Boeing Gets Approval from the FAA to Fix Battery Problems with Their 787 Airliner
Since January 16, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has grounded the 787 airliners of Boeing following fire-related incidents caused by its batteries. On Tuesday, March 12, the FAA approved the battery redesign plan of the company.
London (I-Newswire) March 18, 2013 - The Federal Aviation Administration accepted the battery redesign proposal of Boeing for its 787 Dreamliner on Tuesday. The FAA grounded this particular fleet since January 16 due to its problematic lithium-ion batteries.
In one case, the battery of a 787 parked in Boston caught fire. Another incident caused a Dreamliner to make an emergency landing in Japan because of a smoking battery.
The grounding of the entire Boeing 787 fleet was the first time the FAA ordered the cessation of flights for a particular type of plane since 1979. This move also dealt a major blow to the company since the Dreamliner was their most advanced plane in terms of technology.
The plan presented by Boeing to the FAA included changes to the plane’s internal battery components to reduce the chances of short-circuiting. This particular change intended to minimise the possibility of overheating; therefore, preventing the occurrence of a fire.
Other changes included providing better insulation for eight cells of the 787's battery and the adding of new systems for containment and venting.
The FAA said that a series of tests needed to be conducted to ensure that the plane would be safe for air travel. The agency also added that they have approved two flight tests involving 787's fitted with the new battery prototypes. Apart from the batteries, they also stressed that every part of the aeroplane must be deemed safe before they allow it to take passengers.
In line with this, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, “This comprehensive series of tests will show us whether the proposed battery improvements will work as designed.” He added, “We won't allow the plane to return to service unless we're satisfied that the new design ensures the safety of the aircraft and its passengers”.
With regards to the FAA approval of its battery plan, Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said that it “is a critical and welcome milestone toward getting the fleet flying again and continuing to deliver on the promise of the 787”.
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Published On:March 18, 2013
Print Release:Print Release
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