Dreamliner computer glitch forces Polish airline to switch jets

Reuters

(Corrects day of week in first paragraph, removes reference to flight being aborted in headline and first paragraph)

WARSAW, Feb 4 (Reuters) - A computer malfunction on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner forced LOT to call off a transatlantic flight from Warsaw late on Monday and switch the passengers onto another jet instead, the Polish airline said.

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.

(Reporting by Adrian Krajewski; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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