliner’s reliability rate is now around 98 percent, meaning two out of every 100 flights are delayed for mechanical problems - up from 97 percent in October but still short of the firm’s target.

(This story was corrected to fix day of week in first paragraph, removes reference to flight being aborted in headline and first paragraph)

Reporting by Adrian Krajewski; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt

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