Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

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Bralo20
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Re: Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

Post by Bralo20 »

sean1982 wrote: If this turns out to be true, Boeing wi!ll sigh a big breath of relief I think, still, the program hasn't been exactly "lucky" :roll:
I'm not sure they will sigh of relief when that's true. When parked and the batteries are off (which should be the case) there shouldn't be any power to the kitchen equipment. I agree that several systems will remain powered even when the batteries are off but this shouldn't be the case with the galley, there is absolutely no need for any power in the galley when being parked. So either the batteries weren't switched off or something else went wrong with the electrical system. You can leave on the coffee as long as you want, when the power is off it shouldn't be a problem yet at this point it seemed that it was a problem after all.

So you could be looking at multiple problems, one is the faulty galley equipment but the other one is a faulty electrical system.

And honestly, I doubt that the statement about the galley is correct, the (external) firedamage to the roof is above the passenger seats and not above the galley (which is a bit further to the back) and when looking through the door you can see no fire damage to the white walls, faulty wiring in the roof seems more plausible at this point.

This is the galley of the ET B788 (took this pic on AOQ when it visited BRU), you see that the galley is way in the back behind the door yet the firedamage is before the door position:

Image

Desert Rat
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Re: Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

Post by Desert Rat »

There should be some pax oxygen line in that area ...no?

RTM
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Re: Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

Post by RTM »

Sad story...

Allthough I think it might be a bit early to call this a write off. The damaged section is relatively simple and mostly free of expenive equipment. Having said that, it will take Boeing quite some time to get it fixed, if at all. Most likely to be taken apart and shipped back to Seattle.

And to the cause... I don't see the guys at boeing take a sigh of relief if such a simple mistake can ruin a state of the art aircraft. Then there is something seriously wrong with the design.

And FWIW, DME and ATC antenna's are generally located on the bottom side of the fuselage. The bit normally facing the ground stations. As for the pax oxygen lines... Depends on the system installed, but mostly nowadays, pax oxy systems work with oxy generators. So no lines.

Desert Rat
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Re: Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

Post by Desert Rat »

RTM wrote:Depends on the system installed, but mostly nowadays, pax oxy systems work with oxy generators. So no lines.
On 380 and 3456, it's oxygen lines coming from Oxygen cylinders located in the Fwd Cargo Compt.

On 320 it's still Chemical Oxygen generator though...

bollox
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Re: Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

Post by bollox »

Particularly transponder antennas are mounted on top and bottom of a/c to make sure they are seen by the secondart radar a/c while maneuvering. TCAS also calls for antennas on top and bottom of aircraft.

RTM
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Re: Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

Post by RTM »

Yes... might well be...
I am not familiar with the 787, so who knows. But also on some aircraft it is down to the operater to decide which system gets installed. The point I was trying to make, that there are not nessessarily oxy lines there...
Also, if a fixed bottle system is installed, and the aircraft is at rest, it is generally isolated from the system, to prevent pressure decay, so even with oxy lines there, they might not be pressurized.

bollox
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Re: Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

Post by bollox »

Out of service since hours, rear of aircraft, smoke. Ethiopian case seems to have some commonalityy to the first JAL 787.........

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KriVa
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Re: Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

Post by KriVa »

One big difference though: In the JAL case, the smoke was croming from the AFT Cargo Hold, where the APU battery is stored.
In this case, the smoke (obviously) comes from the top of the aircraft, exactly above where the crew rest area is. (In front of the aft galley.)
Lacking any decent pics of the interior, it's hard to determine where the fire originated, but seeing as the cargo hold received very little attention, I think (just speculation) that the fault will be found somewhere else.

Still not a good day for Boeing, though.
Last edited by KriVa on 14 Jul 2013, 01:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Bottie
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Re: Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

Post by Bottie »

KriVa wrote: In this case, the smoke (obviously) comes from the top of the aircraft, exactly above where the crew rest area is. (In front of the aft galley.)
According to some posts on A.net, there isn't a crew rest area on the ET 787's on that place

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sn26567
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Re: Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

Post by sn26567 »

The Ethiopian 787 ET-AOP which caught fire at LHR is the same aircraft which first resumed 787 operations after the grounding ended in April. Bad fate!
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Passenger
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Re: Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

Post by Passenger »

Update from the BBC:

...The UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch said the initial investigation was likely to take several days. It said it had found "extensive heat damage in the upper portion of the rear fuselage, a complex part of the aircraft". "However, it is clear that this heat damage is remote from the area in which the aircraft main and APU batteries are located and at this stage there is no evidence of a direct causal relationship..."

Source - more details:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23302722
Last edited by Passenger on 13 Jul 2013, 19:24, edited 1 time in total.

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sn26567
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Re: Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

Post by sn26567 »

Boeing has a page devoted to the materials used in the 787, showing that the carbon fibre reinforced structure could indeed be repaired. Not sure it will be a total hull loss.

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aeroma ... _04_2.html

But there is also a serious independent article stating that such a repair is a challenge that has still to be met:

http://www.reinforcedplastics.com/view/ ... ge-repair/
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bollox
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Re: Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

Post by bollox »

Whatever the cause of the fire, the temperature must have been very high to torch the crp to melting point and to ignite/destroy insulation. the time element remains common. Seems to remind me of Swissair 111..... :(

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Re: Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

Post by RTM »

CFRP is definately reparable. And if done well, the end result will be as strong as the Original. Something that is not allways the case with aluminium. But it is a new technology, and skilled people to this extend are not widespread. But I am sure Boeing can supply a team. Thing is though, it will be the first, on this scale anyway. And to cut out the damaged section, the aircraft needs to be stress relieved, and if the tail section sagged, it might even need a jig, which would mean take it back to the factory...

AirOpinion
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Re: Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

Post by AirOpinion »

They say it had something to do with a water boiler. Not confirmed though...

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Re: Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

Post by Flanker2 »

CFRP is definately reparable. And if done well, the end result will be as strong as the Original. Something that is not allways the case with aluminium. But it is a new technology, and skilled people to this extend are not widespread. But I am sure Boeing can supply a team. Thing is though, it will be the first, on this scale anyway. And to cut out the damaged section, the aircraft needs to be stress relieved, and if the tail section sagged, it might even need a jig, which would mean take it back to the factory...
CFRP is definitely repairable... if we're talking about a small ding or delamination spot on the fuselage.

It also depends on the facilities available at LHR, because a ferry flight is impossible without risking structural failure, and you would need adapted heavy maintenance facilities to be able to carry out such a major repair.

I think that a write-off is a safe bet. You can repair damage from something like QF32, where catapulted material causes measurable, detectable and repairable structural damage, but fire of this extent, forget it.
It's not only about some burnt off skin we're talking about, all the structures such as the frames, longerons and floor beams that have been subjected to more than 300°C are good for the garbage. So even if we only see a small hole on top of the fuselage, the extent of the damage is huge inside the structure. Plus you have to be very conservative when you look at CFRP that has been subjected to high temps, because unlike aluminium, it would still look good, although the epoxy will be full of bubbles of air.

The next thing you need to know is that the galley rests against the rear pressure bulkhead...

The only thing you can do to guarrantee safety is to change that entire section. Otherwise you are looking at huge amounts of repairs, followed potentially by another JAL123, which is a disaster only second to Tenerife and following a bad structural repair by Boeing technicians... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Airlines_Flight_123

RTM
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Re: Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

Post by RTM »

I think I did say, take it apart, and ship it to Seattle. Ferry flight is definately out of the question. And I agree that replacing the aft fuse section is probably the better option.

But the thing is, Like Airbus with the Quantas story, Boeing will go to a great deal not to hav a wrrite off allready. If possible. And lets be honest, the most expensive part of the aircraft, actually is the rest of the aircraft. Wings, engines, flightdeck, avionics compartments, etc. At this section, it basically is a tube with some fittings, but no major things. Also, the rest of the aircraft did not endure any stresses, as it was stationary on the ground. So if they can get the fuselage back in Seattle, they can take it apart at the productionn break, and put a new rear section on in the production jig.

Also, this will be the first major repair on this kind of stucture, so there is a lot of things that can be learned to benefit from in the future. So can be a pretty interesting project in that way, even if it was to cost more than be logical.

On the other hand, economics are economics, and if it is to expensive to repair, they might just scrap it. But there still is a lot of good material on that bird...

bollox
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Re: Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

Post by bollox »

It looks like Boeing may be sighing with relief. Inspectors are looking at an emergeny locator beacon located just under the fire area. It has lithium-manganese batteries. Honeywell the ELB manufacturer is sending their own people

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Re: Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

Post by sn26567 »

I know that investigators are now concentrating on that transmitter, but isn't that strange? That Emergency Locator Transmitter that is being scrutinised in 787 fire at LHR has been in service on more than 4000 jets for many years without any incident.
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Re: Ethiopian Boeing 787 on fire at gate in London Heathrow

Post by quixoticguide »

bollox wrote:It looks like Boeing may be sighing with relief. Inspectors are looking at an emergeny locator beacon located just under the fire area. It has lithium-manganese batteries. Honeywell the ELB manufacturer is sending their own people
The ELB has non-rechargeable lithium manganese dioxide batteries so that are different batteries than the lithium ion batteries, which were behind the three-month 787 grounding.
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