Boeing 787 news

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RoMax
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Re: Boeing 787 news

Post by RoMax »

Passenger wrote: "contain the fire in the event one cell or the whole battery does overheat": will the FAA accept this?
It depends on how good the other two layers of safety are. Such critical systems always neem numerous of safety layers, including one that makes sure a worst case scenario doesn't run out of hand.

But the thing is, the things Boeing proposed fully focus on the batteries, while the company building the batteries believes Boeing also has to make sure external power surges causing short circuits in the batteries become impossible or controlable. If the FAA shares that opinion, it will take longer before Boeing can start testing. I don't think we are going to see any commercial 787 flying before May-June.

Meanwhile:
http://paineairport.com/kpae6056.htm
http://paineairport.com/kpae6057.htm
http://paineairport.com/kpae6059.htm
If they can't deliver any 787 by June, they'll have tens of 787's that are 'close to delivery' (so not including the older 787's that need the extensive rework) at Paine Field and Charleston.

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Re: Boeing 787 news

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The FAA could sign a “certification plan” within the next few days by the FAA to allow Being to conduct test flights to ensure they have a solution for the problem and to help authorities determine that the 787 is safe to fly.

It is estimated that Boeing is losing $50 million per week due to the grounding.

The NTSB will to provide more information about their investigation of the JAL Dreamliner that caught fire in Boston today at 11:00 EST (17:00 CET).
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Re: Boeing 787 news

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sn26567 wrote:The NTSB will to provide more information about their investigation of the JAL Dreamliner that caught fire in Boston today at 11:00 EST (17:00 CET).
Not very much news.

NTSB is still looking for the root cause of the JAL Boeing 787 fire. As long as it is not determined, any remedy proposed by Boeing might be useless.

NTSB says it will be holding a forum and a hearing in mid-April to provide additional information to advance the Boeing 787 investigation.

Meanwhile, I fear that the Dreamliner will remain grounded.
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Re: Boeing 787 news

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sn26567 wrote:
Meanwhile, I fear that the Dreamliner will remain grounded.
It depends...the FAA probably knew about this intermediate report already for some days. Still 'rumours' come out they may soon approve a new testing process by Boeing... If the FAA believes Boeing's measurements are enough to make sure something like this doesn't happen again (which is not really the same as solving the root problem!!), the grounding may be lifted before the final NTSB-report. Tough I'm talking about Boeing test flights, as Boeing will need weeks/months to 'fix' the already 'in-service' 787's, I don't believe grounding will be lifted before May or so.

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Re: Boeing 787 news

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US still has questions about Dreamliner


Washington: The US transportation secretary still has a “lot of questions” about Boeing’s grounded 787 Dreamliner, indicating the aviation giant faces a tough battle to get the planes back in the air soon.

“I have made it very clear that I want a thorough review” of the Boeing plan to fix the plane’s battery system in order to resume commercial flights, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told the Wall Street Journal Wednesday.

“I am going to ask a lot of questions” before a final decision is made, said LaHood, who oversees the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and must sign off on any decision.

LaHood announced in January that he would be stepping down once a replacement is selected by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate.

The company is anxious to get its proposals cleared, and on Monday Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner said it would move “really fast” to get the planes back in the air once the FAA signs off.

After 200,000 hours of analysis and tests, “we feel very good about the fix. We’ve covered the waterfront, so to speak,” he told a conference in New York.

Burnt lithium-ion batteries on two 787s - a fire on a parked aeroplane in Boston and smoke that caused an emergency landing in Japan - resulted in the January 16 global grounding of all 50 787s in service.

The Boeing CEO said the company would stick with the lithium-ion batteries, which are significantly more powerful and lighter than the nickel-cadmium batteries traditionally used on aircraft.

As for the safety implications of the proposed battery fix, Conner said: “We would not go forward unless we thought we had it nailed.”

Despite the 787 problems, which have halted deliveries, Conner said that Boeing was keeping its forecast to deliver more than 60 787s this year.

source: Gulfnews
Visit my flights on: http://www.quixoticguide.com

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Re: Boeing 787 news

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The NTSB documents released yesterday reveal a struggle to tame the JAL 787 battery fire.

The smoking, hissing battery smoldering away inside the belly of the parked 787 in Boston had already injured one firefighter. The airport fire commander wanted it off that plane.

Six bolts held it fast. A quick-disconnect knob - just a quarter turn would pop the battery free - had melted away. Firefighters with gloved hands tried to turn the bolts with pliers, which is like trying to slice an onion with a rubber spatula while wearing oven mitts. The thing wasn't budging. A pry bar bent the battery's case but didn't move it.

They finally cut it loose with a battery-operated tool and, using straps, hauled the 63-pound, still-smoking battery about 50 feet from the aircraft.

The new NTSB documents also showed that a Japan Airlines mechanic was the first to deal with the fire and reported seeing 3-inch flames in two spots on the battery, but only smoke was seen by firefighters who arrived a minute later.

Here is a time line of the events:

The Jan. 7 flight from Tokyo had gone normally. First its 184 passengers, then the pilots got off the plane. Airplane cleaners came on board.

With just a handful of ground workers on the plane, the auxiliary power unit, which provides power on the ground, shut down. This got the attention of the cleaners and maintenance workers because all of the cabin lights and in-flight entertainment systems went dark. JAL mechanic Kazuyuki Sato prepared outside power lines in case the plane needed them for electricity.

Then a cleaner said she saw smoke by one of the plane's kitchens. Twelve seconds later, she and a worker in the cockpit left. Sato, moving toward the plane's electronics bay, radioed that he found heavy smoke there, and readied a fire extinguisher.

At the gate, someone called the fire department.

Sato saw flames from the battery and blasted it with the fire extinguisher. The compartment "was dark and very smoky," according to the NTSB's account of its interview with him. It was a "dangerous environment in the compartment" and he couldn't continuously point the extinguisher at the fire. Eventually, though, he emptied all 20 pounds of the extinguisher's contents onto the fire. The flame didn't stop.

The airport fire incident commander ordered every fire truck toward the JAL plane. It's not clear whether they knew all the passengers were off. Even if no one is in immediate danger, a $200 million smoldering airplane parked next to a busy airline terminal brings a speedy response from firefighters.

While four trucks raced toward the plane, Engine 3 was already nearby because of a medical call. A fire lieutenant inside the airport ran toward the gate where the JAL plane was parked, telling the fire truck's driver to head that way. Firefighters from Engine 3 grabbed a hose, climbed the stairs in the jetway and headed into the plane.

An airport fire commander called for additional help from Boston's fire department.

The first firefighter to enter the plane saw "a white glow about the size of a softball" through the smoke using his hand-held heat-imaging camera. He applied another type of fire extinguishing agent, which somewhat reduced the glow. An airport security camera video showed white smoke billowing from the underside of the plane.

Another firefighter reported "no visibility" because of the smoke and directed another burst from a fire extinguisher at a hot spot, but the battery seemed to rekindle. A fire captain applied the extinguisher again for about five minutes, reducing the fire. But the battery was still emitting heavy smoke and hissing loudly. Liquid was flowing down its side. Lithium ion batteries, unlike the batteries used on other planes, contain a flammable electrolyte.

A fire captain reported that at one point the battery "exploded," injuring his neck.

It took 80 minutes from when the first fire call came in until the battery was hauled out of the plane. Firefighters sprayed 740 pounds of the firefighting agent Halotron as they tried to put the battery fire out.

Investigators later found little balls of melted and cooled stainless steel, apparently from the cases of the battery's eight cells. It melts at 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit, one document noted.

Full story from The Associated Press in USA Today
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Re: Boeing 787 news

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Re: Boeing 787 news

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If Boeing do not get permission to fly their " fixed" 787 (this time with the source of the battery problem understood and the chance of battery fire/overheating brought to the levels of more conventional aviation batteries), what are the chances of Boeing 787s still being grounded and at least a test Airbus 350 flying around? :?: :o

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Re: Boeing 787 news

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bollox wrote:If Boeing do not get permission to fly their " fixed" 787 (this time with the source of the battery problem understood and the chance of battery fire/overheating brought to the levels of more conventional aviation batteries), what are the chances of Boeing 787s still being grounded and at least a test Airbus 350 flying around? :?: :o
A350 first flight is planned for July/August (or with "a miracle" (words of EADS ceo) in June). So I hope Boeing is at least flying their own test aircraft again by this time...

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Re: Boeing 787 news

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I assume André will soon add the full press release to the website (and link it to this topic), but here you already have the first part of the latest Boeing press release:

"Boeing (NYSE: BA) has received approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the company's plan to test and certify improvements to the 787's battery system. Successful completion of each step within the plan will result in the FAA's approval to resume commercial 787 flights.

"Our top priority is the integrity of our products and the safety of the passengers and crews who fly on them," said Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney. "Our team has been working around the clock to understand the issues and develop a solution based on extensive analysis and testing following the events that occurred in January. Today's approval from the FAA is a critical and welcome milestone toward getting the fleet flying again and continuing to deliver on the promise of the 787," he said. "

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Re: Boeing 787 news

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FAA Approves Boeing 787 Certification. See FAA press release and Boeing's response: viewtopic.php?f=31&t=50059

Boeing will use test aircraft ZA005 and line 86 (LOT SP-LRC) to test the 787 battery fix.
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Re: Boeing 787 news

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Boeing provides details on 787 battery improvements

Boeing announced today that a comprehensive set of improvements that will add several layers of additional safety features to the lithium-ion batteries on 787 commercial jetliners are in production and could be ready for initial installation within the next few weeks. New enclosures for 787 batteries also are being built and will be installed in airplanes in the weeks ahead.

These improvements, which continue to undergo extensive certification testing, will allow operators to resume commercial flights with their 787s as soon as testing is complete and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other international regulators grant their final approval.

The improvements include enhanced production and operating processes, improved battery design features and a new battery enclosure.

"As soon as our testing is complete and we obtain regulatory approvals, we will be positioned to help our customers implement these changes and begin the process of getting their 787s back in the air," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. "Passengers can be assured that we have completed a thorough review of the battery system and made numerous improvements that we believe will make it a safer, more reliable battery system." Battery system changes include changes to the battery itself, the battery charging unit and the battery installation.

Earlier this week the FAA approved Boeing's certification plan, which lays out the discrete testing to be done to demonstrate that the battery improvements address the conditions laid out in the Airworthiness Directive that has suspended 787 commercial operations.

Development Team Created Solution
The enhancements to the battery system address causal factors identified by the Boeing technical team as possible causes of battery failure. The technical team's findings also were verified by an independent group of lithium-ion battery experts from a number of industries, universities and national laboratories.

"We've come up with a comprehensive set of solutions that result in a safer battery system," said Mike Sinnett, vice president and chief project engineer, 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We have found a number of ways to improve the battery system and we don't let safety improvements go once they are identified. We incorporate them into our processes and products."

Enhanced Production Controls and Operating Processes
The first layer of improvements is taking place during the manufacture of the batteries in Japan. Boeing teamed with Thales, the provider of the integrated power conversion system, and battery maker GS Yuasa to develop and institute enhanced production standards and tests to further reduce any possibility for variation in the production of the individual cells as well as the overall battery.

"We've all developed a better understanding of the sensitivities of this technology to variations during the manufacturing process," said Sinnett. "And we all feel the need to increase monitoring of this process on an ongoing basis."

Four new or revised tests have been added to screen cell production, which now includes 10 distinct tests. Each cell will go through more rigorous testing in the month following its manufacture including a 14-day test during which readings of discharge rates are being taken every hour. This new procedure started in early February and the first cells through the process are already complete. There are more than a dozen production acceptance tests that must be completed for each battery.

Boeing, Thales and GS Yuasa have also decided to narrow the acceptable level of charge for the battery, both by lowering the highest charge allowed and raising the lower level allowed for discharge. Two pieces of equipment in the battery system – the battery monitoring unit and the charger are being redesigned to the narrower definition. The battery charger will also be adapted to soften the charging cycle to put less stress on the battery during charging.

Improved Battery Design Features
Changes inside the battery will help to reduce the chances of a battery fault developing and help to further isolate any fault that does occur so that it won't cause issues with other parts of the battery.
To better insulate each of the cells in the battery from one another and from the battery box, two kinds of insulation will be added. An electrical insulator is being wrapped around each battery cell to electrically isolate cells from each other and from the battery case, even in the event of a failure. Electrical and thermal insulation installed above, below and between the cells will help keep the heat of the cells from impacting each other.

Wire sleeving and the wiring inside the battery will be upgraded to be more resistant to heat and chafing and new fasteners will attach the metallic bars that connect the eight cells of the battery. These fasteners include a locking mechanism.

Finally, a set of changes is being made to the battery case that contains the battery cells and the battery management unit. Small holes at the bottom will allow moisture to drain away from the battery and larger holes on the sides will allow a failed battery to vent with less impact to other parts of the battery.

New Battery Enclosure
The battery case will sit in a new enclosure made of stainless steel. This enclosure will isolate the battery from the rest of the equipment in the electronic equipment bays. It also will ensure there can be no fire inside the enclosure, thus adding another layer of protection to the battery system. The enclosure features a direct vent to carry battery vapors outside the airplane.

New titanium fixtures are being installed in the electronics equipment bays to ensure the housing is properly supported.

"Our first lines of improvements, the manufacturing tests and operations improvements, significantly reduce the likelihood of a battery failure. The second line of improvements, changes to the battery, helps stop an event and minimize the effect of a failure within the battery if it does occur. And the third line of improvements, the addition of the new enclosure, isolates the battery so that even if all the cells vent, there is no fire in the enclosure and there is no significant impact to the airplane," said Sinnett.

Testing Status
Testing to gain FAA approval of the battery enhancements has already started, with the FAA's permission.

During engineering testing, which occurs prior to certification testing, the team demonstrated that the new housing could safely contain a battery failure that included the failure of all eight cells within the battery. The "ultimate" load is the equivalent of 1.5 times the maximum force ever expected to be encountered during a battery failure. The housing easily withstood this pressure and did not fail until the pressure was more than three times the ultimate load.

Through another test, the team demonstrated that fire cannot occur within the new enclosure. Its design eliminates oxygen, making the containment unit self-inerting. Inerting is a step above fire detection and extinguishing as it prevents a fire from ever occurring. The design also vents all vapors by venting directly outside of the airplane rather than into the equipment bay.

"We put this new design through a rigorous set of tests. We tried to find a way to introduce a fire in the containment but it just wouldn't happen. Even when we introduced a flammable gas in the presence of an ignition source, the absence of oxygen meant there was no fire.

"We drew from the new industry standard, DO311, established by RTCA, to establish our testing plan
," said Sinnett. "These standards weren't available when we set the testing plan for the baseline battery and they helped us ensure the new design is robust and safe. We intend to show, during certification, that the 787 battery meets all objectives of DO-311 and only deviates from specific requirements where the 787-unique items are not covered by the standards." RTCA is a not-for-profit organization that serves as a federal advisory committee in establishing guidelines for the aviation industry.

Working towards Resuming Flights
"We are following all of the necessary protocols to get our new design fully approved and properly installed so that we can help our customers start flying as soon as possible. We're simultaneously moving out on an effort to resume deliveries but completing our certification work and getting the delivered fleet flying again is our first priority," said Conner. "Our customers and their passengers have been incredibly patient as we have worked through this process and we thank them very sincerely for their continued support and confidence in the 787.

"The more-electric architecture of the 787 brings real value not just to the airlines but to our industry. By reducing fuel use, we are reducing our environmental footprint. This battery technology is an important part of the more-electric architecture, which is helping us to cut fuel use by more than 10 billion gallons of fuel over the life of this program.

"New technologies require extra attention and hard work, but the benefits are real
."

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EVERETT, Wash., March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/
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Re: Boeing 787 news

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LOT Polish Airways 787 expected to make test flight Tuesday

A 787 built for LOT Polish Airways (SP-LRC) is expected to be the first flight test to verify the system, to prove to the FAA that Boeing's upgraded battery is safe. It is expected to take off from Everett's Paine Field on Tuesday, followed by an official flight test for the FAA to demonstrate the system's performance.

Boeing says it plans to wrap up ground and flight tests by no later than the end of March, and then it's up to the FAA to certify the plane is again safe to fly, or request further changes and testing.

After two months of investigation by the transportation safety boards of the United States and Japan, the batteries are now considered the source of the failure, but the exact cause has still not been determined.
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Re: Boeing 787 news

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sn26567 wrote:LOT Polish Airways 787 expected to make test flight Tuesday

A 787 built for LOT Polish Airways (SP-LRC) is expected to be the first flight test to verify the system, to prove to the FAA that Boeing's upgraded battery is safe. It is expected to take off from Everett's Paine Field on Tuesday, followed by an official flight test for the FAA to demonstrate the system's performance. Boeing says it plans to wrap up ground and flight tests by no later than the end of March, and then it's up to the FAA to certify the plane is again safe to fly, or request further changes and testing. After two months of investigation by the transportation safety boards of the United States and Japan, the batteries are now considered the source of the failure, but the exact cause has still not been determined.
Although I would love to see the Dreamliner flying again, I think we're still far away from a green light for commercial operations. From AvHerald.com's report on the latest NTSB report about the ANA incident:

"...Boeing had assessed the risk of a battery cell venting at one in 10 million flight hours and the risk of the battery spilling flammable fluid at one in 1 billion flight hours. However, only 52.000 flight hours had been accumulated in operation of the B787 so far and two batteries had vented/spilled. The only scenario, that Boeing had identified, that could lead to the battery venting with fire was overcharge, the design requirements made it highly improbable that an overcharge could occur..."

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Re: Boeing 787 news

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NTSB at odds with Boeing over some comments made by one of its executives

It seems that NTSB doesn't like some comments made by Mike Sinnett, vice president and chief project engineer for the 787, in a Tokyo briefing on March 15. Sinnett played down the incidents that actually happened in an effort to restore Boeing's image.

1. Sinnett appeared to challenge the NTSB’s use of the term “thermal runaway” and insisted that under Boeing’s definition of the term, there had been no thermal runaway. The safety agency defines that as an uncontrolled chemical reaction occurring at high temperatures inside the battery, and it says that actually happened during a Jan. 7 fire in Boston involving the lithium-ion battery on a Japan Airlines 787.

2. Sinnett said that the NTSB’s preliminary findings indicated there hadn’t been flames within the battery case. When asked about that the next day, NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said investigators hadn’t ruled out fire within the battery case.

3. More broadly, Sinnett’s remarks painted a very different picture of the seriousness of the two 787 battery incidents in which a battery overheated and emitted fumes — than described by NTSB chair Deborah Hersman.

We do not expect to see fire events on board aircraft,” Hersman said in January. “One of these events alone is serious; two of them in close proximity, especially in an airplane model with only about 100,000 flight hours, underscores the importance of getting to the root cause of these incidents.”

In contrast, Sinnett played down the risks. “We can say with certainty that after the battery failed, the airplane responded exactly as we had designed and intended,” Sinnett said. “What we saw when the battery failed was damage that was limited to the function of the battery and the immediate area of the battery, but the airplane was not at risk.

It's not in Boeing's long-term interest to play down the NTSB findings. What will come next?

Detailed story in the Seattle Times: http://seattletimes.com/html/businesste ... kexml.html
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Re: Boeing 787 news

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Sinnett is confusing thermal runaway with meltdown? (battery melts through fuselage and falls onto ground)

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Re: Boeing 787 news

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British Airways has announced their initial 787 routes internally. According to a post on Airliners.net, British Airways will initially fly their Dreamliners to Calgary, Newark, Toronto, and Washington Dulles beginning on July 16. The flights have yet to be loaded into the system as the start date depends on the current battery issues.
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Re: Boeing 787 news

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Boeing just filed the flight plan for today’s 787 flight test of line number 86 (SP-LRC built for LOT) from Everett.

Today’s 787 flight is a normal Boeing functional check. The certification flight on new battery system will take place in the coming days.

To be followed live:
flightpath: http://fr.flightaware.com/live/flight/BOE272
video: http://www.kirotv.com/s/news/live-event/

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Re: Boeing 787 news

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Line # 86 (SP-LRC) completed today's 787 functional check flight, landing at Paine Field at 2:20 pm PT. The Dreamliner flew exactly 2hr 9min.

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Re: Boeing 787 news

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So after this flight (and validation of the test results) they'll operate a certification flight for the FAA in the comming days? As this was the flight Boeing 'wanted' to do, the flight the FAA wants, still has to be done.

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