The Boeing 787 Failed a Battery Test in Spectacular Fashion Back in 2006

Dominic Gates, writing for The Seattle Times about a failed battery test on the Boeing 787 program:

During testing of a prototype charging-system design in the 2006 incident, “the battery caught fire, exploded, and Securaplane’s entire administrative building burned to the ground,” according to a summary by the administrative law judge in a related employment lawsuit.
The ruinous fire resisted the initial efforts of two employees with fire extinguishers, and escalated, despite the dispatch of a fleet of fire trucks, to destroy the 10,000-square-foot building.
It reached temperatures of about 1,200 degrees and resulted in losses of millions of dollars.
Despite the fact that Boeing won the commercial airplane crown in orders and deliveries from longtime rival Airbus, it has been a rough start to the year for the folks at the airplane maker. The reason? Issues with the 787.

Gates' article delves into more detail about the failed battery test as well as the FAA's role in approving Boeing's design for handling battery fires. The infographic in the article is superb.

Every new airplane model has its 'teething issues' during initial Entry into Service. The 787 is running into some atypically difficult issues, but I'm quite confident that the folks at Boeing will solve these problems and the 787 will grace the skies for many years to come.