Boeing announced today that it will be making minor design changes to the 787's power distribution panels following an electrical fire that resulted in an emergency landing in Texas Nov. 10.

It will also make updates to the systems software that manages and protects power distribution on the aircraft. The changes are a result of an investigation into the onboard electrical fire that led to the loss of primary electrical power on the test plane ZA002.

"We have successfully simulated key aspects of the onboard event in our laboratory and are moving forward with developing design fixes," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. "Boeing is developing a plan to enable a return to 787 flight test activities and will present it to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as soon as it is complete."

Engineers have determined that the fault began as either a short circuit or an electrical arc in the P100 power distribution panel, most likely caused by the presence of foreign debris. The design changes will improve the protection within the panel. The P100 panel is one of five major power distribution panels on the 787.

There is currently no word from Boeing on when test flights will start again. The 787 team is assessing the timeline for the design changes and software updates to be completed. Boeing is expected to finalize a revised 787 program schedule in the next few weeks.