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Topic: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: iowaman
Posted 2013-01-21 14:34:20 and read 29002 times.

As the last thread was getting quite lengthy, please continue the discussion here.

Previous thread: FAA Grounds 787 Part 3 (by NZ1 Jan 19 2013 in Civil Aviation)

Enjoy the site!

[Edited 2013-01-21 14:38:07]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: packsonflight
Posted 2013-01-21 15:21:18 and read 28777 times.

Quote tdscanuck

No. I claim that spilled content does not violate the FAA special condition. That would only happen if the spilled content caused meaningful damage to surrounding components...so far, no evidence of that has been put forward. I'm sure it warrants some attention, if only to confirm that what spilled was what was expected to be spilled (if any).

You maintain that: That would only happen if the spilled content CAUSED meaningful damage to surrounding components
but the FAA says: COULD CAUSE meaningful damage...

There is a big difference, but I guess the FAA has the the authority. It is good to be the king......

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: nomadd22
Posted 2013-01-21 15:30:59 and read 28690 times.

From reply 217, previous thread.


"Oops, you are right, I was 100% sure because I have the Ultramat 14. But ... it turned out that I have the Ultramat 14 plus. Here is the right docu:
http://www.graupner.de/mediaroot/fil...4_Ultramat_14_plus_de_en_fr_it.pdf

But everything that I said is valid."

Still no. That document specifically says the balance capability is for nicad and nimh. It does not do Lithium because it's not that simple. Reduced charging current or increased voltage through a Lithium cell can mean it's charged or defective. The opposite can mean it's discharged or defective. You have to have an intelligent device that can look at the voltage/current/time charging curve to decide if the cell is losing capacity, leaking or ready to run away. That simple balancing function is just an attempt to keep nicad and nimh cells about equal to prevent reverse charging of weak cells. It would be useless in predicting and removing a Lithium cell about to run off.

I'm not denying that chargers you describe exist just because I don't know of any outside of Tesla or the ISS. (Future ISS batteries will be Lithium upgrades)
Just that the referenced charger and document ain't it, and dumb race car batteries sure the heck don't have the ability.
I'd be happy to be proved wrong. Those big oil clean up boats you saw in the Gulf a few years back could use battery upgrades for the remote skimmer controllers, and I'd like to find a charger that could predict imminent cell failure. Right now I'm dropping Radio Shack RC nicad packs in them.
Uh,,,Blah,Blah 787 Blah, (Sorry about the rambling)

[Edited 2013-01-21 15:42:29]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Braybuddy
Posted 2013-01-21 15:43:05 and read 28588 times.

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 247):
Hence, when a regulator uses terms such as "extremely remote", "explosion", "self-sustaining", "failure", "major or more severe failure condition" in a regulation addressed to the professional community of aeronautical engineers, it is using them as technical terms which have a defined and precise meaning that is understood by the professionals to whom they are addressed. What Wikipedia or a non-professional non-engineer thinks they might mean is irrelevant - fortunately.

Which is why it is probably not a good idea for technicians or engineers to use such terminology when aruging with people who have a different, or less esoteric, interpretation of these words.

You can argue all you like that an explosion is not an explosion, but what term do you then use when you want to actually describe an explosion? And the same goes for smoke, fire or containment.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: JoeCanuck
Posted 2013-01-21 16:50:18 and read 28205 times.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 3):

Considering this thread is dealing with exact technicalities in a specific field, if one strives to be accurate, they should defer to language and word definitions used in that field. Of course, the lay person may not know these specific definitions, but it's good to learn new things.

As a lay person in the aeronautical fields, (but not a complete thicko), my standard definitions might not be completely accurate in the context of, say, the investigation concerning battery fires on a 787.

Semantics are crucial to the language used because these are legal definitions and liability may hang on such subtle nuances.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-21 17:19:13 and read 28032 times.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 4):
Considering this thread is dealing with exact technicalities in a specific field, if one strives to be accurate, they should defer to language and word definitions used in that field. Of course, the lay person may not know these specific definitions, but it's good to learn new things.

And we are fortunate that we have members who understand these exact technicalities in this specific field and have tried very hard to provide specific definitions so that these incidents can be correctly and accurately discussed.

[Edited 2013-01-21 17:22:44]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Revelation
Posted 2013-01-21 17:36:27 and read 27895 times.

Quoting packsonflight (Reply 1):
Quote tdscanuck

No. I claim that spilled content does not violate the FAA special condition. That would only happen if the spilled content caused meaningful damage to surrounding components...so far, no evidence of that has been put forward. I'm sure it warrants some attention, if only to confirm that what spilled was what was expected to be spilled (if any).

You maintain that: That would only happen if the spilled content CAUSED meaningful damage to surrounding components
but the FAA says: COULD CAUSE meaningful damage...

The FAA said the reason for the AD was that it could cause meaningful damage, not that it did cause meaningful damage.

I believe the special condition / design constraint is that it not cause meaningful damage.

As far as we know it did not cause meaningful damage, so the design constraint is not violated.

The FAA is concerned by the two incidents that a future one could cause meaningful damage, yet such has not yet happened.

Quoting packsonflight (Reply 1):
There is a big difference, but I guess the FAA has the the authority. It is good to be the king......

Indeed the king is concerned that something bad could happen.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: PHX787
Posted 2013-01-21 17:45:35 and read 27843 times.

How are some of the flights being accommodated? Has SEA been upgauged to a 772 and what about BOS?

SAN is cancelled through the 25th.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: tdscanuck
Posted 2013-01-21 17:59:57 and read 27772 times.

Quoting packsonflight (Reply 1):
You maintain that: That would only happen if the spilled content CAUSED meaningful damage to surrounding components
but the FAA says: COULD CAUSE meaningful damage...

The "that" in my quote refers to the incidents that occurred violating the containment. Since, as far as we know, neither event caused meaningful damage to surrounding components it's not clear that the requirements around fire containment were violated. This is in direct conflict to multiple posters in the prior thread who claimed that the incidents *demonstrated* that the containment was violated.

I agree that, if it's shown that spilled content could cause meaningful damage then Boeing would have another problem to deal with. But the events we actually know about do not show that damage occured, therefore we can't latch on to them as proof that the design features didn't work.

Tom.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-21 18:12:42 and read 27661 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 7):
How are some of the flights being accommodated? Has SEA been upgauged to a 772...

I would assume it has gone back to the daily 777-300ER it was prior to the 787-8 taking over M-F (it was still a 777-300ER Sat-Sun).

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: cornutt
Posted 2013-01-21 18:17:00 and read 27625 times.

Since people have been asking, let me go over some of the hazard and probability definitions as defined by the FAA. Advisory Circular 25.1309-1A, "System Design and Analysis", is the document that lays out the FAA's general specifications for how hazards are classified and what probabilities they must meet, in regard to commercial airliners. The AC defines four categories of hazardous event, defined by severity. The terms and definitions are:

Minor: "Failure conditions which would not significantly reduce airplane safety, and which involve crew actions that are well within their capabilities." (Material in quotes is the actual words from the AC)

Major: "Failure conditions which would reduce the capability of the airplane or the ability of the crew to cope with adverse operating conditions to the extent that there would be, for example: A significant reduction in safety margins or functional capabilities, a significant increase in crew workload or in conditions impairing crew efficiency, or some discomfort to occupants."

Severe-major: "A large reduction of safety margins or functional capabilities, or higher workload or physical distress so that the crew could not be relied on to perform its tasks accurately or completely, or adverse effects on occupants." (Note here: the term "severe-major" does not actually appear in this AC. However, it is widely used in the industry to match this definition, and it is defined in the complementary AC 23.1309, which defines the standards for general aviation.)

Catastrophic: "Failure conditions which would prevent continued safe flight and landing."

The AC defines these acceptable probability levels for each category. A hazard in the category must be shown to be less likely than the standard, via the fault tree analysis:

Catastrophic: 10^-9 per flight hour, or 1 in 1,000,000,000 flight hours
Severe-major: 10^-7 per flight hour, or 1 in 10 million flight hours
Major: 10^-5 per flight hour, or 1 in 100,000 flight hours
Minor: no limit

(Note that these probabilities go out the window when it comes to software. Because software doesn't fail in a probabilistic manner like hardware does, there is a completely different way of evaluating it. If you're in the industry, you may have heard of the DO-178C standard for avionics software. It basically lays out standards and processes for software, according to the hazard severity level associated with the software. It is a *lot* of work to develop flight-critical software in accordance with DO-178C.)

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: prebennorholm
Posted 2013-01-21 18:26:04 and read 27563 times.

About this hair splitting of "contained" or "not contained". We have to look at two different things:

1. Heat
2. Residue

About heat: Those batteries went to full destruction on their known thermal runaway failure mode. We have no evidence telling that any other equipment suffered any heat damage. Therefore the heat can be assumed to be contained in these incidents.

But that's not all it takes to be "safe". If nobody know whether it takes twice as much heat to do any damage, or we came to 99% of the threshold, then we are not sure what margin we have. If such uncertainty exists, then the FAA may not at the moment consider it contained.

About residue: Residue - electrolyte - was floating on the EE-bay floor. It made cosmetic damage to the floor, but otherwise it is believed that it did no further damage.

But with chemicals on the floor it takes no more than turbulence and negative G to have it all over.

Therefore we go and ask questions to the subcontractors of all equipment in the EE-bay: "Is it okay to spray chemicals from a burst Li-Ion battery on your equipment? Was that requirement written in the specification, from which you developed your gear?"

If they all answer "Yes", and if the FAA agrees with them, then the residue contamination was contained.

Problem is that FAA already wrote the words "could damage" in their AD. If the FAA some day should eat those words again, then.... But until then it is fair to say that FAA already told us that the failure was not contained.

New subject:
Since the 2010 test incident in the EE-bay ultimately by Boeing was blamed on FOD, but too small to be positively identified, then I doubt that the EE-bay is totally Li-Ion runaway goof proof. As I read the FAA AD they seem to have the same opinion. That doesn't necessarily mean that a worst thinkable EE-bay contamination is catastrophic, but it certainly eats away redundancies and grows some really thick branches on the fault tree.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-21 18:34:16 and read 27533 times.

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 11):
Since the 2010 test incident in the EE-bay ultimately by Boeing was blamed on FOD, but too small to be positively identified, then I doubt that the EE-bay is totally Li-Ion runaway goof proof.

But Boeing knows it wasn't caused by a battery leak. And considering the panels are, per reports of people who have seen them, enclosed in a case themselves, even if liquid electrolyte solution were sprayed on them, the interior should be protected.




Quoting cornutt (Reply 10):
Note that these probabilities go out the window when it comes to software.

I have heard an unconfirmed report that some 787s recently received a software update that changed the power system battery charging algorithm(s) and controls. I do not know what those changes entail, and again, it's something I heard third-hand so I cannot vouch for it's validity. However, if a change was made, and it was made to the NH and JL birds, it could be a potential source of the problem and why they occurred so close together after so many hours without incident.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: iahmark
Posted 2013-01-21 18:37:10 and read 27510 times.

I have a quick question of some piece of information I found in other site.

It seems the importance of the APU in a 787 is much more so that a mere "Auxiliary Power Unit" to run things when the plane is on the ground.

According to these posters it also performs main duties as controlling flight control surfaces; i.e basically parts of the FBW system...this to me is crazy;...... Here's a copy an paste of the exchange between these two posters and I would like to know how true is this information: (read comments of "Blogger A")

Quote:


I have a question?
The apu is not a critical system for the plane to operate consider the word "auxiliary". The only time it is used is on the ground or in the air if an engine generator has failed. Otherwise planes really don't need them when you have air start carts and gpu's. The only reason they have them is to elimii have a question? the use of ground equipment and to fly a plane with 1 main generator inoperative. Boeing is trying to be innovating, when they should stick to what works a nicad. Lastly the FAA grounded the fleet because it started a fire multiple times in different aircraft. So they are not risking fires in transatlantic flights, can't land on water.

Blogger A
Boeing's design isn't what you'd conventionally think of in an APU. They replaced a good deal of the drive hydraulics with electro actuators. Rather than bleed off of engine power to drive all of that hardware, their APU design feeds all of the surface drive systems during flight.

I have a question?:
I'm always learning something new, but I do know is there is redundancy among aircraft's. That aircraft should be able to fly without an operative apu. Otherwise we can't call it an apu.

Blogger A
In theory, it is able to fly without an operative APU - because it has battery backup and because in extreme emergencies you have the ability to shunt main bus power to the control systems for a limited amount of time

I have a question?
I'm going to believe you because it seems like you know this aircraft very well. What powers the the main bus?
It should be in "reality" instead of theory cause the feds would not let this plane fly...

Blogger A
Main bus is supplied by engine driven generators. This is traditionally a relatively low current bus that drives things like avionics, cabin lighting & entertainment, etc. Upgrading the engine driven generators to a point sufficient to drive the control surface systems would have resulted in too much of a drain on the engines, resulting in lower fuel efficiency. Driving that set of systems off of the APU allows the main engines to operate at greater efficiency. Remember that Boeing's main selling point for this plane was that it uses less fuel.

I have a question?
I'm still having trouble wrapping my fingering around it... From what your telling me the control surfaces are controlled apu generator to save fuel? Cause running a third smaller turbine engine is using more fuel than just two big genx or rolls 1000.

Blogger A
Yes. Generators are gear driven directly off of the turbine through reduction. They introduce drag and therefore mess with your bypass ratio. GenX and Trent are both high-bypass designs. Trent especially, at 10:1, so when you start introducing drag, you lose thrust and your fuel efficiency goes into the toilet. To fix that, you'd have to essentially redesign the entire engine.

I have a question?
I would also have to say apu is not for flight controls unless you have a source or can provide one i would love to read up on it. That battery that burnt up i bet is just for starting the apu like every airplane with an apu.





[Edited 2013-01-21 18:38:02]

[Edited 2013-01-21 18:41:26]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: tdscanuck
Posted 2013-01-21 18:45:38 and read 27447 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 12):
But Boeing knows it wasn't caused by a battery leak. And considering the panels are, per reports of people who have seen them, enclosed in a case themselves, even if liquid electrolyte solution were sprayed on them, the interior should be protected.

Those power panel cases have significantly sized air vents for cooling. It is not unreasonable that, under the right conditions, you could get electrolyte in there (albeit in small drops). Note that the changes made to the power system after the ZA002 event were designed to let the system respond properly *even if* you got FOD inside the panels...electrolyte drops would be considered FOD.

However, it's rather important to note that the aft EE bay contains another significant 787 technology...the power electronics cooling system (PECS), which runs a mixture of glycol, water, and some additives through an extensive set of tubes, backplanes, and connectors within the aft EE bay. Since there's no chance that the FAA would have accepted a statement that "the PECS system will never leak", Boeing would have had to design the entire aft EE bay to handle chemicals flying around anyway.

Tom.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: CM
Posted 2013-01-21 18:47:29 and read 27427 times.

Quoting iahmark (Reply 13):
I have a quick question of some piece of information I found in other site.

The entire explanation in the thread you have posted is incorrect. See my explanations of standby power, the function of the APU, Batteries and RAT in the previous thread.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: phxa340
Posted 2013-01-21 18:48:59 and read 27408 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 12):
I have heard an unconfirmed report that some 787s recently received a software update that changed the power system battery charging algorithm(s) and controls.

This would help explain why the NH bird had this happen a full 1 year after its In-Service date. That would be welcomed news.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: RickNRoll
Posted 2013-01-21 18:49:57 and read 27398 times.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 8):
The "that" in my quote refers to the incidents that occurred violating the containment. Since, as far as we know, neither event caused meaningful damage to surrounding components it's not clear that the requirements around fire containment were violated. This is in direct conflict to multiple posters in the prior thread who claimed that the incidents *demonstrated* that the containment was violated. I agree that, if it's shown that spilled content could cause meaningful damage then Boeing would have another problem to deal with. But the events we actually know about do not show that damage occured, therefore we can't latch on to them as proof that the design features didn't work.

I don't know who you mean when you refer to 'other posters', but I have continually referred to the spilled content, myself, and see that as being sufficient to question the claim that it was contained adequately. I have never claimed that this is proof that it would cause severe damage, but I agree with the claim by the FAA that it is possible..

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: iahmark
Posted 2013-01-21 18:52:01 and read 27377 times.

Quoting CM (Reply 15):
Quoting CM (Reply 15):
The entire explanation in the thread you have posted is incorrect. See my explanations of standby power, the function of the APU, Batteries and RAT in the previous thread.

That's what i wanted to know, Ii seemed crazy to put all that burden on a APU!!

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: ordwaw
Posted 2013-01-21 18:57:06 and read 27321 times.

Quoting tdscanuck reply 270 of previous thread

"It's not a guess, it's a design condition. The battery would have burned itself out without damaging surrounding equipment, the fumes and smoke would have gone out the outflow valve and stayed out of the main deck, and the plane would have landed safely. "

Given the above statement I became curious. Let's play out the following scenario... B788 flying ORD-WAW route, just left the continental Canada an hour ago. Pilots get notified about APU battery being on fire. Should they ..

(a) start immediate diversion
or
(b) continue on knowing that it is an APU battery fire, by design it will be contained, it will go on for another 30 minutes or so when the battery will have burnt itself out without damaging surrounding equipment, the outflow valve will vent all the fumes and smoke out, we are good to continue".
or
(c) perform a different procedure (?)

What does the OP advise in the above situation?

[Edited 2013-01-21 19:02:18]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: CM
Posted 2013-01-21 19:06:48 and read 27180 times.

Quoting ordwaw (Reply 19):
Given the above statement I became curious. Let's play out the following scenario... B788 flying ORD-WAW route, just left the continental Canada an hour ago. Pilots get notified about APU battery being on fire. Should they...

Always option A. Divert.

Every fire event on the airplane is designed to be managed or suppressed, but the crew procedure is always to divert. In teh case of the 787, cargo fire suppression systems are designed for 5.5 hours (ETOPS 330), but you would certainly choose a closer airport if one is available.

[Edited 2013-01-21 19:10:21]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: prebennorholm
Posted 2013-01-21 19:07:51 and read 27177 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 12):
But Boeing knows it wasn't caused by a battery leak.

Of course the 2010 incident wasn't a battery leak. If it had been that simple, then Boeing would have known immediately.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 12):
And considering the panels are, per reports of people who have seen them, enclosed in a case themselves, even if liquid electrolyte solution were sprayed on them, the interior should be protected.

And problem is that this contradicts FAA when they write "could damage".

But as I wrote in reply #11, don't ask "people who have seen them". Ask the subcontractors about what specifications they had to fulfill when they designed and built them. And ask FAA for approval.

"People who have seen them" may see totally enclosed boxes. Still they may have fan driven cooling ventilation on the back side. Just one thing which.....

We will again enjoy flights on the beautiful 787 when the FAA has approved it. "People who have seen them" boxes do not decide.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: CM
Posted 2013-01-21 19:17:11 and read 27011 times.

Quoting CM (Reply 15):
The entire explanation in the thread you have posted is incorrect. See my explanations of standby power, the function of the APU, Batteries and RAT in the previous thread.
Quoting iahmark (Reply 18):
That's what i wanted to know, Ii seemed crazy to put all that burden on a APU!!

I just went looking for my previous posts and can't even figure out what thread they are in! I guess I shouldn't expect you to be able to find them. Man, this topic is out of control! Here is a thumbnail explanaiton:

For normal operations, the APU is started when the airplane is on the ground and is used to provide power for main engine start. For most every flight you will fly on, the APU is then shut off and will remain off for the rest of the flight. It's only other purpose is as a redundant power source (bleed and electric on most airplanes) for when the engine sources cannot supply the power.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: dfambro
Posted 2013-01-21 19:18:19 and read 26973 times.

Quoting tdscanuck, prior thread
Quoting dfambro (Reply 256):
WingedMigrator is correct, you can calculate confidence interval for a rate from a single event. You can calculate it for zero events.

Yes, you can calculate it, but you can't do anything with the information because the confidence interval is infinitely wide.

************************


If you're using the word "infinitely" in regard to the zero event case, it's true. I just brought it up as illustration to counter the claim that there is no rate information in a single event. Of course there is, and there is even rate information in the zero event case. I also stated the rate is unbounded on one side (=infinitely wide) in the zero event case. But that's the uninteresting case, as you know. The interesting case is what a single event tells you about rate, and that is not infinitely wide. And it will be actioned, if the time to first event is sufficiently rapid, because you can exclude with statistical confidence that the rate is very low.

What's intriguing to me is how you deal with the multiple-hypothesis testing problem when looking at isolated failures in a system as complex as a cutting-edge airliner.

Here, the first battery event occured a year into service and (so I read) greater than 1 million flight hours into the program, which does not exclude with statistical confidence that the failure rate is appropriately miniscule. And it wasn't actioned with a grounding, rather it was just targeted for investigation. And then a second battery event/fire occurred...

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: CM
Posted 2013-01-21 19:20:09 and read 26947 times.

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 21):
But as I wrote in reply #11, don't ask "people who have seen them". Ask the subcontractors about what specifications they had to fulfill when they designed and built them. And ask FAA for approval.

"People who have seen them" may see totally enclosed boxes. Still they may have fan driven cooling ventilation on the back side. Just one thing which.....

Protection from PECS coolant spray is a design requirement for all equipment / racks / boxes in the aft equipment bay.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: prebennorholm
Posted 2013-01-21 19:46:34 and read 27193 times.

Quoting CM (Reply 24):
Protection from PECS coolant spray is a design requirement for all equipment / racks / boxes in the aft equipment bay.

That seems to really rock the FAA wording "could damage" etc, which to me at least seems to be their major reason for grounding. If the boxes are totally PECS coolant spray resistant, then I doubt that any Li-Ion goof can do any damage either except exterior cosmetic damage.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: RickNRoll
Posted 2013-01-21 19:51:26 and read 27074 times.

They refer to the leakage as 'flammable'.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: bellancacf
Posted 2013-01-21 19:58:12 and read 27860 times.

Perhaps the following site and thread have been mentioned, but there's a drawing, some photos, and, as here, back and forth commentary:

http://www.pprune.org/tech-log/505695-787-batteries-chargers.html

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: 7BOEING7
Posted 2013-01-21 20:03:43 and read 27791 times.

Quoting dfambro (Reply 23):
Here, the first battery event occured a year into service and (so I read) greater than 1 million flight hours into the program, which does not exclude with statistical confidence that the failure rate is appropriately miniscule

Don'y know where you're getting the "1 million flight hours" from, including flight test it's probably closer to 55,000 at best.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: dfambro
Posted 2013-01-21 20:12:30 and read 27597 times.

Quoting 7BOEING7 (Reply 28):
Don'y know where you're getting the "1 million flight hours" from, including flight test it's probably closer to 55,000 at best.

Thought I saw that written somewhere, but yea, after a moment's thought it can't be nearly that many.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Aesma
Posted 2013-01-21 20:13:10 and read 27661 times.

Glycol/water cooling for the electronics, cool, I use that in my computers too. If it leaks it can cause shorts but shouldn't start a fire.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: WingedMigrator
Posted 2013-01-21 20:30:16 and read 27486 times.

Quoting dfambro (Reply 23):
there is even rate information in the zero event case.

   indeed there is, although this can be hard to grasp. If the 787 fleet had accumulated 0.13 million flight hours when the first battery event occurred, that was sufficient to bound the failure rate to somewhere between zero and X, where X depends on the chosen confidence level. Intuitively you can think of it this way: if you make it to 0.13 million hours with no failures, the hourly failure rate is extremely likely below 0.1 per hour (with a confidence of many nines). Pick any confidence level, say 95%, and you can compute the upper bound of the failure rate... with ZERO events. Well, actually 0.13 million successful 1-hour trails...

The first event changed the lower bound of the estimate to something non-zero. The second event narrowed the estimated failure rate, for the same given confidence level.

For a Poisson process you do not need two failures to establish an estimate of the failure rate. That being said, a Poisson process assumes the underlying failure rate is constant, which it may not be in this case.

[edit: fixed fleet hours - was erroneously quoted as 1.3 million, should be closer to 130,000]

[Edited 2013-01-21 21:15:51]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: smolt
Posted 2013-01-21 20:40:15 and read 27406 times.

I'm afraid this has already been told here, but a TV special program of ANA 787 I watched yesterday showed,

1. There was a hole of several centimeters under belly, and, from which, a mark of something brown (soot?) having
flowed backwards. (what is this hole for?)
2. After emergency landing, white mist is seen going downwards out of around nose gear onto the ground.

plus in the other news they told that the battery has lost its weight by 4.5kg out of 29kg.

smolt

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: RNAVFL350
Posted 2013-01-21 21:02:24 and read 27086 times.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 14):
However, it's rather important to note that the aft EE bay contains another significant 787 technology...the power electronics cooling system (PECS), which runs a mixture of glycol, water, and some additives through an extensive set of tubes, backplanes, and connectors within the aft EE bay. Since there's no chance that the FAA would have accepted a statement that "the PECS system will never leak", Boeing would have had to design the entire aft EE bay to handle chemicals flying around anyway.

That is a very interesting piece of information that should,but probably will not, silence many naysayers that seem to think Boeing somehow forget how to build certain fail-safes into their plane designs.

It is always fantastic to get factual information from people in the know. Thanks again Tom.

Paul

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: DocLightning
Posted 2013-01-21 21:02:45 and read 27045 times.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 14):
Since there's no chance that the FAA would have accepted a statement that "the PECS system will never leak", Boeing would have had to design the entire aft EE bay to handle chemicals flying around anyway.

But glycol and water may have very different properties than electrolyte. Is electrolyte caustic or alkaline? How reactive is it? Will it burn if it gets hot or if current passes through it? I do not know. I do know that most coolants are chosen to be minimally reactive.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: hOmsAR
Posted 2013-01-21 21:06:49 and read 27081 times.

Quoting WingedMigrator (Reply 31):
The 787 fleet had accumulated 1.3 million flight hours when the first battery event occurred

How could the 787 fleet have accumulated 1.3 million flight hours by now?

That's equivalent to over 100 planes flying 24 hours a day, nonstop, from service entry to today.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: RickNRoll
Posted 2013-01-21 21:13:36 and read 26913 times.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 34):
But glycol and water may have very different properties than electrolyte. Is electrolyte caustic or alkaline? How reactive is it? Will it burn if it gets hot or if current passes through it? I do not know. I do know that most coolants are chosen to be minimally reactive.

According to the FAA, they are concerned about flammable material coming from the batteries.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: WingedMigrator
Posted 2013-01-21 21:14:11 and read 26938 times.

Quoting hOmsAR (Reply 35):
How could the 787 fleet have accumulated 1.3 million flight hours by now?

Sorry, I read that somewhere and must have mis-remembered it. It obviously can't be that high... probably closer to 130,000.  

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: CM
Posted 2013-01-21 21:19:57 and read 26981 times.

Quoting 7BOEING7 (Reply 28):
Don'y know where you're getting the "1 million flight hours" from, including flight test it's probably closer to 55,000 at best.

I think it was Mike Sinnett who mentioned the battery had 1.3 million operational hours, between lab, flight test and commercial operations.



Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 25):
That seems to really rock the FAA wording "could damage" etc

Not really. There is always the forward equipment bay to consider, which has no PECS fluid and where the equipment does not carry the same requirements as the aft bay.

That being said, here are some personal thoughts on the FAA statement:

>> In my opinion, it is quite awkwardly worded, which is not helping us dissect the words with any success.

>> It talks about "conditions" and "results", but then seems to mix the two, which is unfortunate.

>> It talks about "results" such as "damage to critical systems and structure", but then adds on "fire" as a result.

Here is their statement:

Quote:
"The battery failures resulted in release of flammable electrolytes, heat damage, and smoke on two Model 787 airplanes. The root cause of these failures is currently under investigation. These conditions, if not corrected, could result in damage to critical systems and structures, and the potential for fire in the electrical compartment."

The statement talks about the failure mode, the conditions it may create, and the potential consequences:

Failure Mode:
>> Battery failure by thermal runaway

Conditions it may Create:
>> Heat
>> Release of flammable electrolytes
>> Smoke
>> Fire

Potential Consequences:
>>Damage to critical systems and structure

The FAA released the statement with very little time to work through the details, so I don't fault them too much for what seems to me to be a jumbled statement. The way I interpret their statement is this:

Quote:
"There have been battery failures on two separate Model 787 airplanes. The battery failures included the release of flammable electrolytes, heat, and smoke, and the potential of a fire in the electrical compartment. If not corrected, these conditions could result in damage to critical systems and structures."

According to the way I understand their statement, the concern is not electrolyte getting onto/into systems and damaging them. The concern is the potential of a fire. Fire is the only thing which could create the damage to critical systems and structure they mention. Obviously a panel or other component does not need to have openings, fans, vents, etc which let the electrolyte seep inside, in order for a fire to be a problem.

Let me underscore, this is a personal interpretation of what I see in the FAA statement. It may well be I am mistaken about the meaning of their statement.



Quoting smolt (Reply 32):
1. There was a hole of several centimeters under belly, and, from which, a mark of something brown (soot?) having flowed backwards. (what is this hole for?)

From the photo I saw, it is the equipment cooling smoke/override port. The dark streak was identified by the JTSB as material which seeped out of the battery.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: RickNRoll
Posted 2013-01-21 21:33:58 and read 26625 times.

Quoting CM (Reply 38):

I think that is pretty much how I understand it. Well written.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: 7BOEING7
Posted 2013-01-21 21:35:40 and read 26656 times.

Quoting smolt (Reply 32):
1. There was a hole of several centimeters under belly, and, from which, a mark of something brown (soot?) having flowed backwards. (what is this hole for?)

Probably one of the "body drains" which run along the bottom of the airplane.

Quoting WingedMigrator (Reply 37):
Sorry, I read that somewhere and must have mis-remembered it. It obviously can't be that high... probably closer to 130,000.
Quoting CM (Reply 38):
I think it was Mike Sinnett who mentioned the battery had 1.3 million operational hours, between lab, flight test and commercial operations.

The hours that count are the ones in the airplane and the number that was mentioned in a previous thread on this or another 787 topic was 50,000 which didn't count the almost 5,000 flight test hours.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: PHX787
Posted 2013-01-21 21:44:56 and read 26457 times.

Quoting smolt (Reply 32):
1. There was a hole of several centimeters under belly, and, from which, a mark of something brown (soot?) having
flowed backwards. (what is this hole for?)
Quoting CM (Reply 38):
From the photo I saw, it is the equipment cooling smoke/override port. The dark streak was identified by the JTSB as material which seeped out of the battery.
Quoting 7BOEING7 (Reply 40):
Probably one of the "body drains" which run along the bottom of the airplane.

Was that where all of that smoke came from in the earlier linked videos from TAK?

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: rcair1
Posted 2013-01-21 22:03:47 and read 26238 times.

Quoting 7BOEING7 (Reply 40):
Probably one of the "body drains" which run along the bottom of the airplane.

Which fits with my observation of a fluid on the ground below the a/c and the "smoke" actually being (maybe) condensation (like the peoples breath) from the warm fluid.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 41):
Was that where all of that smoke came from in the earlier linked videos from TAK?

When I look - it seems the "smoke" may be coming from the puddle on the ground. I've wished for a definitive statement regarding that - but have not seen it. Consider the temps in the area are near freezing, warm fluid on the ground could certainly 'steam'. You can certainly see the breath of passengers and crew in the video.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: boacvc10
Posted 2013-01-21 22:19:08 and read 26072 times.

Wait, what "valve actuator" ? Also, is the investigation taking a serious turn, or is the press fishing for a story?

Quote:
Investigators also are being sent to the U.K. to probe a valve actuator maker for the 787, the ministry said, without identifying the target company.
GS Yuasa Searched After Boeing 787s Are Grounded (Bloomberg)

[Edited 2013-01-21 22:19:28]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: seahawk
Posted 2013-01-21 22:38:40 and read 25813 times.

Thank you for many informative replies. I am sorry I got many facts wrong (like believing there are other battery packs in the rack). Looking into the presented facts about the incident, I now believe that the second incident is the one that forced the FAA to act, as the flammable liquid escaped the battery pack, while the 2 failures of the batteries could be seen as an idication that the failure rates might be above the expected range.

Thei first incident should have only pointed to some minor modifications like having some heat shields in the venting area or such things.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: rwessel
Posted 2013-01-21 22:55:59 and read 25593 times.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 34):
But glycol and water may have very different properties than electrolyte. Is electrolyte caustic or alkaline? How reactive is it? Will it burn if it gets hot or if current passes through it? I do not know. I do know that most coolants are chosen to be minimally reactive.

The point is that everything is fairly well shielded against a spray of (conductive!) coolant (of drastically lower viscosity) anyway. A bit of corrosive electrolyte paste leaving a chemical burn on the outside of a cabinet is not going to be a big issue - everything is covered.

Obviously the electrolyte *is* different than the coolant, and those special attributes (like flammability and corrosiveness) are clearly in need of attention not required of a glycol-based coolant.

BTW, most glycols are at least moderately flammable, although when used as coolants, they are usually mixed with water, which considerably reduces that.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: BoeingVista
Posted 2013-01-21 23:07:00 and read 25517 times.

Quoting CM (Reply 38):
Not really. There is always the forward equipment bay to consider, which has no PECS fluid and where the equipment does not carry the same requirements as the aft bay.

That being said, here are some personal thoughts on the FAA statement:

>> In my opinion, it is quite awkwardly worded, which is not helping us dissect the words with any success.

>> It talks about "conditions" and "results", but then seems to mix the two, which is unfortunate.

>> It talks about "results" such as "damage to critical systems and structure", but then adds on "fire" as a result.

Here is their statement:

I actually find it a bit concerning that you take it upon yourself to reinterpret the words of the NTSB, its a bit patronising don't you think? You talk as if the statement was written by idiots who have no clue as to what they are saying.

On one hand you say that the NTSB are the only agency authorised to issue statements then on the other you as a Boeing employee denigrate the statements that the NTSB make and interpret them in a way favourable to your employer.

Does this not bother anybody else?

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: yeelep
Posted 2013-01-21 23:21:02 and read 25322 times.

Quoting boacvc10 (Reply 43):
Wait, what "valve actuator" ? Also, is the investigation taking a serious turn, or is the press fishing for a story?

Could be in connection with the inadvertent fuel dumping.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: flood
Posted 2013-01-22 00:27:34 and read 24637 times.

Quoting bellancacf (Reply 27):
Perhaps the following site and thread have been mentioned, but there's a drawing, some photos, and, as here, back and forth commentary:

Thanks for the link. I had previously only seen a photo of the damaged battery when it had already been removed... there's another photo of it still installed on page 3 of the thread.

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 46):
On one hand you say that the NTSB are the only agency authorised to issue statements then on the other you as a Boeing employee denigrate the statements that the NTSB make and interpret them in a way favourable to your employer.

I find it a bit puzzling myself, to be honest... regardless of whether or not such comments are prefaced with "personal thoughts" or "opinion".

Quoting boacvc10 (Reply 43):
Wait, what "valve actuator" ? Also, is the investigation taking a serious turn, or is the press fishing for a story?

As yeelap mentioned, it's related to the fuel spill. Battery investigation aside, there's still the review process going on.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: AeroWesty
Posted 2013-01-22 00:35:50 and read 24567 times.

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 46):
On one hand you say that the NTSB are the only agency authorised to issue statements then on the other you as a Boeing employee denigrate the statements that the NTSB make and interpret them in a way favourable to your employer.

Does this not bother anybody else?

The 787 emergency airworthiness directive was issued by the FAA, not the NTSB, and is in the public domain.

CM's personal interpretation of the AD, while not speaking on the behalf of any other party, doesn't bother me at all. This is an international forum, where the definition of technical terms may not have always translated well, as we've seen in some of the earlier posts. A bit of clarity was in order at this point in time, and there are few here as well educated/informed as CM regarding the subject matter to put the semantics issues to rest so we could move on.

In his post, I see no attempt to circumvent the NTSB's rules regarding the release of non-public information.

If you have a different personal interpretation of the FAA's AD, I doubt if anyone would oppose your posting it here as well.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: packsonflight
Posted 2013-01-22 00:58:08 and read 24275 times.

Quoting CM (Reply 38):
>> In my opinion, it is quite awkwardly worded, which is not helping us dissect the words with any success.

I dont see any grounds for you frustration with the FAA statement, but that appears to be in line with the story cooked up in Boeing media room, so possibly it is your job.....

Quoting CM (Reply 38):
Potential Consequences:
>>Damage to critical systems and structure

I miss one thing from your personal thoughts on the FAA statement and I think that you should read it again.
It says that there where actual heat damages in the compartment but not potential damages, and further more that the damages "could result in damage to critical systems and structures"

I dont see the problem here....

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: smolt
Posted 2013-01-22 01:32:58 and read 23989 times.

A news says that the battery is sent to JAXA in Tokyo (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) for inspection using CT scanning to aquire mulitple layers image.
Then will be sent to GS Yuasa in Kyoto, to get its engineer's interview.

I am impressed that people tend to pay much more attention ONLY to the battery itself, than WHAT made the battery malfunction. I am very interested in if charging system worked fine. Any successful battery can not put up with excessive overcharging. I wonder if flight data recorder or something will tell us how much voltage and current had been applied to the battery? If something does, how long will it take?

Also just interesting is if the battery is pressured and air conditioned? If not, can the lithium put up with so frequently
pressure and temperature going ups and downs inside commercial aircraft?

smolt

[Edited 2013-01-22 02:10:33]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: rheinwaldner
Posted 2013-01-22 01:44:28 and read 23961 times.

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 2):
Still no. That document specifically says the balance capability is for nicad and nimh. It does not do Lithium because it's not that simple.

Sorry, this time your are wrong. On the bottom of page 40 you e.g. find the display, where a lipo battery is charged using the balancer socket. The balancer has even primarily been introduced for the lipos. For the rest, there is not that much benefit from a balancer.

Maybe a better market overview about balancing lipo chargers you get from here:
http://www.google.com/#q=lipo+charge...p=fe2613289fff8d5f&biw=995&bih=414

It is a mass market, and it really is not rocket science. Very cheap and stupid devices sport a balancer feature.

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 2):
You have to have an intelligent device that can look at the voltage/current/time charging curve to decide if the cell is losing capacity, leaking or ready to run away.

Using the balancer, the charger can detect if the voltage over any cell raises beyond safe levels, which gives a very reliable feedback about an overcharging condition. Of course the voltage needs to be measured very precisely (4.2V is ok, 4.2V + 1% is dangerous). In case a cell reaches that max voltage, the charger would start to lead the current "around" instead of "into" that cell to avoid further charging. The result is, that the charger starts to charge all cells, and because not all cells reach the full capacity at the same time, one cell after another is "switched off"...

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: FlyingAY
Posted 2013-01-22 01:45:49 and read 23870 times.

Quoting smolt (Reply 51):
I wonder if flight data recorder or something will tell us how much voltage and current had been applied to the battery?

And how can we know that the measurement is correct? I know of cases where LiPo batteries have burned down because the voltage measurement in the charger was not correct... Obviously if there are multiple measurements done by different kinds of devices and these measurements agree, that should give an answer for this.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: JoeCanuck
Posted 2013-01-22 01:51:07 and read 23862 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 5):
And we are fortunate that we have members who understand these exact technicalities in this specific field and have tried very hard to provide specific definitions so that these incidents can be correctly and accurately discussed.

Ditto that.

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 46):
Does this not bother anybody else?

Not me. At this point, the NTSB is reporting observations, not conclusions. For instance, they don't say how extensive any damage was, what exactly were the damages and to what degree were those things damaged. To that extent, they leave themselves open to interpretation.

I don't see CM's post as denigrating anybody...he says the NTSB could be clearer and/or more informative, which would certainly be nice.

Quoting packsonflight (Reply 50):
I dont see any grounds for you frustration with the FAA statement, but that appears to be in line with the story cooked up in Boeing media room, so possibly it is your job.....

Why the cheap shot? So far, I've considered CM's interpretations logical and even handed. If you disagree with his analysis, say so...no need for insults.

Quoting packsonflight (Reply 50):

I miss one thing from your personal thoughts on the FAA statement and I think that you should read it again.
It says that there where actual heat damages in the compartment but not potential damages, and further more that the damages "could result in damage to critical systems and structures"

The statement says heat was released, not that there was heat damage. It doesn't say the damages 'could result in damage to critical systems and structures, read the quote again'

Quoting CM (Reply 38):
"There have been battery failures on two separate Model 787 airplanes. The battery failures included the release of flammable electrolytes, heat, and smoke, and the potential of a fire in the electrical compartment. If not corrected, these conditions could result in damage to critical systems and structures."

Let me try break it down; It says "If not corrected", (the batteries catching fire), "these conditions", (the release of flammable electrolytes, heat, and smoke), 'could', (which means they have the potential to, without giving any probability of it happening), "result in damage to critical systems and structures", (and not that they did in either case this time).

So you interpreted the statement one way, CM another, and I another yet...just like everybody in this thread has been doing.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: KC135Hydraulics
Posted 2013-01-22 02:07:10 and read 23753 times.

I have a picture of the KC-135 battery arrangement coming soon for those of you unfamiliar with it. It will make you cringe. The "containment" is the..... Well I'll let the picture do the talking!

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Tristarsteve
Posted 2013-01-22 03:35:35 and read 22756 times.

Quoting yeelep (Reply 47):
Quoting boacvc10 (Reply 43):
Wait, what "valve actuator" ? Also, is the investigation taking a serious turn, or is the press fishing for a story?

Could be in connection with the inadvertent fuel dumping.

Yes. There was a statement about this in the Sunday English papers, but can't find it.
The fuel valve that spilled fuel had an actuator made in the UK.

Quoting smolt (Reply 32):
1. There was a hole of several centimeters under belly, and, from which, a mark of something brown (soot?) having
flowed backwards. (what is this hole for?)

This the equipment cooling airflow exit. It is normally closed in flight, but is opened by the crew when they have a warning about equipment cooling. Either low flow or smoke will mean that this valve gets opened in flight as well. It is normally open at the gate with the engines off.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: liquidair
Posted 2013-01-22 03:49:13 and read 22529 times.

This discussion of containment, not containment- risk, not risk.... Seems irrelevant to me.

I'm no engineer, pilot or expert- buy I do know that I wouldn't get on a plane where things catch fire.

The fact of the matter is that accidents happen when an unforseen set of events come together to create an incredibly improbable outcome.

And whichever way you look at it, pissing out liquid stuff all over the EE bay is not good design- it's a failure.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: AlfaBlue
Posted 2013-01-22 05:32:29 and read 21266 times.

"Ladies and gentlemen this is your captain speaking - Sorry to interrupt your lunch but we have some indications that we might have a battery fire on board. At present we are about 3 h away from a place where we can safely land but if the confinement works we shall be lucky and continue to our destination. If not I hope we don't loose too many vital systems before we are able to pull another USAirways-Hudson river stunt. You will be pleased to hear that this state of the art and recently certified airliner has a much better watering capability than previous generation aircraft due to its carbon structure..."

It puzzles me as to how much ignorance I can read out of some of the posts and how much frustration some readers must feel who have a correct understanding about aviation safety. I could write a book long post now but will try to keep it as short as possible and just discuss some aspects of recent events. On-board fires, containment and operational consequences.

There are systems installed on aircraft which are a last chance type of thing to prevent the loss of lives in a worst case scenario. Those system are not to be used in normal operation (nacelle reinforcement, fuel dumping systems, alternate flight control laws, stick-shakers and the list goes on).

Fire is among the most dangerous if not the most dangerous condition on an aircraft. It has killed many people and caused numerous hull losses (Swissair MD11, Air Canada DC9, British Airtours B737, Saudi L1011, ValueJet DC9, Concorde,... And this list can easily be expanded). On ETOPS flights I have to be able to suppress a cargo fire during the lengths of the ETOPS part). In the cabin I have many tools to fight fires from self protection (smoke hood) to extinguishing (fire extinguishers) plus repetitive crew training and examination on the subject. Each engine and APU which both by default have a hot section has to have two powerful extinguishers to kill any fire and some people try to argue now on this forum that a containment is enough and proven to be safe? This batteries catch fire for unknown reasons at unknown intervals and me as a pilot, I have no means to put it out but let it just burn out and hope it does not damage anything vital while it burns for one hour! Do some of you posters here know what you are suggesting I have to ask myself?

A good example of containment and certification and unpredictability are engine nacelles as previous mentioned in a very well written post. We have two uncontained engine failures which claim lives (A DC9 engine failure where parts of the exploding engine travel trough the fuselage and kill people and the famous UA DC10 accident where parts of the failing engine kill hydraulics and make the plane difficult to handle). Regulations change and demand that nacelles have to contain those catastrophic events and it becomes part of the certification process including tests where engines are purposely destroyed to prove the containment works. A new aircraft gets certified and what a surprise - the very first time this new engine explodes in normal operation debris leaves the containment and destroys vital systems and leads to a grounding, checks, rework and modifications (A380 and RR for the ones who didn't get it yet). The Qantas incident was never supposed to happen and yet it did but only few criticized the failure of the nacelle (which should have contained the debris of an exploding engine).

Reading some of the posts defending the container as a prove of safety is just beyond missing or understanding what safety means. For some armchair CEO, safety experts and wanna be pilots I can promise you that a fire outside the engine hot section is a non acceptable risk no matter what underlying statistic tools you use for its likelihood or its containment. So for Boeing to offer an all electric jet it used the lightest technologies available and now it turns out it was a mistake. That battery technology has exploded in laptops, cars and in its aviation adaptation it caused a burned down building (promoting special conditions for its use) and two incidents plus the change of named technology in favor of more proven older technology (Cessna). The E&E compartments are no hot sections - the airflow design (that smoke goes overboard) is an additional safety feature if it burns but does not make fires there an acceptable condition. No airline, authority or pilot union will accept to fly that design (just let the failing batteries burn out inside its so safe containment box).

So now operationally that means anytime one of those batteries catches fire (real or suspected) I make an emergency landing and evacuate. That's exactly what would happen (suspecting an inextinguishable fire). When Qatar has all its Dreamliner's it can try to accommodate 200 passenger somewhere on the Maldives every ten days and send a cleaning crew to clean up the E&E compartment from spilled electrolytes and just change the burned out battery and all deployed emergency slides. I think some of you on this forum think that with a burning battery in a container I just roll to the gate, disembark normally and dispatch again one hour after an emergency landing caused by an on-board fire.

Boeing wanted to go all electric and did so with a technology that is very difficult to handle, prompting special conditions for its use and after the first incident a review was ordered which became a grounding after the second incident. IMHO this technology should have not been approved for airline operation and contrary to what many seem to believe here the JAL Boston incident would have warranted a grounding already. This aircraft has a deeply flawed electrical system and the recent incidents just made that very clear to very many people. Only very naive people will think that there is an easy fix and that the 787 will do long ocean crossings again in a few days.

Sorry it got a book sized post now anyways - just had to write it off my mind. I am flying commercial airliners (MD83, A320 family) for 15 years and eight of those as PIC. Some of the posts on this topic seem to try to downplay this as a no-event but I have the feeling that it will turn out as the exact opposites - the bets are on I would say.

Thanx for reading this post and I assure you that some of you will land on my respected users list while other won't. As a pilot and aviation enthusiast I will avoid flying the Dreamliner if the aircraft is cleared to fly with a simple software fix (as some believe or hope for) as I don't want to be on-board an aircraft where a fire is seen as a controllable, manageable and safe condition (honestly I couldn't care less if the containment worked so far - who tells me it will do the same job next time a battery lights up). This whole discussion about whether the grounding was justified or if the aircraft is safe really irritates me. Burning batteries, emergencies, a design review followed by a grounding and some still think this has nothing whatsoever to do with safety?

AlfaBlue

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Kaiarahi
Posted 2013-01-22 05:33:57 and read 21207 times.

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 46):
On one hand you say that the NTSB are the only agency authorised to issue statements then on the other you as a Boeing employee denigrate the statements that the NTSB make and interpret them in a way favourable to your employer.

Obviously you don't read anything carefully - the statement was issued by the FAA, not the NTSB. Your remarks are not only derogatory, they're irrelevant.

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 46):
Does this not bother anybody else?

No. Feel free to put forward your own interpretation - but make sure you use the relevant technical definitions in the FARs, not your own or Wiki's.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-01-22 05:50:27 and read 20922 times.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 58):

   well said

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-22 05:59:04 and read 20765 times.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 58):
No airline, authority or pilot union will accept to fly that design (just let the failing batteries burn out inside its so safe containment box).

. . . and yet, that's exactly how the aircraft was certified. Are you suggesting it should not have been certified with Lithium ion batteries aboard? Certainly, few people believed that during the certification process.

The issue today is the frequency of battery failures, not that they happen. Battery failures were anticipated and designed for.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: liquidair
Posted 2013-01-22 06:02:19 and read 20677 times.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 58):

seconded!

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: AlfaBlue
Posted 2013-01-22 06:21:21 and read 20368 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 61):

And now those same people (who conveniently provided all the data that this technology is safe to the certifying body) have to deal with the fact that its not as safe as thought. After all the "certified" jet isn't flying at the moment is it?

I think either my understanding of English is really bad or I lack the common sense as others apparently do. The container is not the problem. That's just another layer of safety but the batteries are not supposed to light up in the first place. It's like the engine nacelle. The engine is not supposed to fail in a fashion that parts fly around but in the event it happens it should be contained. It's like saying we built lighter engines which explode more often but it does not matter cause we built a container around....

Do you get the concept that in modern aviation I don't want things on board over the ocean that light up for an unknown reason and right next to all vital systems and I have no tools to prevent that or mitigate the effects except praying that the engineers didn't built in a design flaw into the container (as we saw with RR and the A380). The container is a special provision but as far as I read the battery certification condition, it's not supposed to burn in the first place. The container is not relevant here - it's the fact that you have a fire on board you can not control - contained or not - it does not matter!

The difference the container made is that we see now images of a 787 with slides deployed instead of video footage out of o helicopter of an ANA tail fin off the west cost of Japan.

AlfaBlue

[Edited 2013-01-22 06:27:00]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-22 06:29:26 and read 20215 times.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 63):
That's just another layer of safety but the batteries are not supposed to light up in the first place.

That's incorrect. Lithium ion batteries, like all batteries, fail from time to time. Lithium ion batteries fail in a more spectacular way than other batteries. If you have a way to ensure no thermal runaway ever, I'd sure like to hear it. Of course, if you had such a method, you'd be so busy and so rich that you would not be posting here.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 63):
Do you get the concept that in modern aviation I don't want things on board over the ocean that light up for an unknown reason and right next to all vital systems and I have no tools to prevent that or mitigate the effects except praying that the engineers didn't built in a design flaw into the container (as we saw with RR and the A380).

Then don't fly any aircraft with lithium ion batteries on board. Thermal runaway can--and does--happen.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: AlfaBlue
Posted 2013-01-22 06:39:40 and read 19981 times.

I think we have safer battery tech available and saving some weight and improving economics is no acceptable reason to endanger lives. In that case I would take back the special provisions and Airbus has to find another power source for their emergency lightning system, redesign the A350 and Boeing does the same for their Dreamliner.

Yes - based on recent evidence I would suggest that the certifying bodies DO NOT allow the use of lithium batteries in commercial aircraft. Regulations can be changed - sorry for Boeing if they built their product around that technology - still does not want to make me fly one neither as driver nor as pax... This technology is too dangerous and I would love to see how many pilots agree with me!

AlfaBlue

[Edited 2013-01-22 06:40:54]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2013-01-22 06:40:19 and read 20007 times.

I'm glad we're having this debate. A hundred years ago the average life span in the US was only 47 years...

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 54):
Quoting Stitch (Reply 5):
And we are fortunate that we have members who understand these exact technicalities in this specific field and have tried very hard to provide specific definitions so that these incidents can be correctly and accurately discussed.

Ditto that.

I further add that. I am an expert in flight test, fluid analysis, and a few other things; but not batteries, so I appreciate the education and patience of our members who do know more.

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 11):
About heat: Those batteries went to full destruction on their known thermal runaway failure mode. We have no evidence telling that any other equipment suffered any heat damage. Therefore the heat can be assumed to be contained in these incidents.

   They will engineer in labs. If it was the worst case scenario (probably not, that would be the peak day temperature), then it has proven itself.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 12):
I have heard an unconfirmed report that some 787s recently received a software update that changed the power system battery charging algorithm(s) and controls

I wouldn't be surprised. The question is how much did it reduce the chance of a runaway battery?

Quoting WingedMigrator (Reply 37):
Sorry, I read that somewhere and must have mis-remembered it. It obviously can't be that high... probably closer to 130,000.  

I speculate the 787s are being used at a low daily utilization rate, probably down at 13 hours/day.

50 planes * 13 hours/(day per plane)*365 days/year=237,250 hours/year. Considering how recent many of the deliveries have been, I would think 130,000 hours would be a reasonable number.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 58):
Some of the posts on this topic seem to try to downplay this as a no-event

It isn't a non-event, but it is an event that can be engineered to a far lower level of probability. For example, gasoline is an extremely dangerous substance. Many cars in the past would just catch fire due to defects. But we haven't gotten rid of gasoline in our cars, we instead made them more leak proof and put a pad in the gas tank so that there is far less risk of detonation in a crash. These batteries have containment that has done its job not only in the lab but in the real world. Now to re-engineer so there is less chance of a run away battery.

But it wasn't just the batteries on the 787. The two aircraft had fuel system issues that created spills. That must be corrected to.

I personally think the idea of individual cell monitoring must be considered (voltage per cell?). But I am not a battery expert and I will let them make the suggestions.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 58):
This aircraft has a deeply flawed electrical system and the recent incidents just made that very clear to very many people. Only very naive people will think that there is an easy fix and that the 787 will do long ocean crossings again in a few days.

Were hydraulic systems deeply flawed after the DC-10?    This isn't a simple solution, but all military aircraft are heading to electrical aircraft as they are *safer* in the long run. Skydrol is a nasty chemical. The joke is there will always be a career for safety engineers as long as there is Skydrol (hydraulic fluid) in aircraft. It is taking some debugging. All high energy subsystems need to be treated with respect. The issue for electrical systems is for an aircraft of this size, there was no predecessor. But most of the electrical system is working as intended.

Here is the neat thing. A hydraulic aircraft that has a stability issue is stuck with it (e.g., the challenge of the 727). All fly by wire aircraft are 'retuned' about every 3 to 5 years and the 787 will be far more tunable than the 777 or A320/A330. That means constant safety and efficiency improvements throughout the first 20 years of the aircraft service (after then, there are few, if any, changes).

A decade from now a 787 will be a safer aircraft than the 767 or A330 to fly on. Those will still be fine aircraft, but they simply do not have the computers no electrical systems to be refined to the degree the 787 will be.

The batteries will have to be addressed. With Lithium batteries, a simple change in the charging voltage profile can reduce the risk of a battery fire by a ten thousand (or more).

Think of this like composite fan blades. They were pulled out of the 757 due to safety issues but are now standard with millions of flight hours upon them. Some technology needs to be refined. Luckily, batteries are an easy technology to fix as why they fail are known. e.g., one cell over-charges and 'runs away' which can be diagnosed by voltage across that one cell. While that might not be the end answer, there is more than one way to dramatically reduce the risk without a battery change.

Now I'm of the opinion the batteries will have to be changed as a PR move... I would rather they aren't as the Lithium batteries are an excellent technical solution.

As to living with fire... Ummm... LROPS contains a cargo fire. As long as the probability of the fire decreases to a value low enough, that is ok. You do realize the requirement is so strict that the most dangerous part of your flight is as a pedestrian getting to and from the flight?

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 61):
The issue today is the frequency of battery failures, not that they happen. Battery failures were anticipated and designed for.

And that sums it up... Get the frequency down and then the plane will fly again.


Lightsaber

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: liquidair
Posted 2013-01-22 06:43:28 and read 19912 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 64):

How many mass produced passenger jets are there with lith-ion batteries? Which were designed to have failing thermal runaway fires?

Forest, trees anyone?

It's not a question of designing in the containment- there shouldn't be this issue in the first place. As I said before, fires are just a no no in aviation- things can go wrong and end up outside of the parameters envisioned...And that's when we get deaths.

It's a gung ho attitude to say it's ok... An attitude that sooner or later will be defined and smeared with the blood of civilians.

RR had to fix their problems with the engines on the A380- Boeing must accept they have a problem and fix it- and it may be the core technology that needs to go.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: tarheelwings
Posted 2013-01-22 06:43:38 and read 19917 times.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 58):
Thanx for reading this post and I assure you that some of you will land on my respected users list while other won't. As a pilot and aviation enthusiast I will avoid flying the Dreamliner if the aircraft is cleared to fly with a simple software fix (as some believe or hope for) as I don't want to be on-board an aircraft where a fire is seen as a controllable, manageable and safe condition (honestly I couldn't care less if the containment worked so far - who tells me it will do the same job next time a battery lights up). This whole discussion about whether the grounding was justified or if the aircraft is safe really irritates me. Burning batteries, emergencies, a design review followed by a grounding and some still think this has nothing whatsoever to do with safety?

Interesting post, thanks.

I for one can weigh your input against that of a.netters who participated in the certification/flight testing of the Dreamliner.....members who have unequivocally stated that they will have no issue with flying on it once it is cleared to fly again.........members who in my opinion have established some pretty solid credibility.

Based on their input, I'll have no issue flying on the 787 when it is cleared.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-22 06:48:03 and read 19810 times.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 68):
It's not a question of designing in the containment- there shouldn't be this issue in the first place.

You are suggesting that the 787 should never have been certified.

Where were you (and those with that viewpoint) during the certification process? Where have you been during the 350 certification process? Why aren't you calling for the 380 to be grounded? If you oppose any use of lithium ion batteries, all of those questions need to be asked.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: rheinwaldner
Posted 2013-01-22 06:50:46 and read 19757 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 64):
Thermal runaway can--and does--happen.

Why? I bet you can't tell a single reason why it can happen.

The condition for it to happen are known and it is possible to build the system that it can't happen. The 787 was required to treat the lipos in a way that it doesn't happen. And still it did happen onboard the 787 far too frequent.

So the the design has a flaw and fails to live up to the certified standards.

What went wrong? A valid question IMO. So people like AlfaBlue are at a very safe position and those who downplay the grounding are coming more and more across as fools who are blinded by fanboyism. I fear the grounding as wake up call was not yet loud enough for many commentors here. And the final conclusion will be very dissapointing to them.

You know, we often remember SR111. But do you know that 3 of 4 lost Swissair jets in their whole history have been lost due to onboard fire?

The idea that the 787 has an onboard fireplace, where you could have safely a barbecue party inflight, is almost absurd.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: liquidair
Posted 2013-01-22 06:52:01 and read 19730 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 70):

your questions are valid- and I would cautiously respond by saying that the certification process isn't flawless.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-22 06:52:40 and read 19717 times.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 71):
The condition for it to happen are known and it is possible to build the system that it can't happen.

How?

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 71):
So people like AlfaBlue are at a very safe position and those who downplay the grounding are coming more and more across as fools who are blinded by fanboyism

Is anyone still downplaying the grounding? I'm not sure anyone who has commented in this part of the thread has.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: PlaneInsomniac
Posted 2013-01-22 06:52:50 and read 19749 times.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 58):
"Ladies and gentlemen this is your captain speaking - Sorry to interrupt your lunch but we have some indications that we might have a battery fire on board.

  

Wow, thank you so very much.

Some much needed perspective on a very serious topic!

The amount of word mincing, pseudo-legal babble, and over- and re-interpretation of published information for the sole purpose of downplaying the problem in this forum has reached unimaginable proportions. It will not stop the (increasingly condescending) posts by the self-proclaimed "experts", but I for one am glad somebody took the time to formulate what needed to be said!

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-22 07:01:57 and read 19596 times.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 72):
I would cautiously respond by saying that the certification process isn't flawless.

I agree, and it's important to remember that the use of lithium ion batteries in the 380 emergency lighting system is quite a bit different from what is done in the 787 or, as I understand it, what is planned for the 350. My understanding of the 350 electrical architecture isn't so good, so I'd love for someone more in the know on that to correct me if I am wrong on my discussion of the 350, but I believe the plan is for 4 lithium ion batteries with 4 different functions, including backup power and APU start functions similar to how the batteries are used in the 787.

The fact that Boeing and Airbus independently went in the lithium ion direction for similar functions tells us, I think, that we really need to figure out a way to make the risk of thermal runaway and the risk associated with thermal runaway when it does happen suitably low that lithium batteries can be used in the applications for which Boeing and Airbus want to use it in the 787 and 350.

As pointed out above, the design condition is not "no thermal runaway." It is twofold:

1) Sufficiently low risk of thermal runaway
2) Sufficient design (including location, containment, venting, etc.) that when thermal runaway happens, it does not pose a risk to safety of flight. Obviously, the higher the risk of thermal runaway, the more design elements are necessary.

A lot of folks who are coming at this from the pilot side rather than the design side forget that components fail, and engineers plan for them to fail. If the frequency and the effects of those failures are managed, failure is okay.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: rcair1
Posted 2013-01-22 07:07:02 and read 19493 times.

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 46):
I actually find it a bit concerning that you take it upon yourself to reinterpret the words of the NTSB, its a bit patronising don't you think?

You are also interpreting the comments by the FAA (not NTSB) as are most of the people here- me included. A useful response might be to provide a different interpretation, not to patronize members who are struggling with trying to inform and educate.

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 46):
On one hand you say that the NTSB are the only agency authorised to issue statements then on the other you as a Boeing employee denigrate the statements that the NTSB make and interpret them in a way favourable to your employer.

Using your standard - we would make sure that no experts - me included - would comments. I, for one, am thankful that we have responsible members from Boeing and Airbus who will contribute their knowledge and expertise.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 58):
This batteries catch fire for unknown reasons at unknown intervals and me as a pilot, I have no means to put it out but let it just burn out and hope it does not damage anything vital while it burns for one hour!

I understand your point - but I have to take a bit of an issue with some of your wording. On one hand, "hope" implies it is a chance event - it implies that you are relying on that 'chance' - that you are in an uncharted territory that is not anticipated or designed for. "I hope I win the lottery." In the case you are discussing it is more a matter of trust. I 'trust' that the people who designed this system did it right.

As a passenger on one of your aircraft - I don't "hope" you know what you are doing, I "trust" that you know what you are doing.

In fact, the aircraft you fly are FULL of systems you must "trust" in normal operations and in an emergency - and you get on them every day. To be clear, you also trust in the certification the FAA or other regulatory agencies apply

The point of the FAA grounding and investigation is designed to determine if that "trust" is warranted in this case. There are enough concerns that the FAA decided to check again.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 58):
Regulations change and demand that nacelles have to contain those catastrophic events and it becomes part of the certification process including tests where engines are purposely destroyed to prove the containment works.

This is not true. No one expects or 'trusts' that the nacelles on jet a/c will contain a fan disk failure or failure of a major rotating component. They should contain a blade off or similar event. The method used to 'contain' a fan or turbine disk is to assure they are designed to not fail and inspect/maintain them. In UA232 - the NTSB concluded that the crack in the fan disk should have been detected.

There were no design changes to the DC-10 or any other a/c nacelles due to UA232 or the A380 Nancy Bird events. In the DC-10 hydraulic fuses (valves) were added to prevent leakage of all hydraulic fluid. There were no design changes in the A380 at all that I'm aware of - there was a change and inspection to the engine manufacturing process. (Perhaps Airbus made some changes in the s/w or systems - but they were not mandated.)

BTW - the A380 was not grounded after the Nancy Bird event - Qantas did ground theirs, but the fleet was not grounded. The A380 was grounded after the wing cracks were found because EASA did not 'trust' that the systems were robust enough to handle the cracking and wanted verification.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 58):
I think some of you on this forum think that with a burning battery in a container I just roll to the gate, disembark normally and dispatch again one hour after an emergency landing caused by an on-board fire

I've seen nobody (credible) claim that. In fact, the people you seem to be denigrating have said just the opposite. They say the emergency landing and evacuation of the ANA 787 was appropriate and warranted.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 58):
but I have the feeling that it will turn out as the exact opposites - the bets are on I would say.

Which is why, as engineers, we don't design things based upon 'feelings'. We design them based on facts. Of course - 'feelings' based upon experience will guide our actions - but those actions will generate data. When I was in charge of quality control in the development lab and I saw occasional, unanticipated failures, sometimes I would have a 'feeling' that something was there. That informed my actions to devise and execute further tests to determine if I had a failure.
Other times I'd have the feeling that I had found the problem - or that it was an event that happened due to early production/prototype. But guess what - that feeling still drove actions - to verify the issue.
To be clear - I was designing consumer electronics (digital camera and scanners) so most of the issues I looked at were not life threatening (though there were aspects that were).

Sometimes the "feeling" is strong enough that you will go to the mat to find the issue. Rarely is 'feeling' that you've fixed it enough - you need data.

In both the space shuttle failures, many engineers had feelings that something was wrong. Unfortunately, they did not have the data to back it up and had no mechanism to gather that data. The data that existed and that shuttle managers relied on was not valid data - it was operational bias (we've gotten away with it every other time - so we will be okay). In fact, those "feelings" the engineers had were right. Challenger should not have launched at that temperature. Columbia should have been inspected (inspection by ground based optics was ordered, then canceled). To be clear - we don't know if they could have gotten Columbia down with the holes in the wings. There is some thought that they could have modified the entry profile to protect the left wing - but we are not sure.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-22 07:28:08 and read 19407 times.

Quoting smolt (Reply 51):
I am impressed that people tend to pay much more attention ONLY to the battery itself, than WHAT made the battery malfunction. I am very interested in if charging system worked fine.

They're focusing on the batteries because the 787 had over 100,000 hours of in-service flight and thousands of hours of test flights with no reports of the batteries catching fire or leaking electrolyte. If the charging system was flawed from the start, statistically we should have seen more incidents.

It may be that the charging system was recently changed (via a software update) and that change may be a cause or the root cause of these problems. So I would expect that if the charging system has been changed since EIS, it will be investigated, as well.



Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 58):
A good example of containment and certification and unpredictability are engine nacelles as previous mentioned in a very well written post. We have two uncontained engine failures which claim lives (A DC9 engine failure where parts of the exploding engine travel trough the fuselage and kill people and the famous UA DC10 accident where parts of the failing engine kill hydraulics and make the plane difficult to handle). Regulations change and demand that nacelles have to contain those catastrophic events and it becomes part of the certification process including tests where engines are purposely destroyed to prove the containment works.

And then a Trent 900 suffered an uncontained failure (QF32) and severely damaged the wing. Some even claim that if this level of damage had happened on a "less-robust" wing, it might have failed, resulting in the loss of the airframe.

The alarmist in me would say "The A380 is unsafe! It must be grounded! I'll never fly on one again!"

The cynic in me would say "maybe the third time is the charm" and they'll get it right, now.

The realist in me understands that nobody is perfect and therefore neither can anything be that is designed by people. But as James T. Kirk noted - "We learn by doing" and just as nacelle and engine safety were improved after the DC-9 incident, and then again after UA232, so they will be improved yet again after QF32. And chances are we'll have another uncontained engine failure (hopefully with no injuries and fatalities) and we'll make them even safer once we understand why that happened. In the meantime, I keep flying the A380.

[Edited 2013-01-22 07:43:15]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: PHX787
Posted 2013-01-22 07:43:01 and read 19028 times.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/n...vestigate-boeing-787-battery-maker

The transport ministry is launching an investigation now. This may keep dreamliners grounded for months.

Quoting smolt (Reply 51):

Thanks for the update

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: AlfaBlue
Posted 2013-01-22 07:49:22 and read 18947 times.

Why did the Boeing management flip upon the news of the grounding? Because they know about the flaws and the flawed elec. system and now the whole world knows and vividly discusses it too. So in the next boardroom meeting they will be discussing following two options. Quick fix or re-design?

The quick fix (if allowed by authorities) bears the risk that if any other problem with the electric system or batteries occurs the credibility of Boeing and the FAA are trashed. The plane will be grounded a second time pure to public pressure and the FAA has to finally mandate a design change while still defending why they didn't during the first grounding. This would probably kill Boeing.

The re-design would be the safer bet in the sense that people will get confidence in Boeing again as a safety minded company but it will be very expensive and keep the bird on the ground for some time to come. This will not immediately kill Boeing but nevertheless they loose a hell of a lot.

The Dreamliner in many aspects is based on the sonic cruiser concept and dates back to 2001. There were no burned down buildings or laptops yet. Those problems surfaced after the decision for lithium was already taken. As it turns out it wasn't the best one.

Once upon a time Douglas planes were roaming around the earth like dinosaurs millions of years ago and we know what happened to both.

Concerning whether the grounding is too conservative or whether some people are too much on the safe side (me included) it does not really matter - this ongoing discussion has made it very very hard if not impossible to just let the aircraft fly again. I wouldn't take that risk. I give you another reason and that's the pilots (me included). We love safety, we are sent twice per year in the simulator, CRM training, fire fighting and so forth... We are a group who resisted flying with only two guys in front and many pilot unions prevented many airlines from buying twins to cross oceans for a long time. I mean we still discuss whether the Airbus flight envelope protection takes away "final responsibility". I promise you that most pilot unions will voice very strong doubts - it's just fact! Those few management people or engineers who made those decisions will most likely not be on that burning aircraft (contained battery fire) in the middle of the Pacific. Thousands of pilots will be and you can call us conservative or frightened or whatever you like - we still don't like to fly around fires - full stop!

AlfaBlue

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: holzmann
Posted 2013-01-22 07:54:02 and read 18835 times.

I so called this!

I posted days ago that Boeing should turn to TELSA, now Elon Musk is tweeting:
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/292321606376779776

"Maybe already under control, but Tesla & SpaceX are happy to help with the 787 lithium ion batteries."

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Humanitarian
Posted 2013-01-22 08:08:58 and read 18607 times.

They are saying the ANA battery was overcharged.

Quote:
Japanese safety investigators have determined an All Nippon Airways 787 lithium-ion main battery malfunctioned after being over-charged, forcing the widebody to make an emergency landing on 16 January and triggering a global grounding of the fleet still in effect.
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...na-787-battery-malfunction-381268/

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: tarheelwings
Posted 2013-01-22 08:12:50 and read 18531 times.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 79):
Why did the Boeing management flip upon the news of the grounding? Because they know about the flaws and the flawed elec. system and now the whole world knows and vividly discusses it too. So in the next boardroom meeting they will be discussing following two options. Quick fix or re-design?

And the true agenda comes out: Boeing management knew about the problems but chose to ignore them and allowed a dangerous plane to fly......since this is criminally negligent, I imagine the Justice Department will be coming after them next  

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: CXB77L
Posted 2013-01-22 08:32:09 and read 18061 times.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 71):
those who downplay the grounding are coming more and more across as fools who are blinded by fanboyism.

Who exactly is downplaying these incidents? Please provide some direct quotes.

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 74):
The amount of word mincing, pseudo-legal babble, and over- and re-interpretation of published information for the sole purpose of downplaying the problem in this forum has reached unimaginable proportions

Yes, there has been a discussion over the meaning of certain words but you are mistaken in your belief that they are for the 'purpose of downplaying the problem', as you put it. The purpose of clarifying legal or technical meanings is not to downplay, but it is to provide clarity as to the meaning of certain terms that have been used by experts in the field and regulatory authorities alike. In any field, precision is important, and the practice of using precise words which carry very specific meanings is to convey that specific meaning and nothing else, allowing as small a margin as possible for errors and misinterpretations.

It would seem to me that some posters are over-simplifying the matter and dismissing the input from very knowledgeable people in the industry as 'downplaying' the incident.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: spacecadet
Posted 2013-01-22 08:32:21 and read 18094 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 70):
You are suggesting that the 787 should never have been certified.

Depending on the problem that's eventually found, there's a good chance it shouldn't have been. It's grounded now, and not for any problem related to wear and tear, but to either a design or manufacturing defect. If it's a manufacturing defect, then it's not the design's fault. If it's a design defect, then it obviously is the design's fault.

Lots of planes end up being certified with foreseeable design defects; the 787 wouldn't be alone in this regard. It's not as if the FAA didn't have concerns about these batteries. One question is whether their concerns went far enough. This wouldn't be on Boeing, but on the FAA. Lithium ion batteries on passenger airliners are not something the FAA has a lot of experience with either.

Quote:
Where were you (and those with that viewpoint) during the certification process?

How is that question relevant? Not many of us work for the FAA. We don't have access to their data before a plane is certified - heck, we don't have access to it *now*, and everyone in this thread is still just speculating. As the flying public, we have to trust that our government agencies are doing their jobs properly to begin with, not a year after the fact.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: rcair1
Posted 2013-01-22 08:35:39 and read 18056 times.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 79):
Because they know about the flaws and the flawed elec. system and now the whole world knows and vividly discusses it too. So in the next boardroom meeting they will be discussing following two options.

Hmmm - maybe I'll withdraw that trust I mentioned in my previous post? What airline do you fly for?

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 79):
Once upon a time Douglas planes were roaming around the earth like dinosaurs millions of years ago and we know what happened to both.

Are you saying Douglas is gone because they were unsafe? What about Lockheed - they are gone as a commercial a/c provider - was it because they were unsafe?

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 79):
many pilot unions prevented many airlines from buying twins to cross oceans for a long time.

Would you fly a twin across the ocean? Sounds like no.
Can you point to any instance where a twin went down or almost did where a tri-jet or quad would not have? Let's see - gimle glider - nope that was fuel starvation. So was airbus that set down in the pacific. The 747 that flew into ashes - wait - that was a quad. Maybe the L1011 into Florida on one engine - after poor maintenance. However, that poor maintenance impacted all 3 engines and would have impacted 4. Had they not been close - and had they not shut down #2 early - they would not have made it.

Are you saying that twins across the ocean ore unsafe?

I think this is pure trolling.

Quoting tarheelwings (Reply 82):
And the true agenda comes out: Boeing management knew about the problems but chose to ignore them and allowed a dangerous plane to fly......since this is criminally negligent, I imagine the Justice Department will be coming after them next

I hope you are kidding... Or do you really think the Boeing BOD colluded to put an unsafe a/c in the air and fooled the FAA - or is the FAA part of the conspiracy? How about Thales and Yuasa - they must have been part of the collusion - surely they would have known about the "known failure."

I'm afraid I'm starting to despair at this thread .....

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-22 08:41:22 and read 17901 times.

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 85):
How is that question relevant? Not many of us work for the FAA.

The fact that the 787 was going to use lithium ion technology wasn't exactly a state secret, just as it's public knowledge that the 350 is going to even though the 350 is years from EIS.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: AlfaBlue
Posted 2013-01-22 08:42:54 and read 17922 times.

I am not an engineer neither a law maker, I am just a dumb user (pilot and pax) who has seen too many scary youTube videos of exploding batteries. Some of you have convinced me now. Why should I doubt those brilliant engineers and corporate executives who have never lied. We should all fight for the right to let Boeing and other manufactures use us as live lab rats to prove or disprove a new technology. Lets start a common effort to get the 787 as quickly as possible back into the air (even though we have other technologies at our disposal). If we are lucky nothing happens and we soon see thousands of 787s in the skies and around airports. If we are not lucky we have a bankrupt Boeing, an outraged public and a few more deaths for the statistics, which it all comes down to, right? - by the way 2012 was quite safe! (That was sarcasm - just in case somebody has doubts) - what can possibly happen to a DreamLiner in the middle over an ocean with a contained fire? The way to the airport is the dangerous part, isn't it?

AlfaBlue

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: tarheelwings
Posted 2013-01-22 08:47:38 and read 17806 times.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 86):
I hope you are kidding... Or do you really think the Boeing BOD colluded to put an unsafe a/c in the air and fooled the FAA - or is the FAA part of the conspiracy? How about Thales and Yuasa - they must have been part of the collusion - surely they would have known about the "known failure."

I'm afraid I'm starting to despair at this thread .....

Of course I'm kidding, my post was meant to be sarcastic, please note the  

Like you, I get frustrated at some of the "opinions" expressed by some a.netters.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: alfablue
Posted 2013-01-22 08:56:17 and read 17594 times.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 86):
Are you saying Douglas is gone because they were unsafe? What about Lockheed - they are gone as a commercial a/c provider - was it because they were unsafe?

No - After all I flew one of their products and loved it. But any company can go bust, self inflicted, bad management or by bad luck like a comet whipping the beloved dino's out. (maybe Boeings problems is just a phase of bad luck)

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 86):
Would you fly a twin across the ocean? Sounds like no.

I did and I never said I wouldn't. I said that often you have groups of pilots or unions who don't like certain new provisions. Like ETOPS or two pilot flight decks. This is history and not my personal preference.

AlfaBlue

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-22 09:01:17 and read 17470 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 90):
I said that often you have groups of pilots or unions who don't like certain new provisions. Like ETOPS or two pilot flight decks.

. . . or like lithium ion batteries, no?

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Kaiarahi
Posted 2013-01-22 09:04:11 and read 17477 times.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 86):
I'm afraid I'm starting to despair at this thread .....

Indeed! It's starting to resemble the early AF447 threads where some of the same people posting here claimed:

- that AF and BEA were colluding to not recover the recorders in order to cover up the causes
- that EASA and AF did not do anything about Thales pitots that were icing "all the time"
- that BEA were covering up key evidence
- that AF procedures prevented the pilots from diverting around dangerous weather
- that FBW is inherently dangerous
- that Airbus flight control computers had serious design flaws
- etc, etc, etc

The end result was that many of the knowledgeable posters (Tom, Pihero, Mandala499) just bailed out and left the threads to the conspiracy theorists and armchair investigative experts who had once done a spiral dive recovery in a C150.

None of these posters has since acknowledged their ignorance.

[Edited 2013-01-22 09:10:17]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: seahawk
Posted 2013-01-22 09:09:27 and read 17305 times.

I think it is too early to call for actions, when the cause of the problem is still unknown.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: rcair1
Posted 2013-01-22 09:15:12 and read 17208 times.

Per mods - reposting because this was at the end of the locked thread part 3.
Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 261):
My point was more about how safety isn't an absolute, not that safety improvements shouldn't continue. I've read reports where the addition of so many safety mechanisms in cars has led to a sense of invulnerability in some, where they feel they can drive more recklessly, since they won't get hurt or killed.

I agree 100%. Also - some of this safety for occupants comes at the cost of safety for responders. Used to be that skinning a roof off a car straight forward, slice the A, B and C pillars - lift it off. Now we have to worry about cutting into all sorts of nasty stuff in those pillars.

Even airbags - which are wonderful - are a hazard to the responders. The silly things can go off at the most inopportune time after the crash.

Hybrids with RFID keys - another example. Used to be you rolled up to a car and it was not running - you did not worry about it "taking off". Now days, with a hybrid, that person in the seat can accidentally push on the accelerator (or the FF does), and off it goes. Ad the RFID based key in that persons pocket, no ability to disconnect the battery - you can have a situation where stabilizing the car can be non-obvious.

And - no- I'm not arguing against any of these improvements. They are wonderful. I'd much rather, as an emergency responder, have to deal with the situation with an uninjured passenger than with an severely injured one.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 261):
Survivability has improved significantly more quickly than the accident rate...we're safer, but not smarter.

Some would argue we may be safer - but we are dumber....

Quoting abba (Reply 263):
If everything worked as predicted and designed then the FAA should rather be happy having an in operation proof of the assumptions and design rather than grounding the fleet. Or?

That may end up being the case - but I doubt it. Generally "some" recommendation will come out whenever any government agency is involved even if there isn't a significant finding. And - to be fair - it will probably improve safety.
The biggest concern, I think, is 2 events in a short period in a system that should fail rarely and a containment system that worked, perhaps, differently than expected.
It is completely understandable to ask the questions - why did we have to rare events, and did that containment system really work? It seems reasonable people can disagree on the second, or at least be concerned enough to want to look deeper. It is also reasonable for the FAA to say - hang on while we do that.

Time will tell what was the prudent case.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: bellancacf
Posted 2013-01-22 09:15:19 and read 17214 times.

I've wondered from the start of these threads why the Li cells were in proximity to each other. Post #20 at the following link has this to say:

http://www.pprune.org/tech-log/505695-787-batteries-chargers.html

Quote: "One other point he mentioned: in their automotive application, Tesla uses these very small cells in very large numbers--but they are located in a sort of honeycomb structure. One must either design hoping never to have failure (in reality, extremely improbable), or design in a way so that failure causes acceptable harm. It appears Tesla decided that could not count on their lithium cells never failing, so took good care (it involves both physical and electrical considerations) to assure that the likely failure mode of a single cell would not cascade to adjacent cells. The cells they use are small enough that the energy release from a single one should not endanger crew or vehicle."

It seems that there _is_ a way to pack in the cells so that there's less chance of CON-flagration. Missed opportunities, IMVHO.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: ncfc99
Posted 2013-01-22 09:21:01 and read 17081 times.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 63):
Do you get the concept that in modern aviation I don't want things on board over the ocean that light up for an unknown reason

Is that not the point of the grounding. It wasn't supposed to happen, there are design measure in place incase it does happen. It has happened. It is as yet unknown why it happened. So the FAA and boeing and many other people are investigating as to why it has happened. Once that reason is found and a fix in place, the grounding will be lifted. Do you not get that concept? Am I over simplyfying things?

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 74):
Some much needed perspective on a very serious topic!

Alfablue seems to be at the complete opposite of quite alot of respected & knowledgeable posters on this forum. I'm not a experienced airline desingner/maintainer/ flyer, but I can learn, and I've learnt alot from some posters on this forum. If Alfablue is a pilot as he says, he should surely know that an engine nacelle dosen't have to contain a disc to be certified, it has to contain a fan blade. The engine on the QF flight had no chance of containg a disc. To design it to do so, would mean and engine so heavy, no plane would ever get off the ground. Credibility destryed by one false statement whilst trying to discredit others.

So whilst Alfablue may have some perspective, it dosen't seem to fit with many experts on this forum or the perspective I would expect him to have as a pilot.

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 74):
The amount of word mincing, pseudo-legal babble, and over- and re-interpretation of published information for the sole purpose of downplaying the problem in this forum has reached unimaginable proportions
Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 74):
It will not stop the (increasingly condescending) posts by the self-proclaimed "experts", but I for one am glad somebody took the time to formulate what needed to be said!

As has the condeming of the knowledgable posters on this forum reached unimaginable proportions. I hope said posters do not get fed up with it, I for one appreciate what I can learn from them. But my post will not stop the selfproclaimed post police from bashing people just because they don't agree with what they are posting. It reminds me of the heady days of the A380 bashing.   

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-22 09:30:04 and read 16942 times.

Quoting bellancacf (Reply 95):
It seems that there _is_ a way to pack in the cells so that there's less chance of CON-flagration. Missed opportunities, IMVHO.

I would not be surprised if Tesla designed their battery packs the way they did due to the necessity of compliance with regulations concerning an automobile crash and the forces such a crash would impose on the packs.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: rheinwaldner
Posted 2013-01-22 09:35:02 and read 16807 times.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 66):
I personally think the idea of individual cell monitoring must be considered (voltage per cell?). But I am not a battery expert and I will let them make the suggestions.

I bet 100% that it has already a balancer. It must have. If not (note: this is a possibility that impossibly can be), I would go as far and call Boeing's management and engineering as high-grade criminals (note again: the "would" phrase and the nearly impossible if-condition)....

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 83):
Are you claiming thermal runaway is not a problem with Lithium Ion batteries?

No.

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 84):
Who exactly is downplaying these incidents? Please provide some direct quotes.

It will not be fruitful to explain that to somebody who has not noticed it right away. You know, just asking this question tastes like "hey, what's the problem?".

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: bellancacf
Posted 2013-01-22 09:37:47 and read 16729 times.

to Stitch at 95: A two-fer, then? Much-reduced chance of conflagration in use, and lessened chance of "catastrophe" in a crash. Sounds like good design.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: alfablue
Posted 2013-01-22 09:42:12 and read 16622 times.

Quoting ncfc99 (Reply 96):
Alfablue seems to be at the complete opposite of quite alot of respected & knowledgeable posters on this forum. I'm not a experienced airline desingner/maintainer/ flyer, but I can learn, and I've learnt alot from some posters on this forum. If Alfablue is a pilot as he says, he should surely know that an engine nacelle dosen't have to contain a disc to be certified, it has to contain a fan blade. The engine on the QF flight had no chance of containg a disc. To design it to do so, would mean and engine so heavy, no plane would ever get off the ground. Credibility destryed by one false statement whilst trying to discredit others.


- I have learned a lot here too - dont worry  

- I didn't talk about discs just debris I think nor do I know all facts by heart. Memory is a bad tool for pilots anyways (manuals and opinions change - sometimes over night or why do we practice stalls again in the Airbus Sim since AF447). I am sure you can find more incorrect phrased sentences if you dissect my previous posts (have fun with that). I used the nacelle sample because its close enough as an example to what the containment is supposed to do with the battery.

- I don't try do discredit nobody here - really - why should I?

Quoting ncfc99 (Reply 96):
So whilst Alfablue may have some perspective, it dosen't seem to fit with many experts on this forum or the perspective I would expect him to have as a pilot.

- what perspective would you like me to have as a pilot? An engineer is the one who studies the principles of calculating risks, thinking of failure cases and so forth. My job as a pilot I thought was to NOT TAKE RISKS. Please correct me if I am wrong but have all the CRM manuals be rewritten? I am not paid to take chances, listen to my butt feelings and so forth. I am paid to follow manuals, follow SOP's and give my best under unforeseen circumstances. I am the one tho greet you on board and say that this is the best and safest airplane and Sorry buddy - Boeing is doing a hell of a bad job convincing me. So I ask you - what pilot would you like me to be?

I mean if a battery would have caught fire on a Triple Seven I would have said bad luck and lets move on - love the T7 as pax. But the DreamLiner is barely flying around and we have two fires within 10 days of each other in the E&E compartment and I am supposed to trust flying in this bird over the pacific and listen too engineers - maybe I really got my job wrong! Or even what minimizing risk means.

AlfaBlue

[Edited 2013-01-22 09:51:52]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: rcair1
Posted 2013-01-22 09:44:23 and read 16554 times.

Quoting tarheelwings (Reply 89):
Of course I'm kidding, my post was meant to be sarcastic, please note the

Thanks - I thought so! Part of the point of my post was to point out to others the absurdity here.
And with this string - you can't be sure about sarcasm! I've seen more off the wall propositions posted as serious!

Quoting alfablue (Reply 90):
No - After all I flew one of their products and loved it.

Which one - Lockheed or Douglas (or MD?)
Personally - I've never flown either a Lockheed or a Douglas (or an MD). I've flown on all of the (and I have flown a Boeing - Stearman).
Interestingly - as I've flown on a different manf aircraft - I've developed a strong personal connection with certain models. The Lockheed L-1011 - I loved it. Just something about it. Similiarly, the 727 - a plane I connected with. De Havilland Beaver (which I both flew and flew in). Something about that snarling radial in the front and the honest controls/response. Others - the 747 - something that has always been majestic to me. The Convair 580 - loved it. Strangely, I've never 'connected' with a MD or Douglas a/c that way - perhaps if I had flown in the classics like a DC-3. I 'like' the 757 and 777, but not as connected as the others. I find the 737, 767, A320, A330, A340, all the RJ's and EJ's are 'good, competent' aircraft - like a 'average car'. Fine solid transportation - but no personal connection there.
I've never flown the 380 or 787 - so I have had not chance to experience the. I will say the 787 is more compelling to me than the 380 - but it is a matter of aesthetics at this point - not experience. Since I don't travel internationally like I once did - they are both somewhat unlikely. I considered buying a flight on the 787 between Denver and Houston - but don't have the disposable income - well I do - but I choose to dispose of it other places.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 90):
But any company can go bust, self inflicted, bad management or by bad luck like a comet whipping the beloved dino's out.

Yes - I worked for HP for 24 years before being laid off - due mostly to bad management at multiple levels. They exited the business I was in - a decision I thought was not smart and has proven to be exactly that. It is unclear if HP will survive to me (and unlike Boeing - I do own HP stock).

Quoting alfablue (Reply 90):
(maybe Boeings problems is just a phase of bad luck

Not much of a fan of "luck." Rarely is it luck. Usually it is causal. I see this in emergency response all the time.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 90):
I did and I never said I wouldn't. I said that often you have groups of pilots or unions who don't like certain new provisions. Like ETOPS or two pilot flight decks.

Thanks for the clarification. When you associate yourself with a group/statement that strongly, it is easy to assume you agree/support the position.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Aesma
Posted 2013-01-22 09:51:17 and read 16551 times.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 94):
Even airbags - which are wonderful - are a hazard to the responders. The silly things can go off at the most inopportune time after the crash.

Airbags (and even safety belts) also kill people in accidents. They just save far more.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: par13del
Posted 2013-01-22 10:04:49 and read 16285 times.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 79):
I give you another reason and that's the pilots (me included). We love safety,

So in relation to this thread, does every a/c you operate have no items on the MEL, do you fly a/c with inop items that are allowed by the MEL, if so, then you as the PIC are trusting that when the engineers say that you can operate the a/c safely with those items not functioning that they actually know what they are talking about and you as the person who signs on the dotted line for the a/c are now responsible for the lives in the back.

In truth this thread is running away, those of us who are reading to get a better idea of the dynamics involved while awaiting final details are having difficulty, so maybe we need to have an additional thread for conspiracy theories, this would minimize the work of the mods as everything goes would be fine in that thread.
Just a thought.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: ADent
Posted 2013-01-22 10:09:34 and read 16244 times.

Quoting flood (Reply 48):
Thanks for the link. I had previously only seen a photo of the damaged battery when it had already been removed... there's another photo of it still installed on page 3 of the thread.
http://i337.photobucket.com/albums/n385/motidog/ANAbatt0.jpg

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: bradmovie
Posted 2013-01-22 10:42:12 and read 15684 times.

As a newbie and long-time lurker I have made it a habit on these forums to read every post carefully. There is a lot of technical jargon and information that I, being a private pilot, have never been exposed to. As a result I have learned a lot, particularly from members who are more knowledgeable than moi, who work on complex aircraft systems. It is pretty shocking to read the continual ignorant or biased comments of some who clearly either 1) do not read expert posts carefully, or 2) have pre-existing bias towards one manufacturer or another, or 3) are just plain writing out of ignorance or fear or both.

While it is not the most pleasant task, I slog thru these ignorant/blind posts to find the detailed, precise, accurate information that some members offer. I appreciate your comments, and your willingness to take the time to post information that is valuable to all.

There are just a few things that the "trollers" keep harping on, and for the sake of trying to keep things honest, here is what has been said -- over and over again, by people whose are professionals in aircraft design and operation:

*Per the FAA, containment does not mean NO RELEASE of any material.

*Per the FAA, there is a potential that damage COULD be caused by one of these batteries.

*Li-ion batteries are used by Airbus in the A350, are apparently used on the B2 bomber, the KC-135, and the Mars Rover. Notwithstanding these usages, special conditions are required and there are risks of thermal runaway.

*The discussion about semantics, the words "could", "potential", "safety", etc. is a discussion of what technical engineering terms mean to engineers and designers and regulators, and the specific applications of these terms. These terms have specific meanings in evaluating and retiring risk in aircraft development, and in understanding and resolving the battery problems with the 787.

*There is disagreement by some over whether the FAA grounding is "fair" relative to other groundings / non-groundings.

*No one has been trying to "minimize" or downplay the safety risks of the two battery incidents; people are trying to understand the risks IN THE CONTEXT of existing regulations and definitions.

So for you all who misinterpret, misrepresent, mislead, and misinform, you now have no more excuses!

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: alfablue
Posted 2013-01-22 10:50:06 and read 15501 times.

Quoting par13del (Reply 104):
So in relation to this thread, does every a/c you operate have no items on the MEL, do you fly a/c with inop items that are allowed by the MEL

The MEL gives me dispatch conditions, limitations, procedures and time to think. I can if needed review system and possible or common failure modes and check related OEB's on an a/c where the MEL is multiple years old and with an proven airframe. By the way I can reject any deferred MEL item. I would go with 100 pax to AMS on a deferred APU and probably reject the same frame going to Sevilla with 180 PAX and above 40 degrees OAT. So its all relative I would say. Main thing about it is I can somehow mentally prepare myself.

What do I do if I get woken up by an emergency during my rest time over the Pacific/Atlantic in the middle of the night and jet lagged overflying a squall line due to an event with an unpredictable outcome (this sentence is absolutely neutral and yes it does also fit on the AF447 - poor bloody souls - and in retrospect the aircraft with those tubes was unsafe, crew training insufficient and changed to a new stall recovery on the Airbus FBW). I mean as long as there is no MEL item allowing you to dispatch with a burning battery I dont understand your question. One thing is flying with a deactivated battery in acc to MEL and another with a potentially unsafe one.

I for example never understood neither why the Airbus A380 could fly with wings braking before the limit and than just present a computer program calculation or whatever - I understood more or less - It just goes against gut feeling!

AlfaBlue

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Aesma
Posted 2013-01-22 10:52:30 and read 15488 times.

Well if that wasn't downplaying the events I wonder what if was (in part #3) :

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 132):
Because of this, I assume that cooler heads will prevail in a week or two, and Boeing and its advocates will start to persuade Congress and other politicians that this was a premature grounding, which it was. Because these people are politicians and not engineers, and thus don't care about the absolute truth, presumably they will be able to find words to spin this to make it appear that the problem is solved, and the thing can get back in the air while they fully-work the issue.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: kanban
Posted 2013-01-22 11:38:14 and read 14730 times.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 98):
I would go as far and call Boeing's management and engineering as high-grade criminals (

no matter what criteria you want to attach to this clearly trolling and flame baiting opinion, what it really does is without a doubt exposing your bias and resistance to comments from those who chose to understand the problem rather than grandstanding for personal satisfaction.

Now back to the issues
we have discussed that the electrolyte is flammable.. but at what temperature? does the boiled extruded goo have the same or a significantly high ignition temperature? Does that "boiling" reduce the toxicity or encapsulate it so corrosion of surrounding metal is not at risk? My concern with building a double hull type containment is it would not allow the goo to cool which could exacerbate problems. If it runs out the port and hardens or vents from the a/c, it is less likely to ignite than if pooled around a thermal run away.

Second, the A350 will be using similar batteries (4 instead of 2) and I've seen a few notes that they are following this investigation very closely. The trollers connect the battery and CFRP as the reasons the 787 should never return to the skies and anybody who says different is a fanboy with their head in the sand... however since those two elements are common to the A350, it's odd that the trollers exclude it from their vision of armageddon.. just an observation

another thought, information changes rapidly on this subject so we need to pay attention with the dates on "new" reports..

[Edited 2013-01-22 11:45:58]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: rheinwaldner
Posted 2013-01-22 11:46:38 and read 14591 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 97):
compliance with regulations concerning an automobile crash and the forces such a crash would impose on the packs.

Aircraft crash safety is another topic, that could add to the problems of the current design. If the containment breaks and smoke can reach the cabin a lot of good intentions might turn out useless. Consider e.g. a case like the BA 777-glider in London.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 108):
Well if that wasn't downplaying the events I wonder what if was (in part #3) :

Let's see whether that helps JoeCanuck and CXB77L to remember...

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Kaiarahi
Posted 2013-01-22 11:48:03 and read 14572 times.

Quoting kanban (Reply 109):
the A350 will be using similar batteries (4 instead of 2)

And all in the forward electronics bay. Clearly, they're 4 times more criminal than Boeing, which only has 1 per bay.

BTW, the Airbus Director of Programs is on record as saying that an adverse outcome of the Boeing Li-Ion issue would have a significant impact on the A350. Clearly, their sabotage backfired.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Kaiarahi
Posted 2013-01-22 12:02:16 and read 14340 times.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 110):
If the containment breaks and smoke can reach the cabin a lot of good intentions might turn out useless.

Not to mention if the wings break and fire breaks out. Clearly, fuel is an unreasonable danger on aircraft and they should be designed to fly without fuel.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: robsaw
Posted 2013-01-22 12:03:11 and read 14348 times.

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 111):
And all in the forward electronics bay. Clearly, they're 4 times more criminal than Boeing, which only has 1 per bay.

BTW, the Airbus Director of Programs is on record as saying that an adverse outcome of the Boeing Li-Ion issue would have a significant impact on the A350. Clearly, their sabotage backfired.

Too bad you have to use absurdo reductum techniques to point out (and rightly so) the specious, slanderous and baseless accusations implicit in too many of the posts in this thread. A shame that such a large portion of the community appears to have no critical, science or engineering thinking skills.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: ContnlEliteCMH
Posted 2013-01-22 12:11:31 and read 14200 times.

Does anybody else find it comically ironic that a pilot insists that the ship he commands should never be certified with a device that can produce a fire without the ability for external extinguishing, but is loaded with thousands to hundreds of thousands of liters of, um, jet fuel?

Also, this thread (and the three before it) display what is (in my opinion) one of the most fascinating divides between people. There are people for whom no amount of detailed thought is ever enough. There can never be too many details, with too much order, to produce to fine a conclusion. Then there are the people for whom a "detail threshold" exists. Any who goes above the threshold is a pedant attempting to split hairs for some nefarious purpose known only to the hair-splitter. Personally, I prefer to fly in planes produced by the detailed thinkers because I think the threshold group would make decisions that represent probability of failure, but of course, they wouldn't know what the probability is or the impact of their decisions because, well, that would require details they refuse to consider.

But when it comes to entertainment, this site NEVER fails to satisfy. Keep it up, friends. Keep it up.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Kaiarahi
Posted 2013-01-22 12:13:13 and read 14176 times.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 108):
Well if that wasn't downplaying the events I wonder what if was (in part #3) :

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 132):
Because of this, I assume that cooler heads will prevail in a week or two, and Boeing and its advocates will start to persuade Congress and other politicians that this was a premature grounding, which it was. Because these people are politicians and not engineers, and thus don't care about the absolute truth, presumably they will be able to find words to spin this to make it appear that the problem is solved, and the thing can get back in the air while they fully-work the issue.

A perfect example of selective quoting and what's wrong with this thread. Here's the whole post:

"Here's my own feeling...

The FAA is either going to have to find a face-saving way to get the aircraft back in the air based upon some interim standard, or the thing is going to be on the ground for more than six months and maybe a year or more.

The standard they have set out is to "prove" the battery system is safe. This will be a tall order.

To do a true root-cause analysis of this very-complicated system, and design and test a fix or a different system, will take years -- the kind of time an NTSB report takes to be done. And then some.

The current manufacturer *planned* to take *seven years* -- SEVEN -- to design and build the charger. Which it did.

After the battery fire at the charger-manufacturer's plant, it took TWO YEARS to do a root-cause analysis of the cause of the fire.

If the FAA really plan to ground the thing until a root cause analysis is done or a new-from-scratch power system is developed, they will have essentially killed Boeing.

Because of this, I assume that cooler heads will prevail in a week or two, and Boeing and its advocates will start to persuade Congress and other politicians that this was a premature grounding, which it was. Because these people are politicians and not engineers, and thus don't care about the absolute truth, presumably they will be able to find words to spin this to make it appear that the problem is solved, and the thing can get back in the air while they fully-work the issue."

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2013-01-22 12:17:05 and read 14128 times.

Quoting tarheelwings (Reply 69):
members who have unequivocally stated that they will have no issue with flying on it once it is cleared to fly again.........members who in my opinion have established some pretty solid credibility.

I'll restate. I would happily fly on a 787. I would sleep sound too.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 98):
I bet 100% that it has already a balancer.

What is a 'balancer? Links are appreciated. As I prefaced, I do not claim to be a battery expert, but I'm interested in the details.

Lightsaber

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: rheinwaldner
Posted 2013-01-22 12:19:06 and read 14059 times.

Quoting kanban (Reply 109):
Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 98):
I would go as far and call Boeing's management and engineering as high-grade criminals

no matter what criteria you want to attach to this clearly trolling and flame baiting opinion

I only wanted to express that it really is a safe bet, that there is a balancer. The comparison should only highlight how weird the opposite assumption would be. Before my post I got the impression that this was not clear.

I know that these folks are not criminals. Because I am certain that their chargers have balancers. If they wouldn't, it will soon no longer need my posts anymore to make the world clear how stupid and reckless that would be. It would be cheap to correct though...

Quoting kanban (Reply 109):
Second, the A350 will be using similar batteries (4 instead of 2) and I've seen a few notes that they are following this investigation very closely. The trollers connect the battery and CFRP as the reasons the 787 should never return to the skies and anybody who says different is a fanboy with their head in the sand... however since those two elements are common to the A350, it's odd that the trollers exclude it from their vision of armageddon.. just an observation

The A350 needs equally good battery solutions as the 787 obvioulsly. Airbus even mentions an additional delay, if corrections are needed. The difference is, that the total installed battery capacity is much smaller, and yet the number of cells is higher. So a single cell is less vulnerable and has less capacity to do harm.

I have also explained, that a safe lipo battery&charger-system is possible and is only a matter of a good enough system architecture and system design.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Kaiarahi
Posted 2013-01-22 12:20:25 and read 14037 times.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 110):
If the containment breaks and smoke can reach the cabin a lot of good intentions might turn out useless.

On any flight, there are typically dozens of uncontained Li batteries in the passenger cabin, which is full of combustible material. Obviously, laptops, phones, cameras and any electronic device with an Li battery should be banned on board aircraft.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pizFsY0yjss

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: rcair1
Posted 2013-01-22 12:22:00 and read 14033 times.

Quoting bellancacf (Reply 95):
Quote: "One other point he mentioned: in their automotive application, Tesla uses these very small cells in very large numbers--but they are located in a sort of honeycomb structure. One must either design hoping never to have failure (in reality, extremely improbable), or design in a way so that failure causes acceptable harm. It appears Tesla decided that could not count on their lithium cells never failing, so took good care (it involves both physical and electrical considerations) to assure that the likely failure mode of a single cell would not cascade to adjacent cells. The cells they use are small enough that the energy release from a single one should not endanger crew or vehicle."

In interesting approach and perhaps one that Boeing/FAA should be looking at. If they find the current containment scheme was not sufficient. (cue the chorus of "of course it is not sufficient - that is why it is grounded" responses - me I will wait for the FAA/NTSB to report conclusions rather than concerns).

One difference may be survivability requirements after a relatively minor crash. Cars are involved in minor crashes all the time and there may need to be some additional protection related to damage in those cases. Also - the volume of batteries in a Tesla is far higher than that in the a/c relative to the size and passenger compartment. Think of it this way - in the Tesla - the batteries are the "fuel tanks". - you'd want to compare them to fuel tanks in conventional cars w.r.t. crash worthiness. Lets be frank in an a/c crash - the batteries - LiIon or other - are not the major source of fire or concern.

Of course - the "fuel tank" in Tesla holds 53kW/hr in its 6861 cell battery. Gasoline is rated at 33kW/hr per gallon - so the Tesla fuel tank has 1.6 gallons of gas. The conversion effeciency of the Tesla is much higher tho - which is why you can get 150-200 miles per charge.

Still - individual containment of each cell in the battery is an interesting idea. I wonder if it was partly driven by the fact that the Tesla has that 6800 some odd LiIon cells (not Lipo!) whereas the 787 has 16 (between the 2 batteries). If there is a finite possibility of failure per cell - and you have 6800 of them, versus 8, you have a different probability of failure. Does anybody have any data on the failure rate of cells in the Telsa? Will a Tesla "Keep on going" if a cell fails and has a contained thermal runaway event? Will the driver even know?

Still - the idea of individual cell isolation/containment is a compelling one for Boeing to consider. If they really can prevent cell cascade, that may be an additional protection. Of course, it would require a significant certification cycle.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Aesma
Posted 2013-01-22 12:23:34 and read 13972 times.

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 115):
A perfect example of selective quoting and what's wrong with this thread. Here's the whole post:

I quoted the most interesting part in my opinion, since I'm sure many readers skip the bottom half of too long posts as I do (and clearly some here have skipped entire threads). I don't see how the rest makes it any better really, he argues that there should be no grounding since there is no easy solution !

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: alfablue
Posted 2013-01-22 12:33:12 and read 13798 times.

Quoting ContnlEliteCMH (Reply 114):

Does anybody else find it comically ironic that a pilot insists that the ship he commands should never be certified with a device that can produce a fire without the ability for external extinguishing, but is loaded with thousands to hundreds of thousands of liters of, um, jet fuel?

Jet A has a proven track record is years in the industry and currently does not have an alternative (versus a safer batterie technology exists). There were many runway overruns, flames even crashes (have you seen the AF320 video flying into the woods? - most people survived that crash including explosion)

Quoting ContnlEliteCMH (Reply 114):
Also, this thread (and the three before it) display what is (in my opinion) one of the most fascinating divides between people.

There are situations and I would say operating a Jet in an emergency is one of them where you don't have time to be a detailed thinker. Those machines are operated by quick decision makers - lays in the nature of the job environment sometimes. Back to the batteries: They can not be designed in a fashion to make my life harder if a better less dangerous technology could be used. I mean where does economics versus safety stop. A few hundred pounds more weight on a 8000 mile aircraft? No matter what a genius system it is to contain the possible danger. Whats wrong with being on the safe side?

AlfaBlue

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: rcair1
Posted 2013-01-22 12:33:36 and read 13800 times.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 103):
Airbags (and even safety belts) also kill people in accidents.


Indeed - and airbags have been modified to improve that. Seat belts as well. This points out that nothing is foolproof.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 108):
Well if that wasn't downplaying the events I wonder what if was (in part #3) :

You pick one person - quote him/her out of context and use that to accuse and condem all who disagree with you. Unfortunate.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 116):
'll restate. I would happily fly on a 787. I would sleep sound too.

Can I go with you?

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-22 12:38:26 and read 13724 times.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 110):
Aircraft crash safety is another topic, that could add to the problems of the current design. If the containment breaks and smoke can reach the cabin a lot of good intentions might turn out useless.

Consider e.g. a case like the BA 777-glider in London.

After an airliner crash, you're performing an emergency evacuation. And as we saw with JA804A at TAK, that can be completed before smoke reaches the cabin in sufficient quantities to be harmful. Same with BA38, for that matter.

[Edited 2013-01-22 12:40:49]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-22 12:43:16 and read 13648 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 121):
Back to the batteries: They can not be designed in a fashion to make my life harder if a better less dangerous technology could be used

Do you believe that the 380 should be grounded until the lithium ion batteries are removed from its emergency lighting system?

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: KELPkid
Posted 2013-01-22 12:44:18 and read 13622 times.

Quoting ADent (Reply 105):
Thanks for the link. I had previously only seen a photo of the damaged battery when it had already been removed... there's another photo of it still installed on page 3 of the thread.

On the surface, doesn't look too bad...I remember a battery box (containing a lead acid battery) looking like this after a coworker hooked up 28 volts DC to a poor Cessna 150 with a 12 volt electrical system and a dead battery...    Fortunately, no one ever turned the master switch on in the 150 before the coworker realized the mistake. The mechanic was able to replace the fried battery and clean up the acid that boiled out of the battery box the same day. And yes, battery acid dripped down out the bottom of the cowling  

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: ADent
Posted 2013-01-22 13:01:51 and read 13282 times.

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 115):
The FAA is either going to have to find a face-saving way to get the aircraft back in the air based upon some interim standard, or the thing is going to be on the ground for more than six months and maybe a year or more.

Yeah - I don't think so.

If the Li-Ion battery is unflyable, they could lash together a system using qualified batteries from other models of aircraft in much less time.

I mean if Boeing gave you $100,000,000 dollars - couldn't you get two replacement batteries installed in less than 60 days?

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: alfablue
Posted 2013-01-22 13:08:48 and read 13228 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 124):
Do you believe that the 380 should be grounded until the lithium ion batteries are removed from its emergency lighting system?

If they are a danger to flight safety than yes. But I can only speculate as I don´t know the details of that design (location, type,...). I am not even afraid really of that type of batteries as I wouldn't wear a smartphone in my front pocket. I think that Airbus should at least consider replacing or investigating them. The EASA might also probe it but those are not my decisions to make.

There is talk on the subject that the Boeing CEO should resign. The thing is and that is how I understand the problem now that there is just too much negativity against Boeing in the media that it makes any decision makers live very much impossible to give a green light to lift the grounding of the 787.

Since others have done it let me try to compare some aspects of the A380 introduction vs. the 787. Both had and have teething problems and both got bashed (here and elsewhere) - however the A380 as a frame had a good introduction (if you take the wing troubles aside or consider those teething problems) only the ramp up sucked. The first big incident left RR a bit ashamed but the aircraft handled great for what it took and the pilots we remember as cracks.

The 787 is plagued with all sorts of problems related to its electrical architecture. Rumors of that being the real delay here on the net, the FAA rejecting the software and demands reprograming, a guy burning a building down and loosing a law suit doubting that batteries safety, a fire on a test flight, and now two fires of batteries (the first one triggering a FAA design review) - I mean - Is it just me or does anybody scratches his head too? And now you are supposed to sell the public that we think its safe to fly in it after it became apparent on how much data Boeing provided to the FAA and it does not really matter as some argue that in the good old days Boeing wrote with the B707 more of the FAA's certification process than today with the 787. The feeling left in many of us is that this aircraft might not have been certified as could be expected and thats why its hard to let it fly while the comprehensive review goes on - thats my opinion - anybody else sees that problem too?

AlfaBlue

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: AeroWesty
Posted 2013-01-22 13:15:58 and read 13103 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 127):
The feeling left in many of us is that this aircraft might not have been certified as could be expected and thats why its hard to let it fly while the comprehensive review goes on - thats my opinion - anybody else sees that problem too?

What you're leaving out is that the design may be solid, simply executed poorly. No one yet knows the answer to any of the questions posed in this dilemma, so it would be irresponsible at this juncture to project with any certainty what the outcome may be.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: NathanH
Posted 2013-01-22 13:16:22 and read 13074 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 127):
The 787 is plagued with all sorts of problems related to its electrical architecture. Rumors of that being the real delay here on the net,

You state something as a fact, and then your very next sentence talks about rumors. It makes it hard to take what you say seriously in light of people, whether Boeing fans or not, who post using facts.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-22 13:29:57 and read 12880 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 127):
If they are a danger to flight safety than yes.

Your previous argument was unrelated to absolute safety but instead focused on a safer (but less useful) alternative. Which is it?

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-22 13:30:19 and read 12975 times.

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 111):
BTW, the Airbus Director of Programs is on record as saying that an adverse outcome of the Boeing Li-Ion issue would have a significant impact on the A350.

Per the A350 Systems Description, the A350 uses four identical Lithium-Ion batteries connected to the 28V DC network. These four batteries:
• Ensure functionality of the no break power transfer system
• Provide standby DC power
• Provide ground-side DC power when AC power is not available

Two of the four batteries can also provide temporary supply in an emergency.

Will EASA require additional testing of these four batteries to ensure they will neither catch fire nor leak electrolyte? And will the FAA accept EASA's certification (which is the current practice - and vice-versa), or will the FAA require additional testing? Or if the FAA requires Boeing to replace their Li-Ion batteries with a different formulation (NiCd, for instance), will the FAA require Airbus to do the same with the four batteries on the A350?

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: alfablue
Posted 2013-01-22 13:36:45 and read 12824 times.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 128):
What you're leaving out is that the design may be solid, simply executed poorly

I can not judge that - I even said it before that maybe it was just all bad luck - either way it will be hard to just let it fly again - that was my message. There is an ongoing comprehensive design review, which I assume will have a look at test set ups, procedures, expert opinions, provided data, conferences and so forth... I can not make that decision and honestly I wouldn't want to neither.

Quoting NathanH (Reply 129):
You state something as a fact, and then your very next sentence talks about rumors

If it would not been plagued with problems I think it would still be flying - the grounding by itself is already a problem for the reputation of Boeing. And most of the news comes from the electrical system and I have no doubts whatsoever about the rest of the plane. The rumors were just added as to show the whole story surrounding the electrical system - it does not really matter because the incidents speak already their own language - its a PR disaster and I think and thats again my opinion that it has reached its own dynamic and the easiest way out is to go through with the design review, keep it grounded and the CEO is exchanged at Boeing - we will see in a few weeks anyhow if she flies again and I will bite my words.

AlfaBlue

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-22 13:44:17 and read 12690 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 132):
the grounding by itself is already a problem for the reputation of Boeing.

Why? AA has had two fleet groundings in recent memory (both Boeing products, incidentally). Has it hurt AA's reputation? Did the DH4 grounding at SK hurt SK's reputation?

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: AeroWesty
Posted 2013-01-22 13:45:01 and read 12696 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 132):
it will be hard to just let it fly again

Again, you're projecting. You don't know that for a fact, since you don't know what the root problem is. None of us do yet.

Example: My car didn't pass its last smog check the first time due to a fault in how the under-dash computer hookup had been left by a qualified mechanic while the car had been serviced a few months prior. Did that mean my car's emissions system was faulty? No, it simply meant my car needed a simple repair in order to be tested correctly and pass inspection.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: alfablue
Posted 2013-01-22 13:57:19 and read 12488 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 133):
Why? AA has had two fleet groundings in recent memory (both Boeing products, incidentally). Has it hurt AA's reputation? Did the DH4 grounding at SK hurt SK's reputation?

No because the Airline does not manufacture but uses the products (apples vs. oranges)

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 134):
Again, you're projecting. You don't know that for a fact, since you don't know what the root problem is. None of us do yet.

Thats why I said it is my opinion and I will bite my words. Anyhow - it will be difficult to let her fly again because "if" and heavens forbid it from happening one of them comes down and it could be traced to the electric system which by the way on an all electric airplane cant be excluded (the carbon structure seems to be working) as a chance. Lets say you are LaHood or whoever takes the decision has to make it. Would you be happy with a battery fix or wait till the comprehensive review is over? Will EASA and the Japanese follow? I just dont see her fly anytime soon again - she is grounded and will stay so for a while - and its all my personal opinion

AlfaBlue

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: dfambro
Posted 2013-01-22 13:57:44 and read 12503 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 132):
its a PR disaster

It would have been a PR disaster if there had been a crash, especially one with loss of life.

It may be a big topic on here, but it's pretty much disappeared from the lay press. I don't think it will be much remembered by regular flying public.

Boeing stock price is either unaffected or only slightly affected.

It's only a PR disaster on A.net

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: RNAVFL350
Posted 2013-01-22 13:59:27 and read 12471 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 121):
There are situations and I would say operating a Jet in an emergency is one of them where you don't have time to be a detailed thinker. Those machines are operated by quick decision makers - lays in the nature of the job environment sometimes. Back to the batteries: They can not be designed in a fashion to make my life harder if a better less dangerous technology could be used. I mean where does economics versus safety stop. A few hundred pounds more weight on a 8000 mile aircraft? No matter what a genius system it is to contain the possible danger. Whats wrong with being on the safe side?

This is the same kind of thinking 60 years ago when the prop engine was being replaced with the jet(yes I know that this is not anywhere near as big of an evolution), or hydrylic actuators to replace cables.People are so afraid of change that they forget progress comes with certain risk, as minimal as they are compared to 60 years ago. If we listen to thinking of some of the posters here on a.net, we would still be travelling by horse back and emails would be sent via pigeons.

Seriously though, at the end of the day this is a battery/software issue(and possibly containment), and quite a serious one, but not one that is going to bring Boeing into bankruptcy(the Doomsdayers and the Mayan Calander come to mind here...get over it, it didn't happen).

Quoting alfablue (Reply 127):
The 787 is plagued with all sorts of problems related to its electrical architecture. Rumors of that being the real delay here on the net, the FAA rejecting the software and demands reprograming, a guy burning a building down and loosing a law suit doubting that batteries safety, a fire on a test flight, and now two fires of batteries (the first one triggering a FAA design review) - I mean - Is it just me or does anybody scratches his head too? And now you are supposed to sell the public that we think its safe to fly in it after it became apparent on how much data Boeing provided to the FAA and it does not really matter as some argue that in the good old days Boeing wrote with the B707 more of the FAA's certification process than today with the 787. The feeling left in many of us is that this aircraft might not have been certified as could be expected and thats why its hard to let it fly while the comprehensive review goes on - thats my opinion - anybody else sees that problem too?

Really, do you have any facts to prove that the "787 is plagued with all sorts of problems related to its electrical architecture" or are you simply just stating (trolling) rumors as fact here? I say stating here because you say "The 787 is plagued" to start your sentence, so you clearly must have (non-media) sources to back these claims.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: ComeAndGo
Posted 2013-01-22 14:03:50 and read 12382 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 131):
Per the A350 Systems Description, the A350 uses four identical Lithium-Ion batteries connected to the 28V DC network. These four batteries:

yes, but they're made by Saft and not that Japanese motorcycle battery maker.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: ComeAndGo
Posted 2013-01-22 14:05:33 and read 12353 times.

Quoting RNAVFL350 (Reply 137):
This is the same kind of thinking 60 years ago when the prop engine was being replaced with the jet(yes I know that this is not anywhere near as big of an evolution), or hydrylic actuators to replace cables.People are so afraid of change that they forget progress comes with certain risk, as minimal as they are compared to 60 years ago.

No, you have a potential source of fire and no extinguishers. that's not the same.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: AeroWesty
Posted 2013-01-22 14:06:06 and read 12335 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 135):
Would you be happy with a battery fix or wait till the comprehensive review is over?

Neither you nor I nor even LaHood at this point know what the problem is. Your posts are simply filled with undocumented and unproveable conjecture that you're trying to disseminate and defend under the "it's my opinion" principle. That's not constructive to understanding the problem(s) which plague the 787 currently.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: alfablue
Posted 2013-01-22 14:09:47 and read 12313 times.

Quoting RNAVFL350 (Reply 137):
Really, do you have any facts to prove that the "787 is plagued with all sorts of problems

she is grounded - isn't that a fact? A grounding after certification is no problem? two battery fires are no problems?

http://money.msn.com/now/post.aspx?p...1af6ce-526a-4a1d-81e1-7cce1768763b

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-0...g-as-787-inquiry-raises-costs.html

If the Biz part talks about it and calls for his resignation I would not call it:

Quoting dfambro (Reply 136):
It may be a big topic on here, but it's pretty much disappeared from the lay press. I don't think it will be much remembered by regular flying public.

AlfaBlue

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-22 14:14:47 and read 12255 times.

McNerney has to retire within two years no matter what - he's 63 and Boeing's mandatory retirement age is 65 - so tossing him now seems counter-productive. Best let him stay in the CEO role until the 787 is returned to service and then move aside.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: liquidair
Posted 2013-01-22 14:30:21 and read 11950 times.

So now a difference in opinion is trolling?

And the words you write, they are gospel?

sorry but the last few posts are nothing more than bigoted bullying.

And for the people who still insist on comparing the 787 with the A350 - what on earth has that got to do with it? This isn't about A vs. B. It's about safeguarding human life as best possible- and fires on planes don't fit into that, hence the grounding.

Let alone the A350 isn't even in service.

Technological advance shouldn't risk life- that's the antiquated view... Nothing to do with propellers to jets, or being afraid of change.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: BEG2IAH
Posted 2013-01-22 14:31:29 and read 11945 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 141):
she is grounded - isn't that a fact? A grounding after certification is no problem? two battery fires are no problems?

If you read the previous three threads, including this one, I would say we established the fact that B787 is grounded. What's the point of repeating and reheating things ad nauseam? That will not change the fact pattern in this case, and much less solve the technical issue FAA/Boeing/NTSB/others are working on. Why do people have to see a conspiracy in everything is beyond me.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: ContnlEliteCMH
Posted 2013-01-22 14:44:24 and read 11765 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 121):
There are situations and I would say operating a Jet in an emergency is one of them where you don't have time to be a detailed thinker. Those machines are operated by quick decision makers - lays in the nature of the job environment sometimes.

While I agree with this, I also think it largely irrelevant to this discsussion, which is about understanding and addressing two battery failures in a short span of time. THAT is the domain of detailed thinkers who think detailed thoughts to reach detailed conclusions, which in turn can lead to a detailed action plan

A consequence of the "divide" I mentioned earler (insatiable detailed thinkers vs. detail-threshold thinkers) is that people in the threshold category are very uncomfortable with issues whose details they cannot or will not acknoweldge. This discomfort is understandable but not excusable.

An inescapable truth of aviation is that there are failure modes of the machine you pilot that could occur and for which there is no in-flight remediation, including pilot error (read: AF447).

Quoting alfablue (Reply 121):
Back to the batteries: They can not be designed in a fashion to make my life harder if a better less dangerous technology could be used.



What you have been unwilling (or perhaps unable) to acknowledge are the details of "... designed in a fashion..." Others have tried to make this plain in this very thread with little effectiveness. Also, equating better to less dangerous is not sufficiently detailed to satisfy your employers, whose survival requires that they use a fraction less money to provide their product than what its customers are willing to pay, historical financial madness of the industry notwithstanding. Detailed criteria are required to define "better" and "less dangerous." You are entitled to equate them but you are in the minority of people who design/build, operate, and regulate airliners.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 121):
I mean where does economics versus safety stop. A few hundred pounds more weight on a 8000 mile aircraft? No matter what a genius system it is to contain the possible danger. Whats wrong with being on the safe side?

There is nothing wrong with being on the safe side. Please provide a detailed definition of "safe side" so that the rest of us understand clearly the point at which any technology or system meets your approval. Anything short of that is rhetoric, of which this thread already has much.

Thankfully, the engineers don't deal in rhetoric, and that's one reason why your profession has a lower mortality rate than nearly all others. If you seek evidence of the economics vs. safety trade-offs, I suggest you consult mortality/injury statistics for your own industry; the inescapable conclusion is that the detailed thinking engineers have created machines that are already so safe that your customers are more likely to die falling down the airport steps than they are riding in an airliner.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: DTW2HYD
Posted 2013-01-22 14:48:36 and read 11730 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 127):

Still trying to understand if you have issue with Boeing or FAA certification process, Even if there are issues with FAA certification process, every country has its own civil aviation authority, they can do their own review and reject any design if they want.

There are only 50 frames with 150 flights a day, most of those flights are Japanese domestic flights. You are trying to portray this as colossal failure with thousands of flights being cancelled. Early frames of every model end up being overweight and go through lot of rework. It is common for any complex machine like commercial plane. If you are assuming somehow no airline will buy 787 that is not true. For being so successful 737 had rudder issues for almost a decade.


If you are afraid don't fly a 787. You also mentioned software fix is not acceptable. Most of the time hardware is designed to handle much higher range than required. It is the software which need to be tweaked and perfectly acceptable.

In layman terms, turning off big LCD displays, charge ports and tinting windows takes care of the issue so be it.

BTW, AI 787 had few all women flight crew for flights between Delhi-Frankfurt, entire route goes over several interesting countries and couple of water bodies. Don't think they were complaining.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: wjcandee
Posted 2013-01-22 14:49:37 and read 11733 times.

I have to say that the level of hysteria in the media, government and, sadly, many A.net members about this event is really-remarkable. I think it reflects a lack of scientific education in this country along with an absurd concept of an appropriate level of safety, probably driven by years of watching Dateline NBC, the personal injury lawyer's favorite outlet.

Let's review a few things, from a layman perspective, to get some perspective.

To say that nothing on an aircraft should be capable of catching fire is...well...nuts. The thing is a FLYING GAS CAN. There's lots of stuff that is flammable and ignitable. There is lots of stuff that is already ON FIRE to get you from here to there, and those very same things SOMETIMES EXPLODE. There are things that are supposed to be on fire and things that are not. There are also things that might catch on fire, but aren't supposed to.

The design issue is and always has been to contain the things that are anticipated occasionally to catch fire or to limit their effects, just as is it to contain the things that will always be on fire and will sometimes explode. Things can and will catch fire, fail, or go boom on an airplane, but good design will minimize or eliminate their effects, such that the event is non-catastrophic, and hopefully not even serious.

As far as I can tell, the failures that were observed resulted in outcomes pretty-much as designed-for, and I haven't seen any credible evidence to the contrary.

This is a heck of a lot less serious or revealing than that bunch of oxygen generators that went up on the Delta ramp just before being loaded aboard a Delta flight as cargo, months before ValuJet 592. And yet that event, which should have been thought-provoking (Hmmm...flammable, self-sustaining, uncontained, in the cargo hold...hmmm), was basically-ignored. As was the DC10 that burned up on the ramp at ORD from the same device. And yet similar oxygen generators continue to be used on aircraft (although hopefully no longer shipped in the hold).

It seems that no matter how often it is explained that, yes, there are things that may burn on an airplane, but we design it so the fire doesn't hurt anyone or hurt the airplane's ability to fly, people just don't want to accept that.

After posting their outrage online, folks then climb into their automobiles and drive to home, work or play. They find that risk to be acceptable, however.

Odd, since in California alone, 2,715 people died in traffic fatalities in 2010, down from 5,504 in 1987. The 2010 number is about 216 people per month. That is roughly the equivalent of a 767-300 crash PER MONTH with no survivors, and just in California alone.

In the US as a whole, 32,310 people died in traffic fatalities in 2011, per the NHTSA. That's the equivalent of SEVEN no-survivor crashes of a fully-loaded 747-400 per MONTH, or about one every four days.

And yet that risk is seen by people as acceptable.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: ContnlEliteCMH
Posted 2013-01-22 14:54:06 and read 11685 times.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 143):
Technological advance shouldn't risk life..

Aside from the obviously incorrect historical nature of this statement -- technological advance usually involves risk to life and health -- why not?

How do you define "risk"?

By what power do you stop human activity (of which technological advance is but one subset) from producing consequences that create bodily harm or death to those who participate in the activity?

You are free to view acceptance of such advserse consequences as an "antiquated view" but many disagree, thinking instead that your position is fantasy. I am certainly in that camp, and I can think of no real way to enforce your desire.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-22 15:08:53 and read 11596 times.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 143):
And for the people who still insist on comparing the 787 with the A350 - what on earth has that
got to do with it?

They both use Lithium-Ion batteries in major roles. This will also be the first major use of Li-Ion batteries in an Airbus Commercial product (the A380 uses them to power the emergency lighting system).

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: rcair1
Posted 2013-01-22 15:16:38 and read 11529 times.

Quoting ComeAndGo (Reply 138):
Japanese motorcycle battery maker.

That is a cheap shot that is unwarranted.
GS-Yausa does more than motorcycle batteries.
http://www.gs-yuasa.com/us/products/index.html

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 147):
In the US as a whole, 32,310 people died in traffic fatalities in 2011, per the NHTSA. That's the equivalent of SEVEN no-survivor crashes of a fully-loaded 747-400 per MONTH, or about one every four days.

And yet that risk is seen by people as acceptable.

Thank you wjcandee - it allows me to respond to this

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 88):
The way to the airport is the dangerous part, isn't it?

Yes. It is.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: alfablue
Posted 2013-01-22 15:27:56 and read 11416 times.

Quoting ContnlEliteCMH (Reply 145):
There is nothing wrong with being on the safe side. Please provide a detailed definition of "safe side"

not risking more unknown battery fires with unknown outcome is being on the safe side - thanks some in the FAA had the same thought!

Quoting DTW2HYD (Reply 146):
There are only 50 frames with 150 flights a day, most of those flights are Japanese domestic flights.

point 1 makes the event statistically more important (only 50 frames, only 150 flights but two fires within 10 days)

point 2 : would you have rather seen a battery fire in the news on a transoceanic flight? Thanx heavens they were close to an airport where they could land! They had a fire onboard!!!

I dont portray anything - I just say the grounding is justified and should not be lifted after a deep investigation into many of the 787 development, outsourcing, documentation and certifying is conducted - to restore confidence that they take it serious. No bets and lets hope it does not happen a third time attitude!

Quoting ContnlEliteCMH (Reply 148):
technological advance usually involves risk to life and health -- why not?

you can claim that for Otto Lilienthal or the brothers wright in a single pilot environment - I dont pay an airline or the OEM to prove a new technology on me or risk my life - I can not believe you asked that! Thats the worst I have read here today I think - I wish I could sit you on a 787 over the pacific ant test the containment box 1000 times and see if it always holds what it promises!

AlfaBlue

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: liquidair
Posted 2013-01-22 15:32:36 and read 11407 times.

Quoting ContnlEliteCMH (Reply 148):

you misunderstand my point- I was replying to reply 137 , who seemed to assert that risk is inherent when progressing technologically.

Mine may be fantasy- and you may all be right, I'm sure you are- but if these fires are preventable, then they should be. Technology should progress in testing, not in service.

I'll reiterate- accidents occur when something happens that wasn't foreseen, most likely extremely improbable. But they do happen and as such a flaming battery on a new plane is really serious- no conspiracies here, just fact.

I understand the A350 may share this technology, but frankly, they're not in service yet, and certainly haven't caught fire with passengers on board, hence my citing the comparison as irrelevant.

[Edited 2013-01-22 15:38:36]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: NathanH
Posted 2013-01-22 15:33:01 and read 11410 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 151):
I can not believe you asked that! Thats the worst I have read here today I think

The statement was made that technological advancement shouldn't risk life. All that was being said was that in the course of human history, that has been in incorrect statement.

Frankly, your hysteria on this is getting a little much. Some of us are trying to follow this and get reasoned insight into the technological issues at hand, and then you come along making hyperbolic statements and parading rumors as fact.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: alfablue
Posted 2013-01-22 15:46:07 and read 11417 times.

Quoting NathanH (Reply 153):
Frankly, your hysteria on this is getting a little much. Some of us are trying to follow this and get reasoned insight into the technological issues at hand, and then you come along making hyperbolic statements and parading rumors as fact.

The news overnight seems to have become increasingly troubling for Boeing, as investigations into the 787′s problems fan out in all directions.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/eamonnfi...gs-787-crisis-important-new-links/

Mary Schiavo says quick fix looks unlikely as regulators appear split on what caused battery defects in Dreamliner 787s

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...0-dreamliner-fire-split-regulators

well - call me hysteric if you like - i heard worse in my life  

Read the facts than on the links.

AlfaBlue

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-22 15:59:06 and read 11279 times.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 152):
I understand the A350 may share this technology, but frankly, they're not in service yet, and certainly haven't caught fire with passengers on board, hence my citing the comparison as irrelevant.

A significant plurality of the 1000+ posts have been arguing that Lithium-Ion batteries are inherently dangerous and their installation aboard a commercial airliner will eventually result in a catastrophic event. Under that line of reasoning, that the A350 has not yet encountered a battery fire or leak of electrolytes is what is irrelevant, as it will assuredly happen at some point in the model's service life because it has Lithium-Ion batteries.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: RNAVFL350
Posted 2013-01-22 16:04:21 and read 11194 times.

Quoting ComeAndGo (Reply 139):
No, you have a potential source of fire and no extinguishers. that's not the same.

The potential source of fire is installed within a containment (vented so as to not produce a bomb) which seems to have worked as per its design. Others here have already discussed the leaking battery material/electorlytes from the containment in earlier posts, and the fact that this EE bay was designed with the possibility of leaking fluids due to the PECS(liquid cooling) system that cools the panels/electronics.

I am pretty sure that the fuel carried on the airplane is also a potential source of fire with no extinguishers as well. Or less dramatic, the coffee makers, though there may be extinguishers for this.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: UALWN
Posted 2013-01-22 16:17:29 and read 11106 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 124):
Do you believe that the 380 should be grounded until the lithium ion batteries are removed from its emergency lighting system?

As far as I know, there has not been any fire attributed to the Li ion batteries in the almost 100 A380s that are flying since first entering service over 5 years ago. The situation regarding the 787 is very different.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: RNAVFL350
Posted 2013-01-22 16:22:59 and read 11036 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 141):
she is grounded - isn't that a fact? A grounding after certification is no problem? two battery fires are no problems?

Fact is it was grounded because 2 separate battery incidents occured in a very short span of time and the containment of said batteries also needs to be investigated. End of story.

You stated that the 787 was plagued with all sorts of problems related to its electrical architecture. From the evidence provided so far, it appears that it may be a battery issue alone, and very little to do with the electrical architecture.

Sure there was an incident during a test/certification flight (ZA002) which was beleived to be FOD, and was subsequently modified after the fact, but that is what test flights are for. I remember watching a test flight video on the A380 during flutter testing where the fairings under the wings literally broke off the plane at high speed, but this issue was also resolved and then eventually certified.

I am just curious to here about all the other problems that the 787 is supposedly plagued with after certification aside from the incident with United and the VFSG/P200 panel.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: kanban
Posted 2013-01-22 16:39:58 and read 10948 times.

Quoting ContnlEliteCMH (Reply 148):
Quoting liquidair (Reply 143):
Technological advance shouldn't risk life..

Aside from the obviously incorrect historical nature of this statement -- technological advance usually involves risk to life and health -- why not?

Of course most technological advances seem to come from military applications intent on ending life and health that are then tamed for non military uses.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 151):
I just say the grounding is justified

Repeating this over and over won't cause it to happen.. the horse is dead.. we get your opinion.. just we don't give it the weight you espouse.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 154):
Read the facts than on the links.

Love the case where opinions in the press become facts .. there is too much we don't know and they don't know.

BTW, back in reply 109, I asked about the electrolyte flammability.. anyone have an answer..????

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: kellmark
Posted 2013-01-22 16:42:26 and read 10915 times.

Quoting NathanH (Reply 153):
Frankly, your hysteria on this is getting a little much. Some of us are trying to follow this and get reasoned insight into the technological issues at hand, and then you come along making hyperbolic statements and parading rumors as fact.

Nathan I have to say, in following this thread, that Alfablue makes a lot of sense, especially from the point of view of someone that puts his life and the life of his passengers on the line everyday.

I love the B787, but it is clear that fires on aircraft are fundamentally unacceptable. You can't just pull off to the side of the road. And containing a fire is great, but preventing it from happening in the first place is far better.

All three aspects of the system, the battery itself, the software controller/electrical system and the containment system have to be reviewed and examined carefully. The situation has to be duplicated to understand how it occurred. It may be that few, if any changes are required. But it is difficult to believe that at this point, especially with all of the evidence of just how unstable li-on battery systems can be in a variety of environments, and how catastrophic their failures can be. I think we have been very lucky that the 787s were not on extended overwater flights when these incidents occurred.

I also fly, as a flight instructor. And I believe that one should always mitigate risk as much as possible in aviation. And right now, we (meaning the authorities, the airlines and the manufacturer) need to have a very clear understanding of what caused this multiple occurrence problem, and what are the best ways to correct it. It may take time. Remember, it took more than a year for the investigators to determine what really happened with BA38, the 777 at LHR, with the fuel heat exchanger icing problem. I hope that it doesn't take that long here. But in comparing those two situations. Delta had an engine that had the same problem occur but it was at altitude, not on final approach. So there were two occurrences there as well, but one resulted in serious but non-fatal accident thanks to the last minute actions of the crew.

Several commenters have mentioned the DC10 accident with the #2 engine failure which knocked out the 3 hydraulic systems for the flight controls, where the aircraft crashed while attempting to land at Sioux City. For many years I worked at Eastern Airlines, and we had a similar failure to that DC10 on one of our L-1011 aircraft, as it was climbing out from EWR to SJU. The #2 engine compressor failed catastrophically, and the fan section detached from the front of the engine, went forward into the cabin of the aircraft and out the right side of the fuselage. In doing so, it cut the rudder cables, knocked out 3 of the 4 hydraulic systems and depressurized the aircraft and of course the #2 was failed. But the L-1011 did not lose all 4 hydraulic systems. It still had one left to be able to control the airplane with the elevators and ailerons, and the crew was able to land the aircraft at JFK, using differential engine power for yaw control. Ultimately, what saved the L-1011 compared to the DC10 was that the L-1011 had 4 hydraulic systems instead of 3 in the DC-10. Also, I think there was some luck involved. Subsequently, Rolls Royce put a fan brake on the front of the engine to prevent it from detaching from the engine, and Lockheed put some armored plating over the hydraulics in that area. The point being that they took several steps to mitigate the problem.

In any case, this seems that, with multiple occurrences we need to err on the side of safety, especially with fires. Alfablue is right.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: cmf
Posted 2013-01-22 16:58:23 and read 10803 times.

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 147):
In the US as a whole, 32,310 people died in traffic fatalities in 2011, per the NHTSA. That's the equivalent of SEVEN no-survivor crashes of a fully-loaded 747-400 per MONTH, or about one every four days.

Careful, incomplete data is dangerous statistics.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: nm2582
Posted 2013-01-22 16:58:51 and read 10795 times.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 116):
What is a 'balancer? Links are appreciated. As I prefaced, I do not claim to be a battery expert, but I'm interested in the details.

Lightsaber

A balancer is a circuit designed to equalize the voltage of all cells in a series-wired lithium battery pack assembly.

No two lithium cells are absolutely identical in capacity - the cell may be rated at 65Ah, but the reality is there is a tolerance - one cell might be 64.92Ah, and another might be 65.37Ah. They also self-discharge at differing rates (lithium cells generally self discharge at very low rates, but it still differs from cell to cell).

If you assemble a series circuit of these cells, and never make any attempt to balance them, the individual charge state of the cells will drift. The cells with the lowest capacity will experience higher voltage swings (as it takes less energy to charge them, and they have less energy to give before being discharged). Because they experience higher voltage swings, this further ages the cell and further lowers the capacity. Initially, there is nothing at all wrong with the lower capacity cells - they are within tolerance, have no defects, and are absolutely perfectly safe for use.

So let's look at a purely theoretical scenario of lithium battery usage with no balancer:

Let's assume you've made a design choice to consider 4.0V per cell to be the maximum permissible charge state (this is less than the maximum safe value for the pack - but it gives you some tolerance and also makes the pack last much longer), and let's also assume you have 8 of these cells in series. Ergo, a pack with 32V as the "max". You then charge this battery to 32V. When the pack is brand new and the cells are all close in capacity, the ending voltages (after charge) of each individual cell would be closely grouped - some at 4.00V, maybe some at 3.99V, some at 4.01V, maybe a few at 4.02V or 3.98V. But they will be very close. Over time, with use, the cells start drifting more. Eventually, one or more cells become clearly weaker (less capacity) than the others. As a result, it experiences higher voltages when the pack is charged, and lower voltages when the pack is discharged; this causes some lithium plating and other internal damage which further reduces capacity. Eventually, this weak cell fails because it experienced an over-voltage event during charging (it goes over-voltage because it can't absorb any further energy due to it's low capacity; and the chemistry of the cell dictates that it's voltage must go higher) or it fails because it fell below the minimum voltage during a discharge cycle (lithium cells are damaged by low voltage).

Now, the exact same scenario with a balancer:

Every time the pack is charged, the balancer is active. All cells are kept at exactly the same voltage. No one cell experiences any undue loads or damage because all cells are operated within their normal (safe) range. When charged to 32V, the voltages of each individual cell in the pack are exactly 4.00V. The capacity of the individual cells still varies (due to original variances in capacity when new, and due to the normal course of action as the cells age over hundreds or even perhaps a few thousand cycles) but the balancer always keeps the cells safe and in a low risk state by keeping all cells balanced at the exact same state of charge.

State of charge: the voltage of a lithium cell is directly correlated with the state of charge (the % of full capacity for that individual cell) of the cell.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-22 17:02:18 and read 10814 times.

Quoting nm2582 (Reply 162):
A balancer is a circuit designed to equalize the voltage of all cells in a series-wired lithium battery pack assembly.

So even if one of the cells in the pack is significantly degraded in comparison to it's peers, provided it receives a steady 4V during charging thanks to the load balancer, there is no risk of it entering thermal runaway or leaking electrolytes?

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: aeroblogger
Posted 2013-01-22 17:07:01 and read 10753 times.

Quoting RNAVFL350 (Reply 158):

You stated that the 787 was plagued with all sorts of problems related to its electrical architecture. From the evidence provided so far, it appears that it may be a battery issue alone, and very little to do with the electrical architecture.

There were issues with a UA aircraft's electrical system, which caused a divert to MSY. QR grounded an aircraft due to a similar issue. An Air India aircraft was grounded for a while because of issues with the airpacks, which turned out to be an electrical issue.

There is a clearly demonstrated pattern of electrical problems with this aircraft.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Shenzhen
Posted 2013-01-22 17:08:15 and read 10752 times.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 143):
And for the people who still insist on comparing the 787 with the A350 - what on earth has that got to do with it? This isn't about A vs. B. It's about safeguarding human life as best possible- and fires on planes don't fit into that, hence the grounding.

Lets just hope that the FAA doesn't start grounding entire fleets when something happens that they can't explain (such as an airplane crashing into the ocean). Every day there are reports of smoke in the cabin. There multiple airplane fires (Egyptian 777, Turkish 737NG, Malaysian 330.......) that happen that the fleet isn't grounded. They should have mandated inspections/testing of the battery and then issued new AD's as the investigation warranted. Had there been a couple hundred 787 airplanes with "n" tail numbers flying, the fleet would not have been grounded.

This is a very slippery slope, and hopefully other regulators (countries) will allow mitigation to get the airplanes back into the air.

Cheers

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: alfablue
Posted 2013-01-22 17:21:08 and read 10671 times.

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 165):
This is a very slippery slope, and hopefully other regulators (countries) will allow mitigation to get the airplanes back into the air.

but wouldn't mitigation of the risk be to provide ANA and other affected airlines with interim lift and do a thorough investigation into the system and its architecture and fix and re-certify what's wrong - no matter how long it takes?

I agree on the slippery slope but the question mark I have is whether rushing the 787 back into service is the solution. It seems like asking for even more troubles.

AlfaBlue

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: AeroWesty
Posted 2013-01-22 17:24:05 and read 10650 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 166):
the question mark I have is whether rushing the 787 back into service is the solution.

What evidence do you have that the 787 is being rushed back into service? Links to anything which would be relevant would be helpful.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: nm2582
Posted 2013-01-22 17:25:13 and read 10643 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 163):
So even if one of the cells in the pack is significantly degraded in comparison to it's peers, provided it receives a steady 4V during charging thanks to the load balancer, there is no risk of it entering thermal runaway or leaking electrolytes?

That's essentially correct. There are a few edge cases, but you can absolutely take an old degraded cell (perhaps one that has lost 20% of it's capacity, which is generally regarded as "end of useful life") and provided that the balancer keeps the cell voltage in the proper safe range, the cell will be as safe as any other and at no additional risk of explosion/thermal runaway/fire/etc.

Possible edge cases:

* The load balancer does not have sufficient balancing capability (i.e. it can not cope with a large imbalance, due to an inability to bleed current at the same rate that the charger is putting it in) combined with a non-integrated charger design (the charger does not reduce charge current to a rate which the balancer can effectively cope with)

* the cell has prior damage such that it is already unsafe (internal shorts, ....)

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Shenzhen
Posted 2013-01-22 17:31:18 and read 10578 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 166):

but wouldn't mitigation of the risk be to provide ANA and other affected airlines with interim lift and do a thorough investigation into the system and its architecture and fix and re-certify what's wrong - no matter how long it takes?

Mitigation, as I see it, would be a comprehensive testing of the batteries and their charging systems. OHM/CMM manuals provide the means to test components on the airplane. If there is anything that the experts believe should be tested beyond, then include that in the (global AMOC) alternate means of compliance to the AD to get the birds back in the air.

Cheers

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: alfablue
Posted 2013-01-22 17:36:28 and read 10583 times.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 167):
What evidence do you have that the 787 is being rushed back into service? Links to anything which would be relevant would be helpful.

here you go - an article about the attitude of the Boing management - if they think the grounding is unjustified and and tell operators that all is according schedule (for april) it seems they know more than the law-makers or investigating authorities and leads me to think there is a certain rush - read for yourself - the other three links is just for you and others to see the scope into the discussion and that I still think it will not have an easy fix! after all if politicians want a hearing - is that good PR?

http://seattletimes.com/html/busines...020173453_787teethingpainsxml.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...87-norwegian-idUSLNE90L01620130122

http://www.suntimes.com/news/sweet/1...mliner-to-be-focus-of-hearing.html

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article....e-xml/AW_01_21_2013_p25-537815.xml

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stan-sorscher/boeing-787_b_2512541.html

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-22 17:42:39 and read 10551 times.



Quoting nm2582 (Reply 168):
That's essentially correct. There are a few edge cases, but you can absolutely take an old degraded cell (perhaps one that has lost 20% of it's capacity, which is generally regarded as "end of useful life") and provided that the balancer keeps the cell voltage in the proper safe range, the cell will be as safe as any other and at no additional risk of explosion/thermal runaway/fire/etc.

Thank you for that insight.


Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 167):
What evidence do you have that the 787 is being rushed back into service?
Quoting alfablue (Reply 170):
here you go - an article about the attitude of the Boing management - if they think the grounding is unjustified and and tell operators that all is according schedule (for april) it seems they know more than the law-makers or investigating authorities and leads me to think there is a certain rush

If Boeing has the power to "rush" the FAA into lifting the grounding, one would think they would have had the power to prevent it in the first place...

 

[Edited 2013-01-22 17:43:44]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: bellancacf
Posted 2013-01-22 17:44:39 and read 10497 times.

to nm2582 at 168: The Tesla roadster has, I read elsewhere, 6831 cells in its battery. What on earth does the balancing circuit look like? Is each cell really monitored individually? There's got to be a trick in there somewhere . . . But then, if the 787 has 8 cells to be handled by each charger (there are 2 chargers, aren't there?), the comparative simplicity ought to make keeping these cells balanced a piece of cake. And if the cells are too large, well, make them smaller and do whatever it is that Tesla's doing.  

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Shenzhen
Posted 2013-01-22 17:45:24 and read 10494 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 166):
but wouldn't mitigation of the risk be to provide ANA and other affected airlines with interim lift and do a thorough investigation into the system and its architecture and fix and re-certify what's wrong - no matter how long it takes?

Every year there are dozens of ADs, mandating something. An AD is not created unless someone feels there is a safety issue. Most provide up to 2, 4, 5 years (usually based on scheduled maint) to comply (after an NPRM).

The current AD provides NO means of compliance, therefore UAL (or Boeing) will need to submit an AMOC that provides their mitigation to the AD concerns, and a comprehensive risk analysis.

Cheers

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: tdscanuck
Posted 2013-01-22 17:52:50 and read 10526 times.

Quoting WingedMigrator (Reply 31):
Intuitively you can think of it this way: if you make it to 0.13 million hours with no failures, the hourly failure rate is extremely likely below 0.1 per hour (with a confidence of many nines). Pick any confidence level, say 95%, and you can compute the upper bound of the failure rate... with ZERO events. Well, actually 0.13 million successful 1-hour trails...

That method only works if you have a normal distribution (or a large sum of identically distributed distributions). In this case, we have no idea if the failure time distribution is normal (there are some good reason to think it probably isn't) and N=2 is way too low for central limit theorem to apply. With two events you can at least calculate the variance but, without knowing the distribution, even that doesn't tell you much.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 34):
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 14):
Since there's no chance that the FAA would have accepted a statement that "the PECS system will never leak", Boeing would have had to design the entire aft EE bay to handle chemicals flying around anyway.

But glycol and water may have very different properties than electrolyte. Is electrolyte caustic or alkaline?

I'm not a chemist but, from what I can tell, it's probably mildly caustic. I agree it's quite different than coolant, but the obvious major hazard with spraying conductive liquid into an electrical bay is shorts and that would have had to be dealt with to handle the coolant issue. Chemical reactivity is also a concern, although it would typically act much more slowly than a short (if it was wildly corrosive they couldn't have used a steel box for containment in the first place). That would at least buy you time, and any single component failure in the aft EE bay was already designed for...given what the APU battery does, any other component failure would act like a single failure in flight.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 34):
How reactive is it? Will it burn if it gets hot or if current passes through it? I do not know. I do know that most coolants are chosen to be minimally reactive.

It's apparently flammable but I don't know under what conditions.

Quoting smolt (Reply 51):
I wonder if flight data recorder or something will tell us how much voltage and current had been applied to the battery?

It's on the flight recorder (for both batteries).

Quoting smolt (Reply 51):
If something does, how long will it take?

The DFDR has already been downloaded and decoded. If you actually have access to the hardware it's a pretty quick process.

Quoting smolt (Reply 51):
Also just interesting is if the battery is pressured and air conditioned? If not, can the lithium put up with so frequently
pressure and temperature going ups and downs inside commercial aircraft?

All the EE bay compartments are part of the pressure vessel, so they experience basically the same pressure as the passengers (modulo a small differential that drives the cooling air flow). Temperature in the EE bay is typically a little higher than the cabin because of the high power density.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 57):
I'm no engineer, pilot or expert- buy I do know that I wouldn't get on a plane where things catch fire.

Then you should never get on a plane...stuff catches fire on planes quite often. The vast majority of the time it's stuff that's not part of the aircraft itself (cargo or garbage), which is why the airplane is designed to handle it. There are also flammable components that are part of the airplane by its design (fuel, oil, batteries, oxygen generators). Since these can't be designed out, the airplane has to be build to deal with them if they catch fire.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 57):
The fact of the matter is that accidents happen when an unforseen set of events come together to create an incredibly improbable outcome.

Yes. Fortunately, in this case, a battery fire was a foreseen event and designed for. The problem is that it wasn't supposed to happen this often, so the probability of interaction with other events is out of whack...it's those interactions that drive the certification of multiple failures via fault tree analysis, so changes to the input probabilities need to be carefully studied to see if the high level combinations threaten the aircraft to an unacceptable degree.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 57):
And whichever way you look at it, pissing out liquid stuff all over the EE bay is not good design- it's a failure.

Yes. But individual components on aircraft fail quite regularly; that's why no single failure is allowed to threaten safe flight and landing, regardless of how likely the failure is. Interactions are dealt with on a probability basis. The big open question, in this case, is if battery fires are more likely than expected, how does that interact with all the other systems. If a battery fire, by itself, could threaten safe flight of the aircraft then it would never have been certified in the first place.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 58):
The Qantas incident was never supposed to happen and yet it did but only few criticized the failure of the nacelle (which should have contained the debris of an exploding engine).

No. You're confusing blade containment (which is a requirement) with rotor burst containment (which isn't). The nacelle in the Qantas event did not fail. There is no known practical way to contain a rotor burst; that's why it's a design requirement for the rest of the airplane that it be able to withstand a rotor burst (which the A380 did). That it did so is a testament to the A380 engineers *and* the flight crew...the engineers made sure that the flight crew had an aircraft that was even capable of flight (despite an incredibly unlikely rotor burst that cut two independent, separated, and redundant wires).

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 58):
Reading some of the posts defending the container as a prove of safety is just beyond missing or understanding what safety means.

I don't think anybody has defended the containment as proof of safety; they have defended it as potentially proof of containment, which was the whole point. Neither aircraft was rendered incapable of safe flight and landing, which is the real requirement.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 58):
For some armchair CEO, safety experts and wanna be pilots I can promise you that a fire outside the engine hot section is a non acceptable risk no matter what underlying statistic tools you use for its likelihood or its containment.

You need to include the FAA, EASA, all other regulators, and all OEM's into that pile then. A fire outside an engine hot section *is* an acceptable risk if the fire, by itself, won't bring down the aircraft (through any combination of mitigation tools, including suppression, detection, and containment) and if the probability of the fire, when combined with the probability of other failures, is less than 1e-9 to bring down the aircraft. This is how aircraft have been certified for decades.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 58):
IMHO this technology should have not been approved for airline operation and contrary to what many seem to believe here the JAL Boston incident would have warranted a grounding already.

How would the JAL Boston incident warrant grounding by itself?

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 58):
This aircraft has a deeply flawed electrical system and the recent incidents just made that very clear to very many people.

What are the specific deep flaws that you're concerned about? The battery is obviously one. What are the others?

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 63):
That's just another layer of safety but the batteries are not supposed to light up in the first place.

Yes. And engines aren't supposed to have rotor bursts, airplanes aren't supposed to get hit by lightning, and passengers aren't supposed to put lit cigarettes in the garbage. But all these things happen and cannot be absolutely prevented, so the designers make sure that, if these things happen, the aircraft can still get the passengers safely to the ground.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 63):
The engine is not supposed to fail in a fashion that parts fly around but in the event it happens it should be contained

No. No jet aircraft ever build has had the ability to contain a rotor burst.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 63):
Do you get the concept that in modern aviation I don't want things on board over the ocean that light up for an unknown reason and right next to all vital systems and I have no tools to prevent that or mitigate the effects except praying that the engineers didn't built in a design flaw into the container (as we saw with RR and the A380).

1) The engineers didn't build a design flaw into the A380 "container"...the entire rest of the system performed as designed, given that a rotor burst occured (it is physically impossible to engineer rotor bursts out completely).
2) It's obvious that flight crews (or anybody else) don't *want* fires for any reason. This is not a reason to not engineer protections in in case do occur.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 63):
The container is not relevant here - it's the fact that you have a fire on board you can not control - contained or not - it does not matter!

The container is hugely relevant; the container (and other protective design features) is the reason that the second JAL flight ended in an evacuation with minor injuries, rather than something somewhere between massive smoke inhalation injuries and a hull loss. It's also the reason that the aircraft from the first event is sitting entirely intact on the ramp in Boston, rather than being a charred pile of carbon fiber.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 65):
I think we have safer battery tech available and saving some weight and improving economics is no acceptable reason to endanger lives.

Lives are endangered every time anybody flies (or does almost anything). The point is to reduce risk to an acceptable level (the level is well defined and hasn't changed for a very long time). Jet engines have killed far more people than airplane battery fires...should we get rid of jet engines?

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 65):
Yes - based on recent evidence I would suggest that the certifying bodies DO NOT allow the use of lithium batteries in commercial aircraft.

What is the basis for banning an entire technology, rather than a particular implementation of it? Battery fires did not begin with lithium batteries.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 68):
How many mass produced passenger jets are there with lith-ion batteries?

At this point, a couple of hundred.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 68):
Which were designed to have failing thermal runaway fires?

All of them.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 68):
It's not a question of designing in the containment- there shouldn't be this issue in the first place.

That's a single-point failure approach ("Don't design for failure, just have it not fail."). In addition to being terrible engineering practice, it's flat-out illegal. You can't certify any aircraft under that basis.

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 74):
The amount of word mincing, pseudo-legal babble, and over- and re-interpretation of published information for the sole purpose of downplaying the problem in this forum has reached unimaginable proportions.

The discourse around this topic falls into three main buckets:
1) Requests for clarification
2) Attempts to downplay the problem
3) Attempts to "upplay" the problem

Much of the detailed discussion is around 1), which is great and what a.net is best at. Relatively little (although not zero) has been 2). Considerably more has been around 3), which is why a great deal of explanation is going on. Much as legal terms have particular definitions in the courts that don't necessarily match the lay definition, the same thing happens with aviation (both on the engineering and certification side). Using the lay definition or not being very technical may lead to very erroneous conclusions if you're not careful.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 79):
Why did the Boeing management flip upon the news of the grounding? Because they know about the flaws and the flawed elec. system and now the whole world knows and vividly discusses it too.

Why on earth would Boeing management pick the most damaging and most expensive possible path? Even if you're so cynical as to think that Boeing was only chasing $$$, knowing the system is fatally flawed and covering it up is far more expensive than any other alternative. There is no possible reason for them to take the path you're claiming.

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 85):
Lots of planes end up being certified with foreseeable design defects;

All planes end up being certified with foreseeable design defects. That's what most AD's are about.

Quoting AlfaBlue (Reply 88):
We should all fight for the right to let Boeing and other manufactures use us as live lab rats to prove or disprove a new technology.

This argument would apply to all technologies ever introduced in aviation. If you want to freeze aviation technology at some point, which point are you picking?

Quoting alfablue (Reply 100):
I used the nacelle sample because its close enough as an example to what the containment is supposed to do with the battery.

No, it's not. The nacelle wasn't designed to contain a rotor burst, the battery box was designed to contain the damage from a battery fire. In both cases, so far, it looks like the design worked as intended.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 107):
I for example never understood neither why the Airbus A380 could fly with wings braking before the limit and than just present a computer program calculation or whatever

Because the major purpose of the test isn't to prove the strength of the structure, it's to validate the tools used to design the structure. Once you calibrate the tools, you have very high confidence in the accuracy of small changes from the test article. If the wing had broken at 100% instead of 150%, you can bet the regulators would have made Airbus break another one. But they got to something like 147%. With that data, showing the impact of the strengthening is very straightforward. It would require an absolutely enormous analysis failure (about two orders of magnitude higher) to not get from a tested 147% to an analyzed 150%.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 121):
I mean where does economics versus safety stop.

When the risk balances the cost. That's how transportation systems have been done since long before airplanes were invented. In the particular case of aviation, the scale has actually swung way over to the safety side relative to other forms of transport; we're far more tolerant of risk on cars and trains (and even walking) than we are on airplanes.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 121):
Whats wrong with being on the safe side?

Within reason, nothing. But going all the way to "absolute safety", as some have called for in this discussion, means ending commercial aviation entirely.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 127):
Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 124):
Do you believe that the 380 should be grounded until the lithium ion batteries are removed from its emergency lighting system?

If they are a danger to flight safety than yes.

They're not a danger to flight safety. Neither were the 787 batteries, by themselves. What's up in the air is compound failures.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 143):
Technological advance shouldn't risk life

Technological advance always risks life, in as much as the mere process of flying has some risk. This is a variant of the "absolute safety" argument.

Tom.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Shenzhen
Posted 2013-01-22 17:54:09 and read 10467 times.

By Andrea Shalal-Esa

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A key Senate committee will hold a hearing in coming weeks to examine U.S. aviation safety oversight and the Federal Aviation Administration's decision to allow Boeing Co to use highly flammable lithium-ion batteries on board its new 787 Dreamliner, a congressional aide said on Tuesday.

Wow, and this isn't political?

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: DocLightning
Posted 2013-01-22 18:02:10 and read 10443 times.

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 165):
Lets just hope that the FAA doesn't start grounding entire fleets when something happens that they can't explain (such as an airplane crashing into the ocean).

If it had happened twice in two days, then I would have argued that the A330 fleet world-wide should be grounded. It didn't for a very good reason: it was crew error. The cause, although not known, was the reason why two such events did not occur in rapid succession.

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 165):
Every day there are reports of smoke in the cabin.

Again, when it happens on two aircraft of one type within a few days due to malfunction in the same component, then it should be grounded. Especially when it is a new type with only 50 frames flying and less than 60,000 flight hours total.

Bottom line: the number of events per flight hour should be low. In this case, two such events in the 787 fleet in 72 hours would correspond to >10 such events every day in the worldwide A330 fleet. If that were happening, you bet the A330 fleet would be grounded. And, in fact, after the AS MD80 went swimming off Point Mogu, the MD80 fleet was grounded until the jackscrew inspections could be done.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: PHX787
Posted 2013-01-22 18:06:11 and read 10427 times.

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 175):
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A key Senate committee will hold a hearing in coming weeks to examine U.S. aviation safety oversight and the Federal Aviation Administration's decision to allow Boeing Co to use highly flammable lithium-ion batteries on board its new 787 Dreamliner, a congressional aide said on Tuesday.

Well they have every right to inspect it. I mean, Japanese government is getting involved too.

We just don't need anything bad happening anymore to aircraft

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: par13del
Posted 2013-01-22 18:09:16 and read 10452 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 171):
If Boeing has the power to "rush" the FAA into lifting the grounding, one would think they would have had the power to prevent it in the first place...

Stop, you are starting to make sense  
Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 175):
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A key Senate committee will hold a hearing in coming weeks to examine U.S. aviation safety oversight and the Federal Aviation Administration's decision to allow Boeing Co to use highly flammable lithium-ion batteries on board its new 787 Dreamliner, a congressional aide said on Tuesday.

This one makes absolutely no sense, we all know that the politicians in the USA are in Boeing's back pocket, see the illegal subsidies and the bogus tanker contract, why would they do this, is there no loyalty?

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: WingedMigrator
Posted 2013-01-22 18:16:10 and read 10359 times.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 174):
That method only works if you have a normal distribution

A normal distribution is not relevant to the problem at hand. Confidence levels can be calculated for the Poisson distribution just as they can for any PDF, and the Poisson distribution is relevant here because it describes the behavior of discrete, rare events... such as battery failures. Poisson statistics allow you to infer a failure rate even if you haven't observed a single failure, provided that the underlying failure rate is constant. The basic N=2 logic, where N is the number of observations, doesn't apply because lack of failure is also an observation.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: AeroWesty
Posted 2013-01-22 18:16:23 and read 10402 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 170):
leads me to think there is a certain rush

So you've gone from asking, "whether rushing the 787 back into service is the solution," as if this was a foregone conclusion based on factual events, to now it's just your opinion being that the process is being rushed when asked to back it up.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 171):
If Boeing has the power to "rush" the FAA into lifting the grounding, one would think they would have had the power to prevent it in the first place.

   We just have a pot-stirrer in our midst, best I can tell.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: tdscanuck
Posted 2013-01-22 18:17:28 and read 10459 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 151):
point 2 : would you have rather seen a battery fire in the news on a transoceanic flight? Thanx heavens they were close to an airport where they could land! They had a fire onboard!!!
Quoting kellmark (Reply 160):
I think we have been very lucky that the 787s were not on extended overwater flights when these incidents occurred.

This is the type of "upplaying" I was talking about. Battery fire was a design condition; not one that anybody expected would even be called into play (like most design conditions) but one that, should it occur, could not impact safe flight and landing. This is certification 101 stuff.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 151):
I just say the grounding is justified and should not be lifted after a deep investigation into many of the 787 development, outsourcing, documentation and certifying is conducted

I'm really hoping you meant "and *should* be lifted" in that sentence. If not, are you suggesting grounding the 787 forever?

Quoting alfablue (Reply 151):
I wish I could sit you on a 787 over the pacific ant test the containment box 1000 times and see if it always holds what it promises!

As someone who actually sat in a 787 over the Pacific (and other environs) with intentionally inserted failures far more dangerous than this one, I'd happily go out and test the containment box as you describe. That would, however, be a lousy test design, you could do much better (and I would assume that Boeing, the FAA, and NTSB are doing just that).

Quoting liquidair (Reply 152):
I'll reiterate- accidents occur when something happens that wasn't foreseen, most likely extremely improbable. But they do happen and as such a flaming battery on a new plane is really serious

But a flaming battery was a foreseen failure. I'm confused why this keeps coming up.

The regulators will *never* let you claim something will never fail. They flat out won't accept that. You have to show that any failure, regardless of how unlikely. From the FAA:
"a. The following basic objectives pertaining to failures apply:

(1) In any system or subsystem, the failure of any single element, component, or connection during any one flight (brake release through ground deceleration to stop) should be assumed, regardless of its probability. Such single failures should not prevent continued safe flight and landing, or significantly reduce the capability of the airplane or the ability of the crew to cope with the resulting failure conditions."

The issue with the current problem is that it might not comply with regulations that require the probability of a catastrophic event due to foreseeable *combinations* of failures must be extremely remote.

Quoting RNAVFL350 (Reply 156):
I am pretty sure that the fuel carried on the airplane is also a potential source of fire with no extinguishers as well.

Actually, the 787 at least has a flammability reduction system in all tanks (as will the A350). That's not going to help if you start a fire in there, but it will reduce the probability of a fire. Those arguing that Jet-A is proven safe should remember that the FAA actually reversed course on that about 10 years ago and mandated flammability reduction systems on new types.

Quoting kellmark (Reply 160):
I have to say, in following this thread, that Alfablue makes a lot of sense, especially from the point of view of someone that puts his life and the life of his passengers on the line everyday.

What of the lives of the flight crews and engineers who took the plane up and inserted failures worse than Alfablue will likely ever see in service, just so that certification could be granted and Alfablue could fly the plane in the first place? There seems to be this pervasive, very wrong, idea that the engineers and pilots who make these design decisions aren't directly impacted by them. Many of them fly on the tests that make those very failures happen (and yes, those tests sometimes include fires).

Quoting kellmark (Reply 160):
I love the B787, but it is clear that fires on aircraft are fundamentally unacceptable. You can't just pull off to the side of the road. And containing a fire is great, but preventing it from happening in the first place is far better.

Nobody would agree with you more than the OEMs. Prevention is, by far, the preferred option. But it is unacceptable to have it be the only option. *Even* if you do all that's physically possible to prevent the fire, you should still plan for mitigation in case it does occur.

Quoting kellmark (Reply 160):
It may take time. Remember, it took more than a year for the investigators to determine what really happened with BA38, the 777 at LHR, with the fuel heat exchanger icing problem.

And note that the 777 fleet kept flying (safely!) all that time. This issue was actually considerably more of a threat, since it was an unforeseen common mode failure.

Tom.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Shenzhen
Posted 2013-01-22 18:19:12 and read 10431 times.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 176):
Again, when it happens on two aircraft of one type within a few days due to malfunction in the same component, then it should be grounded. Especially when it is a new type with only 50 frames flying and less than 60,000 flight hours total.

Bottom line: the number of events per flight hour should be low. In this case, two such events in the 787 fleet in 72 hours would correspond to >10 such events every day in the worldwide A330 fleet. If that were happening, you bet the A330 fleet would be grounded. And, in fact, after the AS MD80 went swimming off Point Mogu, the MD80 fleet was grounded until the jackscrew inspections could be done.

Its not the bottom line (maybe yours). When an Egypian 777 flight deck burns due to an oxygen fire, the FAA mandates changes to the crew oxygen system, because there is a safety issue in the design, why not ground the fleet to ensure it doesn't happen again, but this time in flight? Why wait for an expert analysis understand the risk? How do we know it won't happen tomorrow, it did happen yesterday?

Was the MD80 fleet just grounded, or was there an inspection (such as freeplay) that was required before further flight?

When the A330 went down, nobody knew why until sometime after the event. Why not ground the fleet, after all, safety is number one, no?

Quoting par13del (Reply 178):
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A key Senate committee will hold a hearing in coming weeks to examine U.S. aviation safety oversight and the Federal Aviation Administration's decision to allow Boeing Co to use highly flammable lithium-ion batteries on board its new 787 Dreamliner, a congressional aide said on Tuesday.

This one makes absolutely no sense, we all know that the politicians in the USA are in Boeing's back pocket, see the illegal subsidies and the bogus tanker contract, why would they do this, is there no loyalty?

The NLRB sued Boeing because they opened a new 787 factory in South Carolina. The SC governor laughed at the current administration during the Republican Convention.

I don't think there is much happiness between the current US government and Boeing.

Cheers

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-22 18:21:16 and read 10420 times.

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 175):
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A key Senate committee will hold a hearing in coming weeks to examine U.S. aviation safety oversight and the Federal Aviation Administration's decision to allow Boeing Co to use highly flammable lithium-ion batteries on board its new 787 Dreamliner, a congressional aide said on Tuesday.

Wow, and this isn't political?

Well they just extended the US debt ceiling until May, so they evidently have some free time on their hands...  

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: RickNRoll
Posted 2013-01-22 18:22:48 and read 10397 times.

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 147):
The design issue is and always has been to contain the things that are anticipated occasionally to catch fire or to limit their effects, just as is it to contain the things that will always be on fire and will sometimes explode. Things can and will catch fire, fail, or go boom on an airplane, but good design will minimize or eliminate their effects, such that the event is non-catastrophic, and hopefully not even serious.

I find it hard to accept that the battery in the second incident was 'designed' to fail the way it did. What appears to have happened from the photo is that enough pressure built up in the container that it managed to squeeze up the corners away from the screws anz ooze and bubble out. It just doesn't look like a 'design' to me.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: AirframeAS
Posted 2013-01-22 18:23:32 and read 10420 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 142):
Boeing's mandatory retirement age is 65

Sorry for the off topic, but I'm curious about this.... Is this for higher ups only or for all Boeing employees?

As for the topic at hand, what is the target date to get the 787's back in the air? What's the earliest they can get?

And I would have no problems flying on the 787.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Shenzhen
Posted 2013-01-22 18:24:33 and read 10420 times.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 181):
his is the type of "upplaying" I was talking about. Battery fire was a design condition; not one that anybody expected would even be called into play (like most design conditions) but one that, should it occur, could not impact safe flight and landing. This is certification 101 stuff.

There are operator reports of airplane thermal damage due to batteries overheating in "non" 787 airplanes. Maybe the FAA will bring these reports to the Senate hearings?

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Shenzhen
Posted 2013-01-22 18:28:58 and read 10395 times.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 181):
Quoting kellmark (Reply 160):
It may take time. Remember, it took more than a year for the investigators to determine what really happened with BA38, the 777 at LHR, with the fuel heat exchanger icing problem.

And note that the 777 fleet kept flying (safely!) all that time. This issue was actually considerably more of a threat, since it was an unforeseen common mode failure.

Tom.

They actually "mitigated" the effects of the snowballing in the exchanger by requiring flights crews to push the throttles forward before their decent. Worked great, as there were additional flameouts, but at altitude, where procedures allowed a re-light (and no mass groundings).

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: prebennorholm
Posted 2013-01-22 18:37:36 and read 10381 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 131):
Per the A350 Systems Description, the A350 uses four identical Lithium-Ion batteries connected to the 28V DC network.
Quoting Stitch (Reply 131):
Will EASA require additional testing of these four batteries to ensure they will neither catch fire nor leak electrolyte?

One thing is sure, Airbus will never try to have a similar design certified by EASA. To even try to have a dozen CAAs and the airlines accept that after all this, that would be an uphill battle which nobody would even try to fight.

They will contain those batteries in a way so they can burn safely and and emit all smoke and smell out of the plane without even touching EE-bays, cargo hold or cabin.

Maybe that has always been their design, I don't know. But if not, then sure it will be long time before first test flight.

It will be heavier per w/h than the present 787 design. But since nobody can guarantee no Li-Ion thermal runaway, then they have no other choice.

Except maybe that customers demand Li-Ion free planes, and they revert to 330/340 battery technology.

Following this investigation there will be updated data on general liability of Li-Ion. If those data indicate a maintenance or reliability nightmare, then customers (the airlines) will of course demand Li-Ion free planes.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: bellancacf
Posted 2013-01-22 18:41:12 and read 10332 times.

Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia's "Tesla Roadster" article. Non-propagation of thermal runaway and constant cooling are emphasized. Note that this article says that the type of battery is unclear; elsewhere, I believe that I saw LiCo given as the type. But, yeah, 11 sheets * 9 bricks/sheet * 69 cells/brick = 6831 cells. I wonder what the other people in the room said when _that_ first was scribbled on the whiteboard. It seems that there is quite another way of using LiCo cells to do about the same thing. However, this assembly is charged from the very predictable grid, not from fluctuating sources -- does anyone have an opinion on whether that rules out this many-little-cells approach?

Quote: "Battery system

Connected power supply

Tesla Motors refers to the Roadster's battery pack as the Energy Storage System or ESS. The ESS contains 6,831 lithium ion cells arranged into 11 "sheets" connected in series; each sheet contains 9 "bricks" connected in series; each "brick" contains 69 cells connected in parallel (11S 9S 69P). The cells are of the 18650 form-factor commonly found in laptop batteries. Sources disagree on the exact type of Li-Ion cells - GreenCar says lithium cobalt oxide (LiCo),[104] while researchers at DTU/INESC Porto state lithium manganese oxide (LMO).[105] LiCo has higher reaction energy during thermal runaway than LMO.[106]

The pack is designed to prevent catastrophic cell failures from propagating to adjacent cells (thermal runaway), even when the cooling system is off.[107] Coolant is pumped continuously through the ESS both when the car is running and when the car is turned off if the pack retains more than a 90% charge. The coolant pump draws 146 watts.[41][108][109][110]

A full recharge of the battery system requires 3½ hours using the High Power Connector which supplies 70 amp, 240 volt electricity; in practice, recharge cycles usually start from a partially charged state and require less time. A fully charged ESS stores approximately 53 kWh of electrical energy at a nominal 375 volts and weighs 992 lb (450 kg).[111][112]"

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Shenzhen
Posted 2013-01-22 18:44:39 and read 10318 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 183):

Well they just extended the US debt ceiling until May, so they evidently have some free time on their hands...

Too funny, isn't it? They probably know as much about batteries as they do budgets  

Cheers

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: tdscanuck
Posted 2013-01-22 18:44:41 and read 10387 times.

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 184):
I find it hard to accept that the battery in the second incident was 'designed' to fail the way it did.

The batteries are never designed to fail. The rest of the aircraft is designed to keep flying safety *if* the battery fails. That's what people mean why they say a failure was "designed for."

Tom.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: ikramerica
Posted 2013-01-22 18:45:15 and read 10382 times.

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 175):

It's political and corrupt.

Japan, in an effort to save face, grounds the 787 without sufficient reason. This may be in response to criticism after the tsunami where it was demonstrated Japan was too late to take action regarding safety and allowed nuclear plants to decide if they were safe rather than an oversight agency.

Not to look like they don't care about safety as much as Japan, and possibly as punishment for opening a 787 FAL in a *gasp* right to work state and gor outsourcing so much to other nations, and likely under pressure from France who opened their own investigation for some reason, the US grounded the 787 for nebulous reasons based on hypothetical possible risk of something that hasn't actually happened, and for which the aircraft was designed with redundancies and containment, with NO answer on how anyone might comply and return the 787 to the skies.

These moves will cost Boeing 100s of millions of dollars for no reason, no loss of life, no incidents any more severe than the hundreds of other evac incidents around the world every year.

Why wasn't the 747 grounded after TWA 800? Or after the side ripped off over the Pacific? Why wasn't the A330 grounded after the AF hull loss? Why wasn't the A380 grounded while the engine issue was solved? Why were check and go good enough for those cases but not now?

Now, not to be outdone and never one to not take the opertinity to look like they care about anything but lobbying money, the Senate will investigate how such an "unsafe" aircraft could possibly be certified.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Aesma
Posted 2013-01-22 18:53:05 and read 10276 times.

About car accidents, need I explain the differences with airplanes crashing ?

Anyway I'm betting that when autodrive is safe/cheap/reliable it will become illegal to drive ones car. At first it will only be people failing medical tests or strict driving tests. Then everybody, because the risk is just too great.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: RickNRoll
Posted 2013-01-22 18:57:18 and read 10265 times.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 191):
The batteries are never designed to fail. The rest of the aircraft is designed to keep flying safety *if* the battery fails. That's what people mean why they say a failure was "designed for."

Engines have protection for blades flying off and fire extinguishers in case of fire. They are designed to cope with failure. I can't see where the batteries are. A fire extinguisher won't apply in this case, but a workable venting or other containment mechanism that is more sophiscated than random oozing out of cracks at the top of the battery where the lid is screwed on would be more appropriate, IMHO.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Shenzhen
Posted 2013-01-22 19:10:32 and read 10209 times.

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 194):
Engines have protection for blades flying off and fire extinguishers in case of fire. They are designed to cope with failure. I can't see where the batteries are. A fire extinguisher won't apply in this case, but a workable venting or other containment mechanism that is more sophiscated than random oozing out of cracks at the top of the battery where the lid is screwed on would be more appropriate, IMHO.

What about the turbine disk that went through the side of a T-tail and killed a passenger. What about the BIG hole in front of the engine, what protection does that provide for blades that decide to depart a failing engine and are flung forward of the kevlar containment rings?. How about a combustion chamber burn through that melts a strut, yet no groundings?

Nothing is perfect.

How does the APU get its fuel from the wing, hmmmmm that must be unsafe. What if some fuel leaks from the hose and spills through the shroud... that could certainly fuel a fire.

Time to buy stock in the government owned Railroad  

Cheers

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: kanban
Posted 2013-01-22 19:56:23 and read 9971 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 166):
rushing the 787 back into service is the solution.

Nobody is rushing the plane back into service, they are rushing to understand the cause... your comment is typical trolling

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 175):
Wow, and this isn't political?
Quoting par13del (Reply 178):
This one makes absolutely no sense, we all know that the politicians in the USA are in Boeing's back pocket, see the illegal subsidies and the bogus tanker contract, why would they do this, is there no loyalty?

Trolling again?... yes Congress will hold hearings, part of their job it to look like they care. but it's not the subject here.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 185):
Sorry for the off topic, but I'm curious about this.... Is this for higher ups only or for all Boeing employees?

Top ranks only, there's a limit on the Board as well but I think it's higher... there are still one or two employees that built B-17's on the payroll.

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 184):
What appears to have happened from the photo is that enough pressure built up in the container that it managed to squeeze up the corners away from the screws anz ooze and bubble out. It just doesn't look like a 'design' to me.

Now your a design expert...? or are you still trolling? THE BOX DID EXACTLY WHAT IT WAS SUPPOSED TO DO... got it? Flames did not fill the electrical bay, burn through the CFRP, warm the buns in steerage, the runaway was contained exactly the way the engine cowling contains most of the engine when one fails.. however from you comments we should seal up both ends of the nacelle preventing any air movement through the engine in addition to the sidewall containment.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: cornutt
Posted 2013-01-22 20:24:55 and read 9814 times.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 185):
As for the topic at hand, what is the target date to get the 787's back in the air? What's the earliest they can get?

Good question. Considering a fairly optimistic scenario... let's say that they determine tonight that the problem is a manufacturing problem with the batteries that failed, and that they are able to devise a battery test procedure that can be executed at airline maintenance facilities. I'd guess it would take two days minimum (of squadrons of people working around the clock) to prepare the necessary data to substantiate the safety case, and another two days of around-the-clock for the FAA to review and approve the data. During this time, the FAA allows airlines to ferry their planes back under some temporary flight restriction (e.g., batteries disconnected, APU started on ground power and remains running throughout the flight). So after four days, the airlines have an approved test procedure, and aircraft queued up. I have no clue how long it takes to remove the batteries from the aircraft using normal maintenance procedures; let's say that they can turn around one aircraft per day -- remove the batteries, test them, and reinstall them assuming they pass the test. So the earliest that a 787 could be put back into revenue service in this scenario would be Monday the 28th. After that, it would be one aircraft per day for each airline, less any aircraft that need their batteries replaced -- I don't know how many might be in stock, and any that are have to be tested too.

So the absolute minimum for getting all delivered 787s back into service appears to be about five weeks from when the solution is found. And that's assuming an awful lot of people are working day and night.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: prebennorholm
Posted 2013-01-22 20:37:10 and read 9755 times.

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 192):
...France who opened their own investigation for some reason...

The reason is clearly that they will make sure that such an incident on for instance an A350 is a lot better contained.

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 194):
...but a workable venting or other containment mechanism that is more sophiscated than random oozing out of cracks at the top of the battery where the lid is screwed on would be more appropriate, IMHO.

Exactly. Something like that will be the end of this story.

The technicians can fight all the battles they want over this issue, whether it was contained well enough and such. But for Boeing to win the war they have also have to win the PR battle. And they have to win acceptance not just from the FAA, but also from all involved CAAs around the world.

If they walk the way that they try to convince the world that this incidence was contained well enough, then they will lose the war.

The price will be a little weight growth and possibly a few ft3 reduced cargo space. The sooner they start working on this outcome, the sooner the plane will fly again.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: tdscanuck
Posted 2013-01-22 20:41:55 and read 9799 times.

Quoting cornutt (Reply 197):
I have no clue how long it takes to remove the batteries from the aircraft using normal maintenance procedures; let's say that they can turn around one aircraft per day -- remove the batteries, test them, and reinstall them assuming they pass the test. So the earliest that a 787 could be put back into revenue service in this scenario would be Monday the 28th.

In a situation like that, especially since the number of airlines is low, seed units are a virtual certainty.

Boeing would pre-emptively do the test procedure on all batteries in spare stock and at the vendor...as soon as approval was granted, those known-good batteries (the seed units) would be on overnight freight (with appropriate shipping paperwork and packaging, obviously) to the airlines. They would pull the battery from an aircraft, insert the known good battery, and send that aircraft on it's way while they were testing the removed battery. So the turn time for the aircraft would just be the time to swap the battery (probably about an hour). Provided spare parts are available (which they've got to be...if nothing else, they could be pulled from aircraft on the production line), this is a pretty normal way to get through a part inspection more quickly. It's been used before on other problem LRUs on other types.

Depending on the nature of the inspection, I'd expect Boeing and regulator teams to be shipside to do it as quickly as possible.

That's all *if* it's an inspectable problem...that would be a great outcome, given what's already happened.

Tom.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: YVRLTN
Posted 2013-01-22 20:42:41 and read 9738 times.

Quoting kanban (Reply 109):
we have discussed that the electrolyte is flammable.. but at what temperature? does the boiled extruded goo have the same or a significantly high ignition temperature?

I dont know the answer, but from the photo from Shamu330 in post 207 in thread 3, as well as the green substance there does seems to be some brown scorch marks too on the fuselage. That suggests it was pretty hot temperature wise (despite hitting the cold air outside) or it was flammable enough to interact with the fuselage to cause scorching.

For that stuff to be flowing inside the aircraft, I can see it would be pretty nasty *if* it touched any wires or anything else critical, but I assume for this very reason there would be nothing that would be effected in the vicinity or path to the outlet valve? Would be nice to see lower in the photo ADent provided in post 105 of this thread.

That being said and my assumption being the truth, I do feel the containment worked as best as could possibly be hoped for.

Quoting kanban (Reply 109):
the A350 will be using similar batteries (4 instead of 2) and I've seen a few notes that they are following this investigation very closely

I cant find the post now, but I asked the question at the end of a thread that was locked which was never answered where someone mentioned the huge purchase cost for these types of batteries vs those used even in the 764 (a similar sized aircraft).

I assume the whole purpose of using these batteries is to save weight = fuel burn. However, if they have to be replaced on an annual basis (the NH one may have been for example) or certainly far more regularly than current batteries, would the cost saving in fuel really cover the actual outlay costs of the batteries themselves? I cant remember the numbers unfortunately, but the fuel saving seemed relatively paltry in comparison to the outlay costs.

What Im getting at is obviously Boeing cant go back with the 787 (unless in the highly unlikely event that the FAA request otherwise) but Airbus may have a choice with the A350, even if it causes a delay, and they are no doubt looking into this.

Quoting UALWN (Reply 157):
As far as I know, there has not been any fire attributed to the Li ion batteries in the almost 100 A380s that are flying since first entering service over 5 years ago

AFAIK there has been no need to use these batteries in commercial service? Apart from being a smaller capacity to start with, it seems this battery in the 787 gets a far bigger work out.

Quoting RNAVFL350 (Reply 158):
Sure there was an incident during a test/certification flight (ZA002) which was beleived to be FOD

I sure would like to know what that "FOD" was...

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 164):
There were issues with a UA aircraft's electrical system, which caused a divert to MSY. QR grounded an aircraft due to a similar issue. An Air India aircraft was grounded for a while because of issues with the airpacks, which turned out to be an electrical issue.

There is a clearly demonstrated pattern of electrical problems with this aircraft.

I really do wonder if there is a basic weakness with some of the basic parts within the whole electrical system, which manifests itself in different ways depending on the system it operates. Include the NH windshield too. Obviously, a system connected to a lithium battery is going to manifest itself in the most spectacular way of all the incidents. It would seem there is a faulty batch of batteries, which I did concur with as the facts seem to make that obvious, but I am not 100% sure.

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 165):
Lets just hope that the FAA doesn't start grounding entire fleets when something happens that they can't explain (such as an airplane crashing into the ocean).
Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 182):
When the A330 went down, nobody knew why until sometime after the event. Why not ground the fleet, after all, safety is number one, no?

If another A330 went down within 10 days under the same circumstances - mysterious dive into the ocean with the same error messages relayed - it could well have been. It seemed quite possible it could have been severe weather related which no aircraft would have survived. However, you can see with two 787's on the ground to inspect with a toothcomb and obvious common failures, the FAA acted.

I have no doubt the 787 will be yet another amazing aircraft for Boeing like all its 7*7 predecessors and these incidents will just be stats on wiki in the future - I cant wait for AC to get theirs so I can add one to my log

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: XT6Wagon
Posted 2013-01-22 20:45:34 and read 9726 times.

I'm saddened by the amount of trolling in these threads.

Do all these people avoid flying in highly flammable aluminum airliners? I mean its been used as rocket fuel so better not fly in an aluminum aircraft.

All the battery technologies have risk. Understanding and mitigating the specific risks is critical to safety. Lead acid like your car battery is mindblowingly unsafe when treated incorrectly. Overcharging for example causes high temps, hydrogen outgassing, swelling of the battery, leaking of acid, and possible explosions. So in this case we don't really reduce the risk by switching to lead acid, just change the nature of the problems.

Same with the transition from Piston to turbine engines. Turbine failures were quite nasty safety issues.... yet the industry embraced the possiblity of a hull loss due to this not due to economics, but rather the piston engines were massively less safe if less spectacular in the failure modes. They failed far more often, and liked to leak fuel and oil all over hot surfaces which made in flight fires not unheard of.

Fully on topic, while I agree with the grounding, I wouldn't hesitate to fly in a 787 this minute. We have clearly seen the redundancy works. The safety systems work. The FAA needs to find out what causes it as even though its safe as is, the airline industry hasn't gotten to be the safest form of transport by ignoring problems that are possible to correct.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: SonomaFlyer
Posted 2013-01-22 20:47:16 and read 9697 times.

Quoting cornutt (Reply 197):
Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 185):
As for the topic at hand, what is the target date to get the 787's back in the air? What's the earliest they can get?

Good question. Considering a fairly optimistic scenario... let's say that they determine tonight that the problem is a manufacturing problem with the batteries that failed, and that they are able to devise a battery test procedure that can be executed at airline maintenance facilities. I'd guess it would take two days minimum (of squadrons of people working around the clock) to prepare the necessary data to substantiate the safety case, and another two days of around-the-clock for the FAA to review and approve the data. During this time, the FAA allows airlines to ferry their planes back under some temporary flight restriction (e.g., batteries disconnected, APU started on ground power and remains running throughout the flight). So after four days, the airlines have an approved test procedure, and aircraft queued up. I have no clue how long it takes to remove the batteries from the aircraft using normal maintenance procedures; let's say that they can turn around one aircraft per day -- remove the batteries, test them, and reinstall them assuming they pass the test. So the earliest that a 787 could be put back into revenue service in this scenario would be Monday the 28th. After that, it would be one aircraft per day for each airline, less any aircraft that need their batteries replaced -- I don't know how many might be in stock, and any that are have to be tested too.

So the absolute minimum for getting all delivered 787s back into service appears to be about five weeks from when the solution is found. And that's assuming an awful lot of people are working day and night.


I don't think we have enough information to do anything but wildly guess. There are too many things we have to assume to make such a guess. The Japanese, with NTSB/FAA assistance are expanding their investigation of the battery manufacturer and adding a company (as yet unnamed in the UK to the list). They do seem to be focused at the moment on the battery but we can't assume this is the only area of inquiry.

I think its prudent to believe the grounding will last a couple more weeks at least. Given the step the FAA took, they will want to have all bases (and asses) covered on this one. That includes not just the battery but the charging system including hardware and software. That takes time to do properly.

I

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Shenzhen
Posted 2013-01-22 20:58:46 and read 9635 times.

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 195):
Quoting cornutt (Reply 197):
So the absolute minimum for getting all delivered 787s back into service appears to be about five weeks from when the solution is found. And that's assuming an awful lot of people are working day and night.

These things wouldn't be done in series. I would say that a large number of the batteries and maybe the chargers have already been removed from airplanes and undergone testing. Results would be required as part of the risk mitigation.

Cheers

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-22 20:58:48 and read 9700 times.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 181):
But a flaming battery was a foreseen failure. I'm confused why this keeps coming up.

Because it's sensationalist.

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 200):
I dont know the answer, but from the photo from Shamu330 in post 207 in thread 3, as well as the green substance there does seems to be some brown scorch marks too on the fuselage. That suggests it was pretty hot temperature wise (despite hitting the cold air outside) or it was flammable enough to interact with the fuselage to cause scorching.

The electrolyte is brown in color. So what you are seeing is electrolyte that was ejected from an outflow valve and coated the fuselage as it was caught in the airflow over the fuselage.

It is not scorching caused by exposure to high temperatures.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: spacecadet
Posted 2013-01-22 21:02:06 and read 9839 times.

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 192):
Why wasn't the 747 grounded after TWA 800?

A better question would be, why wasn't it grounded beforehand? 230 more people (give or take) would be alive right now. The answer is that the FAA was apparently not aware of the danger posed by empty fuel tanks during hot weather, despite several earlier incidents. (After the accident, as with most other accidents, airworthiness directives were issued as the cause was narrowed down that made a grounding unnecessary. By the time the systemic problem was recognized, workarounds were already in place.)

Luckily, they are not making the same mistake with lithium ion batteries. They gave Boeing the benefit of the doubt once, and it got them one fire at the gate and one emergency landing with an evac using slides. So far.

I'm not sure that some of you guys realize that your arguments boil down to putting economic concerns over human lives. No plane should be flying if it's flying with an unknown level of safety. No amount of money is worth it.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: XT6Wagon
Posted 2013-01-22 21:23:54 and read 9701 times.

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 205):
I'm not sure that some of you guys realize that your arguments boil down to putting economic concerns over human lives

Um, You HAVE to make economic vs safety judgements or there is no point in having the industry. The Airline industry is the safest form of transport on the planet, so clearly they are quite agressive in spending money to save lives, but there is a point where you make the world less safe by spending too much on safety. How much money would you be willing to spend to have 10% less people die in aircraft each year? I don't know the real numbers but its a pretty ugly amount of money to do so. So lets say 50% higher ticket prices to kill off a crash a decade. What do you think that would do to the industry? Too much and you start killing people when you push them off into deadly cars, buses, trains, bikes, and even walking since all of these activities are far less safe than planes are TODAY.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: rcair1
Posted 2013-01-22 21:47:29 and read 9671 times.

Let the flame fest begin!

So - I got really tired of reading patents today and so I started looking for concrete new data on Li-Ion battery fire danger and suppression techniques. I even spent a fair amount of time reading about "bricking" your Telsa.

I've discovered some errors in what has been posted here, including errors that I made.

To be clear - the information I provided was based on training I received in an alternative fuels class I took about 4 years ago - and it seems like the understanding is evolving.

First - the biggest source of misunderstanding is confusing Lithium and Li-Ion battery chemistry and the approaches to fighting a fire in both cases.

In Lithium battery fires - these are non-rechargable Li Batteries - known as primary batteries - there is significant metallic Lithium. This is a true metal class fire and requires class D extinguishing agents. Conventional extinguishers - ABC as well as Halon, and most especially water - do not work.
-> My training was focused on this - and either I missed the following, or it was not covered.

In Lithium-Ion rechargeable batteries - secondary batteries - there is little metallic Lithium. You can use water or class ABC extinguishing agents - though the efficacy of them is unproven. The primary fire hazard for a Li-Ion battery is 2 fold - heat due to thermal runaway and flammable electrolyte/vent gas. The big difference - which I have just learned - is that the electrolyte in a Li-Ion battery is more flammable that the electrolyte in other batteries (like NiCad or NiMH) because it is not water base. Those other electrolytes pose much higher corrosion and toxicity concerns, but lower fire concerns.

Tests seem to indicate that conventional techniques, if they could be applied, would be effective in extinguishing the flame - however, the danger posed by re-kindle is major.
For instance, Halon 1301 is shown to be effective extinguishing the flame (electrolyte/gas), but not cooling the battery. If you use Halon, you will likely face re-kindle. An effective suppression would need to persist - to remain on the fire long enough to extinguish re-kindles long enough for thermal runaway to terminate. Water is effective in cooling, except that the design of the battery makes it difficult/impossible to apply well enough to overcome the heating of a thermal runaway.

It is interesting to note the 2 methods discussed for aircrews to deal with runaway fires in consumer batteries (laptops) are to 1) douse them repeatedly with water or 2) put them in a containment bag. The containment bag is designed to contain the heat long enough for runaway to terminate and the fire to go out. No effort is made to contain vent gasses in these containment bags. The reports I read seemed to indicate the containment bag was a better approach - it was surer.

It is also unclear if "spreading" the electrolyte by washing it around with water is a concern.

So - the primary issue extinguishing a Li-Ion battery fire is that, while you can potentially extinguish the 'flame' you cannot effectively cool a battery in thermal runaway well enough to prevent re-kindle of either the electrolyte or gasses being expelled. A Halon extinguishing system in the EE bay would be ineffective - it may put out flames (if they are outside the containment), but would not cool the battery. Thermal runaway would continue and re-kindle would be likely.

BTW - the data I could find so far indicates that the flammability limit LFL to UFL for vented gasses is small. LFL is the concentration in air below which the gas is non-flammable (too lean) and UFL is the concentration above which it is not flammable (too rich). A narrow flammability range means that an effective control method is to either concentrate or disperse the gas. The latter is obviously the better choice. Therefore - effective and positive ventilation is important.

One of the better references I've been studying is research performed by the Fire Protection Research Foundation - funded by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) - an organization I work with a lot.

The report I reference is located at the link below and was dated July 2011. I might refer you to Chapter 6 (page 84) and beyond.

The obvious question one may ask is does this change my opinion on the situation the 787 and Boeing face. The answer I have is - I'm sure - not going to satisfy some. Simply stated - I don't know yet - I need more data.

It seems that containment and venting (if those are not contradictory terms) are still the best approach based on the data I have seen. Vent the gas to keep it below LFL. Contain the fire so it says in the 'box'.

I do have a concern about the leaked electrolyte. Based on the new knowledge I spent the afternoon gaining (not from a.net by the way), my level of concern is increased. If it is flammable - and it appears it may be (since we do not know the exact composition of the Yuasa batteries, I can't say for sure) it represents a hazard. Is it a hazard that can be managed by placing it in a location where, if ignited, it will consume itself and burn out without the fire extending - then - no. If it the fire could extend - then yes. I would caution you that even the NFPA report I'm citing states that Li and Li-Ion battery chemistry varies dramatically and they are careful not to point out that testing all the types of chemistry is beyond the scope of their research.

These are questions that need to be reviewed and answered. Of course - that is exactly what Boeing and the FAA is doing.
Link to NFPA report http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/pdf...ch/rflithiumionbatterieshazard.pdf

My apologies for misinforming that re-chargeable Li-Ion secondary batteries require Class D.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: nm2582
Posted 2013-01-22 22:34:55 and read 9452 times.

Quoting bellancacf (Reply 172):

to nm2582 at 168: The Tesla roadster has, I read elsewhere, 6831 cells in its battery. What on earth does the balancing circuit look like? Is each cell really monitored individually? There's got to be a trick in there somewhere . . . But then, if the 787 has 8 cells to be handled by each charger (there are 2 chargers, aren't there?), the comparative simplicity ought to make keeping these cells balanced a piece of cake. And if the cells are too large, well, make them smaller and do whatever it is that Tesla's doing.  

Tesla has very different requirements for their battery than does Boeing. The Tesla battery stores a LOT more energy than does the 787 battery and has a very different purpose. This PDF describes it way better than anything I could do:

http://www.teslamotors.com/display_data/TeslaRoadsterBatterySystem.pdf

The Tesla battery is subdivided down to 11 sub-assemblies (called sheets); each sheet has it's own electronics and circuitry to monitor the individual cells. This subdivides the monitoring problem.

I do not know the internal electrical construction of the Tesla battery, so I am NOT speaking definitively here. It is very possible that Tesla parallels many cells together and then build series chains out of these paralleled groups. This would further reduce the amount of monitoring/balancing needed - when you have cells wired in parallel (+ to + and - to -) they by definition are at the same identical voltage. You could have dozens of these cells in parallel together, and you would only need to monitor one single voltage to know the voltage of all cells in the group. Then you string these parallel groups together in series to get your voltage requirement (over 300V on the tesla). Parallel groups have their own special failure modes (if a single cell fails shorted, the other cells in the parallel group short through the failed cell) but the Tesla PDF says each individual cell is protected by two fuses.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: seahawk
Posted 2013-01-22 23:21:58 and read 9217 times.

I think the problem is that if we combine the 2 events, there is a theoretical possibility for a major problem in the 787.

In first failure the containment worked, the battery burned itself out, the gases were vented - more or less as designed I would say.
In the second case the electrolytes did not ignite, only smoke, but left the containment box and spilled into the fuselage. Nothing major again as the electrolytes are not that dangerous either.

It becomes critical if you imagine a leaking battery catching fire and this has to be considered possible at the moment.

The other problem is that those vent gases are considered possibly toxic. So they must not reach the cabin. The exact danger level and exact reactions to the occurence of such vent gases is still under discussion afaik though.

And if you think it is unreasonable to be concerned a failure rate of 1:200000 led to a recall of 6 million laptop computers from Dell and Apple.

Here is a link (unfortunately mostly in German on testing such batteriesand the possible risks depending on failure modes): http://www.basytec.de/Literatur/2010_Sicherheit_Testen.pdf

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: nm2582
Posted 2013-01-22 23:39:59 and read 9103 times.

I am sure tests like these are already being done, but it would be really interesting to know how the 787 handles these situations... (this is by no means an exhaustive lists of tests I'd want to try, just a few off the top of my head!)

Charge an entire battery to 90% capacity. Remove a single cell from the battery and discharge it to 15%. Add it back to the battery. Install the battery in the main ship battery location, and power the 787 up off this battery. What happens when the 15% charged cell gets to it's minimum safe voltage (which it will do quickly)? Does it continue to discharge past the minimum safe voltage? Once the battery is consumed/discharged, start the APU. If the main ship battery went below minimum safe voltage, does the charger still charge the battery (the cell is now damaged and unsafe, so charging is unwise)? If over-discharge was prevented, does the charger properly re-charge the entire battery to a balanced, safe state?

Charge an entire battery to 15% of capacity. Remove a single cell and charge it to 90% capacity. Add the cell back to the battery. Install the battery to the main ship battery location, start the APU, and allow the main ship battery to charge. Does the single high cell ever exceed it's maximum safe voltage? Does the battery charge up to a balanced, safe state?

While somewhat drastic, these kinds of tests would quickly uncover any limitations, flaws, missing protections, etc. in the charging system.

It would also be interesting to repeat these tests on ground power instead of APU power, and also with the "doctored" battery in the APU location instead of main ship battery.





[Edited 2013-01-22 23:42:41]

[Edited 2013-01-22 23:44:28]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: RickNRoll
Posted 2013-01-23 00:23:05 and read 8910 times.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 206):
In the second case the electrolytes did not ignite, only smoke, but left the containment box and spilled into the fuselage. Nothing major again as the electrolytes are not that dangerous either.

They are apparently flammable.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: N14AZ
Posted 2013-01-23 00:52:38 and read 8806 times.

Well, since this thread is discussing all kind of things except for the current investigations I feel free to post my theory:

Quoting ADent (Reply 102):
Quoting flood (Reply 48):
Thanks for the link. I had previously only seen a photo of the damaged battery when it had already been removed... there's another photo of it still installed on page 3 of the thread.
http://i337.photobucket.com/albums/n385/motidog/ANAbatt0.jpg

I think FAA should investigate if a certain David was on board of the two flights.
http://images.wikia.com/alienanthology/images/7/78/Prometheus_black_liquid.jpg
Source: http://images.wikia.com/alienantholo...s/7/78/Prometheus_black_liquid.jpg

But seriously, any news about the investigations?

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: KC135Hydraulics
Posted 2013-01-23 01:27:08 and read 8712 times.

How's this for containment?

KC-135 battery arrangement:

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: seahawk
Posted 2013-01-23 01:29:33 and read 8654 times.

What type of battery?

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: UALWN
Posted 2013-01-23 01:32:17 and read 8659 times.

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 179):
When the A330 went down, nobody knew why until sometime after the event. Why not ground the fleet, after all, safety is number one, no?

The fleet wasn't grounded but the Thales pitot tubes had to changed quickly. One could argue that this should have been mandated way before, since there were several reports of the Thales tubes freezing up during cruise.

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 197):
AFAIK there has been no need to use these batteries in commercial service? Apart from being a smaller capacity to start with, it seems this battery in the 787 gets a far bigger work out.

Exactly. More arguments to stop bringing up the A380 into this discussion.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: faro
Posted 2013-01-23 01:55:04 and read 8508 times.

It seems media focus is shifting to the FAA's role in approving Boeing's decision to install Li-Ion batteries back in 2007:

Quote:
In 2007, U.S. regulators cleared Boeing's use of a highly flammable battery in the 787 Dreamliner, deciding it was safe to let the lithium-ion battery burn out if it caught fire mid-air as long as the flames were contained, and smoke and fumes vented properly, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...eing-787-faa-idUSBRE90M04620130123

Very difficult to see where we're headed at the present time with the grounding IMHO...


Faro

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: s5daw
Posted 2013-01-23 02:00:51 and read 8468 times.

Quoting faro (Reply 213):
nd smoke and fumes vented properly

Apparently at least the fumes part was problematic in the ANA incident...

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: cmf
Posted 2013-01-23 04:13:20 and read 7965 times.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 203):
The Airline industry is the safest form of transport on the planet

Actually it is one of the most dangerous, only bikes and motorcycles are more dangerous. It is some 30 times more dangerous than using a bus. Three times more dangerous than using a car. All of this when you switch from the passenger km to passenger trip. Statistics can be your friend, or your enemy  

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: liquidair
Posted 2013-01-23 05:12:31 and read 7598 times.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 171):

Eh?

I'm not advocating that a fail safe design shouldn't be incorporated- of course you need some sort of containment in the event of said failure.

And, as you and others have so intelligently pointed out, there are many flammable materials on a plane, not least the jet fuel. thanks for educating me.

you want to know what I can't understand keeps coming up? The fact that so many seem to be trivialising what is an extremely worrying series of events. You may insist that these fires were foreseen- and they were not dangerous- I will again reiterate that accidents happen when events move beyond our control, however unlikely it is that they occur.

I mean, are we really trying to debate over the fact that a flaming battery should be de rigeur? That technological advancement with the 787 should inherently pose a threat to it's passengers?

I'm going to take the view that beyond the patronising, sometimes vitriolic responses, there is actually a valid discussion going on.

[Edited 2013-01-23 05:13:43]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Aesma
Posted 2013-01-23 05:29:14 and read 7479 times.

Quoting par13del (Reply 175):
This one makes absolutely no sense, we all know that the politicians in the USA are in Boeing's back pocket, see the illegal subsidies and the bogus tanker contract, why would they do this, is there no loyalty?

The US has enough powerful politicians to have some in Airbus pockets too. But here if I wanted to see a political conspiracy I would rather see it as a ploy for/against Obama. Of course the fact that Li-Ion batteries were designed in the 787 years before he took power makes the conspiracy far fetched...

Quoting bellancacf (Reply 186):
Coolant is pumped continuously through the ESS both when the car is running and when the car is turned off if the pack retains more than a 90% charge. The coolant pump draws 146 watts.[41][108][109][110]

Wow, that's an impressive pump right there. I wonder if it's really always drawing so much or if it has a wide range of speeds. By comparison the pump I'm using to cool about 700W of heat in my computer is at 18W. Then a couple of watts for the fans on the radiators.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: DTW2HYD
Posted 2013-01-23 05:40:25 and read 7397 times.

Quoting par13del (Reply 175):
This one makes absolutely no sense, we all know that the politicians in the USA are in Boeing's back pocket, see the illegal subsidies and the bogus tanker contract, why would they do this, is there no loyalty?

To the contrary, Boeing rubbed the current administration's National Labor Relations Board wrong way when Boeing tried to open Charleston,SC plant. So actually administration doing a huge favor standing next to Boeing on this matter.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Kaiarahi
Posted 2013-01-23 05:52:47 and read 7311 times.

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 185):
Except maybe that customers demand Li-Ion free planes,

Which would require banning many (most?) electronic devices.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: rcair1
Posted 2013-01-23 05:54:07 and read 7306 times.

Quoting faro (Reply 213):
It seems media focus is shifting to the FAA's role in approving Boeing's decision to install Li-Ion batteries back in 2007:

The media follows politicians. Politicians - particularly the US Congress and Senate are feeling rather impotent - so this is a chance for them to get on the stage. That is all.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: par13del
Posted 2013-01-23 06:04:10 and read 7249 times.

Apologies to all, it was a comment in jest, should have used the smiley, point was that a few months ago everything was the US government covering Boeing, funnelling billions in illegal aid, WTO agreeing, etc etc etc, now that same "bought" government is investigating Boeing?

Quoting DTW2HYD (Reply 218):
Boeing rubbed the current administration's National Labor Relations Board wrong way when Boeing tried to open Charleston,SC plant. So actually administration doing a huge favor standing next to Boeing on this matter

And the current administration is the same as was there before, including all the "civil servants" who are not compelled to resign their jobs because the administration is the same.
Actually Boeing and most major US companies who have been out-sourcing jobs outside the USA have been rubbing those politicians the wrong way for years, the difference now is that more of them have positions of power and influence to act on their convictions.

Nothing new on the investigation front, at least substantive, so will continue waiting, however, we are rapidly getting to a point where something has to happen, the status quo cannot continue for another week or so.
By that I mean, airlines, investors, regulators, Boeing etc. will need some guidance pretty soon, some time lines have to be provided, even if they are rough estimates.
Pax are still booking flights, airlines need to source replacement a/c, crews and a/c picking up the slack will need some downtime, ultimately, long term planning has to take place and for that to happen you need a starting base.
The NTSB is safety focused, the FAA is more industry focused, so as soon as the NTSB has something definitive in terms of where the problem lies, I expect the FAA to start working on some advisory to Boeing and the airlines on what they can expect.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-23 06:26:21 and read 7123 times.

I wonder if Yuasa can do a materials change in the battery to a cathode chemistry more stable than the lithium cobalt oxide used in the 787's batteries (which is more susceptible to thermal runaway in cases of abuse such as high temperature operation (>130ºC) or overcharging).

Lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide and lithium nickel manganese cobalt are both more stable and safer cathode chemistries that were not available when the 787 was being designed (lithium nickel manganese cobalt, for example, was created in 2008).

Lithium iron phosphate is safer still, and evidently would only require one additional cell to provide the same power density as the current battery pack, which might allow it to fit in the current bay location.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Aesma
Posted 2013-01-23 06:32:21 and read 7084 times.

Someone has mentioned France launching an investigation, can that be backed up, because I don't think it's true ?

The BEA is involved into the NTSB investigation, I reported about that, but it's as it should be since a French company is involved in the investigation. No French politician has to intervene, there is no National Assembly or Senate committee or things like that. The 787 has not even made the headlines here, since we just started a war, at best it had a corner of newspapers' front pages.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: abba
Posted 2013-01-23 06:58:14 and read 6916 times.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 171):
Yes. But individual components on aircraft fail quite regularly; that's why no single failure is allowed to threaten safe flight and landing, regardless of how likely the failure is. Interactions are dealt with on a probability basis. The big open question, in this case, is if battery fires are more likely than expected, how does that interact with all the other systems. If a battery fire, by itself, could threaten safe flight of the aircraft then it would never have been certified in the first place.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 178):
The issue with the current problem is that it might not comply with regulations that require the probability of a catastrophic event due to foreseeable *combinations* of failures must be extremely remote.
Thanks Tom. This is a absolutely brilliant way of explaining the issue in a way that even I understand. As so often before your posts are highly appreciated.

[Edited 2013-01-23 07:02:07]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: sankaps
Posted 2013-01-23 07:23:41 and read 6701 times.

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 189):
Why wasn't the 747 grounded after TWA 800? Or after the side ripped off over the Pacific? Why wasn't the A330 grounded after the AF hull loss? Why wasn't the A380 grounded while the engine issue was solved? Why were check and go good enough for those cases but not now?

Why wasn't the 787 grounded after the JAL incident? Because it was just ONE incident. If a second similar one were to have happened within days on the 747 or 330 or the 380, then perhaps the question would be relevant.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: nm2582
Posted 2013-01-23 07:37:42 and read 6585 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 222):

Lithium iron phosphate is safer still, and evidently would only require one additional cell to provide the same power density as the current battery pack, which might allow it to fit in the current bay location.

If I were in charge of working on the battery (which I'm not - I'm a software guy by trade, and not in the aviation industry or anything connected to it) then LiFe would definitely be at or near the top of my list, it's a very stable chemistry.

With that said, a chemistry switch (in my opinion) isn't the big issue here, the big issue is figuring out what is happening to the battery which is causing failures. Lithium ion cells are actually pretty benign (relatively speaking) until they experience conditions they don't like (overcharge, overdischarge, too high of a charge current, over temperature, under temperature, too high of a load, physical damage); so the real key is to determine when and why they experienced conditions which lead to them failing. The battery and electrical system should have safeguards to protect the cells from ever experiencing these conditions. The presumption is that (after two battery failures) the cells are experiencing conditions which they should not ever experience.

If you just switch chemistry, it's entirely possible that whatever caused the lithium ion cells to fail, will cause damage to or keep occurring to the new cells. Switching chemistry is kind of like putting seat belts and air bags in cars: it's a good idea, and it makes accidents safer and more survivable; BUT it doesn't prevent the accident. They need to understand why the accidents are occurring and prevent them.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: PITingres
Posted 2013-01-23 07:48:37 and read 6605 times.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 216):
you want to know what I can't understand keeps coming up? The fact that so many seem to be trivialising what is an extremely worrying series of events.

I suppose I shouldn't feed the trolls, but ...

I don't understand why you and others seem to think that some posters are trivializing the situation. Just because someone posts factual information about the limited extend of the actual damage does not mean that they are trivializing anything. Every poster demonstrating any actual knowledge about the events, the airframe, or the response has said that the situation is serious and undesirable. That is not the same thing as saying the the planes are going to fall out of the sky in flames, which is what way too many agitators and trolls here have been saying. Disagreement with trolling and hyperbole is not the slightest bit the same as trivializing the incidents in any way.

Maybe you'd like to cite some of the "so many" posts that trivialize the situation? Because I don't see them.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: TheSultanOfWing
Posted 2013-01-23 08:02:08 and read 6476 times.

Just to get practical here for a moment:

Any info on what airframes are being checked physically?
Did Boeing send staff to NRT, ORD, DOH, SCL etc to check each and every plane, or is it just the batteries that are being dispatched and examined?


FH

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: AeroWesty
Posted 2013-01-23 08:07:07 and read 6467 times.

Quoting PITingres (Reply 227):
Disagreement with trolling and hyperbole is not the slightest bit the same as trivializing the incidents in any way.

+1. One of the best lines in this thread. I'm amazed and appreciative of the patience and continued measured and intelligent responses from those with direct technical knowledge here, who take vast amounts of their personal time to educate us regarding the problems faced, plus the process of how these problems are worked through, without resorting to hyperbole and ad hominems in their replies.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: alfablue
Posted 2013-01-23 08:10:17 and read 6456 times.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...eing-787-faa-idUSBRE90M04620130123

Quote:
FAA rules do not cover lithium batteries, so the agency in 2007 set nine "special conditions" Boeing had to meet to ensure their safety. A year earlier, the FAA had set similar conditions for Airbus. Special conditions are commonly used to cover new technology for which rules have not yet been written.

In both cases, the Air Line Pilots Association International, the world's largest pilot union, said airplane fire is so dangerous that the FAA should require cabin crew to have fire extinguishers and training to put out a lithium-ion battery fire. "A fire from these devices, in any situation, is unacceptable," the union said, during the 787 approval process.

The FAA said it chose not to require special fire extinguishers and training because of the four redundant systems already in the Boeing system to prevent the battery from catching fire.

The ALPA said on Tuesday it is monitoring the investigation into the 787 battery incidents, but declined to comment while the probe is going on.

"It goes back to why this was approved in the first place," said Hidetake Sakuma, an aviation safety consultant and a former safety manager at Japan Airlines Co Ltd.

"Of course there were people asking whether this was really safe, but they (the FAA) approved it and the Japanese airlines never questioned it."


So in above article I see two important pieces of info:

The FAA said....prevent the battery from catching fire.

ALPA says: "A fire from these devices, in any situation, is unacceptable,"


Below is the link to the special conditions (again) and you can see that point one is the containment, which is currently under investigation with unknown outcome. Point two however is violated (twice now). I think the NTSB will come to a conclusion that there was a fire (contained or not) and it will be assessed if point 1 of the special condition was met - however point 2 was violated and led to the safety review followed by the grounding after the second violation. So IMHO I think they thought it could have been bad luck or a manufacturing fault. Now we reach the stage where the whole adaptation is being questioned. The containment might have just worked as designed - the problem is that point 2 of the special condition is violated.

http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Gu...3ae59862572cd00701404!OpenDocument


(1) Safe cell temperatures and pressures must be maintained during any foreseeable charging or discharging condition and during any failure of the charging or battery monitoring system not shown to be extremely remote. The lithium ion battery installation must preclude explosion in the event of those failures.

(2) Design of the lithium ion batteries must preclude the occurrence of self-sustaining, uncontrolled increases in temperature or pressure.



Preclude synonyms: avert, cease, check, debar, deter, discontinue, exclude, forestall, forfend, hinder, impede, interrupt, make impracticable, obviate, prevent, prohibit, put a stop to, quit, restrain, rule out, stave off, stop, ward


There was a special condition which was violated and another is under investigation (containment). Both batteries have been ruled out as overcharged now. I said in an above post that regulations can change. Here is another quote doubting the decision to allow those batteries via a special condition - if the FAA takes back the special condition (which is not fulfilled anyways) the batteries have to be exchanged and replaced by another technology, which means drawing board, development, new software, testing, certification and many many month of grounding.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...-787-hearing-idUSBRE90M00220130123


Quote:
Problems with the 787's lithium-ion battery have sparked questions about why the FAA in 2007 granted Boeing a "special condition" to allow use of the batteries on the plane, despite the fact that they are highly flammable and hard to extinguish if they catch fire.

Boeing designed a special system that was supposed to contain any such fire and vent toxic gasses outside the plane, but the two recent incidents have raised questions about whether that was a good decision.


AlfaBlue

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: justloveplanes
Posted 2013-01-23 08:16:07 and read 6384 times.

Quoting nm2582 (Reply 226):
With that said, a chemistry switch (in my opinion) isn't the big issue here, the big issue is figuring out what is happening to the battery which is causing failures. Lithium ion cells are actually pretty benign (relatively speaking) until they experience conditions they don't like (overcharge, overdischarge, too high of a charge current, over temperature, under temperature, too high of a load, physical damage);

Forgive me if I am repeating previously posted information, but these threads are long.

With regards to the above, I recall that the FDR didn't record an over voltage. Does it record current flow in and/or out? Combined current flow in (charging) and out (powering the APU or other load)?

There is also the possibility (and I don't know this) that the instrumentation might not adequately convey an overvoltage event, what resolution in time are these voltage readings stored?

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: liquidair
Posted 2013-01-23 08:23:20 and read 6321 times.

Quoting PITingres (Reply 227):

If you regard my opinions as trolling, then you're free not to read them.

I think that in reality, tone is often lost when writing- and absolutism comes across more than it would verbally.

To my mind, whilst I understand the fact that the system have been designed to withstand failure, it's still just not acceptable to employ this technology if this rate of failure occurs.

I've never said that it's an apocalyptic scenario of planes falling out of the sky- I've merely stated that the risk of these fires is a risk too many... And in my all encompassing ignorance and deficiency, I consider this technology too high a risk. Now whether it's the battery or the architecture at fault, I don't know. But it's worrying, and therefore I consider the 787 currently unreliable. As do the FAA apparently.

it's a bit like the risk of surgery- sure, the surgeon knows it is safe, that operation has been performed a million times without any mortality- but I was still apprehensive about taking my tonsils out last year- because things can and do happen.

Now, if you are going to resort to calling me a troller, go ahead- it's just childish. It's that kind of mentality that resorts to hand throwing in bars. Primitive and sad.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-23 08:41:18 and read 6190 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 230):
In both cases, the Air Line Pilots Association International, the world's largest pilot union, said airplane fire is so dangerous that the FAA should require cabin crew to have fire extinguishers and training to put out a lithium-ion battery fire. "A fire from these devices, in any situation, is unacceptable," the union said, during the 787 approval process.

Lithium-Ion fires are Class D events. The most effective way to fight such a fire is to use a dry powder extinguisher, which smothers and acts as a heat sink to dissipate heat.

Copper powder is the preferred agent to use against lithium fires as it forms a copper-lithium alloy on the surface which is non-combustible and cuts off the oxygen supply. However, I am not sure how good of an idea it is to spray copper powder around electrical equipment.

Dry graphite also works, but is not as effective as copper powder. Again, not sure how good of an idea it is to have that around electrical equipment, either.

[Edited 2013-01-23 08:42:15]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: tarheelwings
Posted 2013-01-23 08:42:39 and read 6151 times.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 232):
Now, if you are going to resort to calling me a troller, go ahead- it's just childish. It's that kind of mentality that resorts to hand throwing in bars. Primitive and sad.

His point still stands, doesn't it?

You were the one making the following statement:

Quoting liquidair (Reply 216):
you want to know what I can't understand keeps coming up? The fact that so many seem to be trivialising what is an extremely worrying series of events.

And he is simply asking:

Quoting PITingres (Reply 227):
Maybe you'd like to cite some of the "so many" posts that trivialize the situation? Because I don't see them.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Kaiarahi
Posted 2013-01-23 08:56:13 and read 6038 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 230):
Point two however is violated (twice now).

Not necessarily. It says:

Quoting alfablue (Reply 230):
(2) Design of the lithium ion batteries must preclude the occurrence of self-sustaining, uncontrolled increases in temperature or pressure.

If it's a manufacturing defect, para 2 is not violated.

Quoting nm2582 (Reply 226):
(overcharge, overdischarge, too high of a charge current, over temperature, under temperature, too high of a load, physical damage)

Or an internal short resulting from a production defect.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: liquidair
Posted 2013-01-23 09:02:58 and read 5964 times.

Quoting tarheelwings (Reply 234):

If you read my whole post, and actually understood it, you'd notice that I'm saying that at times written words come across as absolutism whereas perhaps verbally they would not.

I'll simplify; interpretation of some posts might not be that intended- but it can seem like that.

So no, that point does not stand. And I certainly won't be resorting to name calling (troll) when dealing with different opinions.

The technical explanations can go on until the cows come home- but the point that fire is unacceptable cannot be debated, in my view.

see

Quoting alfablue (Reply 230):
In both cases, the Air Line Pilots Association International, the world's largest pilot union, said airplane fire is so dangerous that the FAA should require cabin crew to have fire extinguishers and training to put out a lithium-ion battery fire. "A fire from these devices, in any situation, is unacceptable," the union said, during the 787 approval process.


[Edited 2013-01-23 09:04:42]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: seabosdca
Posted 2013-01-23 09:07:42 and read 5921 times.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 229):
I'm amazed and appreciative of the patience and continued measured and intelligent responses from those with direct technical knowledge here, who take vast amounts of their personal time to educate us regarding the problems faced, plus the process of how these problems are worked through, without resorting to hyperbole and ad hominems in their replies.

Said it better than I could have.

Panic helps solve nothing in this sort of situation. Dispassionate analysis, on the other hand, will eventually find you causes of and solutions to hazards like this. Insisting on accurate rather than sensational descriptions is far from "trivializing."

[Edited 2013-01-23 09:08:16]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-23 09:14:38 and read 5837 times.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 236):
The technical explanations can go on until the cows come home- but the point that fire is unacceptable cannot be debated, in my view.

Well, yes, it certainly can be. Fire is an acceptable risk in engines, for instance, because it's unavoidable and we have good ways of mitigating it. Engine fires happen on a fairly regular, if not routine, basis.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: rcair1
Posted 2013-01-23 09:19:03 and read 5821 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 233):
Lithium-Ion fires are Class D events. The most effective way to fight such a fire is to use a dry powder extinguisher, which smothers and acts as a heat sink to dissipate heat.

Stitch - I'm correcting you here because you (probably) got this information from me and it is incorrect.
See my long post about that in this thread from this morning.
I believe it is my responsibility to correct bad information from me.

Lithium battery fires are class D. Lithium-Ion battery fires are typically not class D. There is little metallic Lithium in them.

This was my error - based on training that was, apparently, outdated. I spent several hours researching current approaches based on research at NFPA and Sandia and, to my chagrin, discovered my error.

That said - there is no piratical and approved extinguishing method to be used that would work in the environment in question and it appears containment is still the best approach for a number of reasons. This is the recommend approach for Li-Ion 16850 based fires in cabin - use a containment bag that keeps the heat in and vents the gasses till the thermal runaway terminates and the fire goes out.

In the reports I cite - there are specific "gaps" highlighted and one of this gaps is in extinguishing approaches. Remember - this report is from a fire fighting standpoint - not an aircraft design standpoint.

The report is only 126 pages long - should be a quick read for anybody who cares. Of course, unfortunately, many will pull out of context data out of it and use to create a picture of conflagration whenever you look cross eyed at a battery - Bob

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: PHX787
Posted 2013-01-23 09:23:53 and read 5805 times.

Oh my god it's so difficult to sift through what's actually factual.

I clicked the SD button for this whole thread because I don't have the time to sit here and sd all the trolls and arguments.


But for the sake of news this may have been posted, I have no idea because its difficult to weed through this:

Yomiuri, USA Today, and Japan Today all saying that, like the JL frame, the NH plane at TAK did not suffer an over charge. Therefore it's something inherently wrong with the lithium ion batteries themselves.

At this point in my opinion, we can forget any 787 flights for the next month. Yuasa is now in the hot seat and all involved in the Li ion batteries at Yuasa are in deep sh*t unless they figure this out soon.

At this point, what can we as fliers do? Nothing but wait for the result. No reason to bicker like this.

Quoting TheSultanOfWing (Reply 228):
Any info on what airframes are being checked physically?
Did Boeing send staff to NRT, ORD, DOH, SCL etc to check each and every plane, or is it just the batteries that are being dispatched and examined?

Boeing sent an investigator, same with Yuasa and the NTSB.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: liquidair
Posted 2013-01-23 09:30:28 and read 5734 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 238):
Well, yes, it certainly can be. Fire is an acceptable risk in engines, for instance, because it's unavoidable and we have good ways of mitigating it. Engine fires happen on a fairly regular, if not routine, basis.


This isn't trivialising?

Please, let's not use extremism to counter statements.

I wouldn't say the two things are the same. You might, I wouldn't.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 178):
The issue with the current problem is that it might not comply with regulations that require the probability of a catastrophic event due to foreseeable *combinations* of failures must be extremely remote.

In other words- the probability might not be extremely remote. Therefore these fires are unacceptable- especially when there are other ways around it.

I'm not slating Boeing- but the problem requires a fix.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: tdscanuck
Posted 2013-01-23 09:33:54 and read 5754 times.

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 202):
I'm not sure that some of you guys realize that your arguments boil down to putting economic concerns over human lives

Oh, we realize it. What I don't think many people realize is that that's how you *have* to design commercial systems. You can always spend more money to make airplanes (or any other system safer). But, at some point, it becomes so expensive that nobody flies.

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 202):
No plane should be flying if it's flying with an unknown level of safety.

All planes fly with an unknown level of safety. The regulators specify an upper bound on the risk and the OEM's have to show that they're below that bound with some reasonable confidence level, but none of them have a clue what their exact risk is.

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 202):
No amount of money is worth it.

Passengers aren't willing to pay more for safer airplanes. This is why the OEM's don't compete on safety. If you give me $10 billion I guarantee I can make the system safer enough to save at least one life...but nobody takes that deal.

The idea that any amount of money should be expended for arbitrarily small safety gains is, like "absolute safety", a myth.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 206):
The other problem is that those vent gases are considered possibly toxic. So they must not reach the cabin.

That's part of the general smoke/fume regulations. They test it by dumping smoke into the lower lobe compartments in flight and proving that it doesn't get onto the main deck.

Quoting s5daw (Reply 214):
Quoting faro (Reply 213):
nd smoke and fumes vented properly

Apparently at least the fumes part was problematic in the ANA incident...

There's no requirement (nor capability) for smoke containment to work on the ground with the doors open and the ECS off. On the ground, you evacuate.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 216):
you want to know what I can't understand keeps coming up? The fact that so many seem to be trivialising what is an extremely worrying series of events.

I'd like to see concrete examples of anyone trivializing the problem. Dialing the problem back from "everyone was going to die in minutes if they didn't land the plane!" is injecting reality, not trivializing.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 216):
You may insist that these fires were foreseen- and they were not dangerous-

They were foreseen, otherwise they wouldn't have wrapped the battery in a big steel box. Nobody that I'm aware of has claimed that they were not dangerous. Note that dangerous is not the same thing as loss of continued safe flight and landing, which is the safety requirement at issue.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 216):
I mean, are we really trying to debate over the fact that a flaming battery should be de rigeur?

No. Nobody is debating that.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 216):
That technological advancement with the 787 should inherently pose a threat to it's passengers?

All technology advancements post an inherent threat to the passengers because new technology comes with unknowns...that's what makes it new.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 230):
The FAA said it chose not to require special fire extinguishers and training because of the four redundant systems already in the Boeing system to prevent the battery from catching fire.

I'm not aware of any commercial airliner in existence where the crew are equipped and trained to fight a battery fire in an EE compartment. That's far more likely to result in loss of life than containing the fire and letting it burn out.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 230):
Below is the link to the special conditions (again) and you can see that point one is the containment, which is currently under investigation with unknown outcome. Point two however is violated (twice now)
....
(2) Design of the lithium ion batteries must preclude the occurrence of self-sustaining, uncontrolled increases in temperature or pressure.

Point 2 is a design constraint, not a manufacturing constraint. The battery *design* may well meet requirement 2. In-service failure of a battery does not violate point two if the failure is caused by a deviation between the design and the as-built (in which case it's a quality failure, not a design failure).

Quoting justloveplanes (Reply 231):
With regards to the above, I recall that the FDR didn't record an over voltage. Does it record current flow in and/or out? Combined current flow in (charging) and out (powering the APU or other load)?

Yes, it records current in/out.

Quoting justloveplanes (Reply 231):
There is also the possibility (and I don't know this) that the instrumentation might not adequately convey an overvoltage event, what resolution in time are these voltage readings stored?

FDR stores at several frequencies, I think the highest is 16 or 32 Hz. However, the maintenance systems watch at a much higher frequency and should catch and set a message for events that happen too quickly to make it on the FDR.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 232):
To my mind, whilst I understand the fact that the system have been designed to withstand failure, it's still just not acceptable to employ this technology if this rate of failure occurs.

I would say it's not acceptable to employ *this implementation* of the technology if this rate of failure occurs...which is exactly what the FAA said they're concerned about. Lithium batteries are used on the ISS, which is a *far* worse place to have any kind of fire, so it's clearly possible to design lithium technology to more stringent levels.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 236):
The technical explanations can go on until the cows come home- but the point that fire is unacceptable cannot be debated, in my view.

I don't think anyone is claiming fire is acceptable. What is being claimed is that fire is designed for, so that the mere occurrence of a fire does not, on its face, mean the airplane or passengers were in jeopardy.

Tom.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-23 09:35:59 and read 5758 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 240):
Yomiuri, USA Today, and Japan Today all saying that, like the JL frame, the NH plane at TAK did not suffer an over charge. Therefore it's something inherently wrong with the lithium ion batteries themselves.

At this point in my opinion, we can forget any 787 flights for the next month. Yuasa is now in the hot seat and all involved in the Li ion batteries at Yuasa are in deep sh*t unless they figure this out soon.

Well if they believe it's the battery, and not the 787's charging system, then I don't see why the 787 needs to remain grounded once "known good" batteries can be identified and procedures can be put into place to test them to ensure that they remain "known good".

While the 787 did have two battery incidents in about as many weeks, many seem to forget that the fleet had over 100,000 hours of revenue flying without a battery incident. JA804A - the NH plane - had flown for a full year without a battery incident. Three other NH planes had flown for over a year without a battery incident. And JL had two or three planes with nine months of service without a battery incident.

The above being said, I do not believe that once the fleet is returned to service with "known good" batteries and a testing regimen to ensure they remain "known good" that the case should be closed.

I believe Boeing should be ordered to design and test a more robust containment system to restore full confidence that if a "known good" battery suddenly goes "bad" and enters thermal runaway, there is evidentiary proof that the containment system will hold it for beyond 330 minutes (even if the batteries themselves lack the fuel to burn that long, ensuring no electrolyte leaks outside the container for such a period strikes me as prudent). It is believed that Airbus has chosen an "active discharge" process in which the liquid battery material is vented from the container directly into the atmosphere, which should prevent it from "bubbling over" and escaping the containment system.

And once that containment system is installed, Boeing should then be at least strongly encouraged to change the chemistry of the cathodes from the current lithium cobalt oxide to something like lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide, lithium nickel manganese cobalt or lithium iron phosphate due to their safer and more stable chemistry.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-23 09:37:57 and read 5704 times.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 241):
This isn't trivialising?

Nope, it's correcting a statement that is far too broad and thus wrong.

The fact that fire is not always unacceptable does not mean that battery fires are acceptable. But the fact that battery fires are fires does not, in itself, make them unacceptable.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 242):
What is being claimed is that fire is designed for, so that the mere occurrence of a fire does
not, on its face, mean the airplane or passengers were in jeopardy.

When I say that fire is acceptable, I intend that to mean exactly what you've said here. Different people are using somewhat different definitions of the word acceptable.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: liquidair
Posted 2013-01-23 09:47:25 and read 5584 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 244):

A little pedantic, perhaps?

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 242):

thank you- appreciated as always...

But..

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 242):
All technology advancements post an inherent threat to the passengers because new technology comes with unknowns...that's what makes it new.

surely this is the whole point of testing? so that there are no risks once in service to the public... Boeing shouldn't really profit from using us as guinea pigs, no?

things have changed over time... corporations can't get away with that attitude anymore...

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-23 09:57:05 and read 5490 times.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 245):
surely this is the whole point of testing? so that there are no risks once in service to the public... Boeing shouldn't really profit from using us as guinea pigs, no?

You run in to the question of how much testing is necessary or desirable. The government has answered that question in different ways for different industries, but the common thread is that testing cannot - and should not be expected to - replicate all foreseeable in-service conditions nor does it replicate the total amount of time a product spends in service.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Kaiarahi
Posted 2013-01-23 09:58:49 and read 5469 times.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 245):
surely this is the whole point of testing? so that there are no risks once in service to the public... Boeing shouldn't really profit from using us as guinea pigs, no?

In that case, no aircraft would ever enter service. In order to know what the risks might be after 20 years of service and x,000 cycles, you'd have to test it for 20 years ....

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: PITingres
Posted 2013-01-23 10:16:43 and read 5326 times.

Quoting liquidair (Reply 236):
The technical explanations can go on until the cows come home- but the point that fire is unacceptable cannot be debated, in my view.

Sure, I'll debate it. It depends on what you mean by "unacceptable". An analogy would be the difference between a rotor burst and a fan blade-out in an engine. Rotor bursts are non-containable by any reasonable or even unreasonable means, and so you have to reduce their likelihood to very low levels. (And even then you have to make every attempt to mitigate the damage if it DOES happen. As I understand it, from a certification and design standpoint you aren't allowed to simply assume that a burst cannot happen, just that it will be very rare, with some agreed-upon very low probability.) Fan blade-outs are containable and so you design a containment system for that event. That *doesn't* mean that you don't try to minimize blade-out occurrences, because obviously you do. It doesn't mean that rotor bursts are serious and blade-outs aren't -- they are both serious. It simply means that you trade the design in different directions. If someone were to say "fan blade-outs are unacceptable" I would have to ask for clarification.

Going back to batteries, the phrase "fire is unacceptable" to me conveys the notion that you want to treat it on the same level as a rotor burst -- something that basically must not ever happen. That seems to be an unreasonable engineering trade and I disagree with it; better to assume some sufficiently low probability of battery fires and contain them if it happens. So far that strategy seems to have worked well. The problem as I understand it centers around that "sufficiently low" probability; with two fires in rapid succession, is there something going wrong that should not be?

As for whether that investigation, from a sample of two, is proper basis for a fleet grounding, I've no idea and I'm not qualified to speculate.

All of the above has been stated often enough, with what I would have thought was sufficient clarity, that many of the more recent "sky is falling" posts strike me as unreasonable. I don't doubt that some of it is deliberate trolling. Unfortunately that sort of brush paints a wide swath and labels the pure and impure of heart alike, I guess. If you are one of the former than I apologize. (and if one of the latter, then not so much.)

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: DocLightning
Posted 2013-01-23 10:18:27 and read 5334 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 243):
Well if they believe it's the battery, and not the 787's charging system, then I don't see why the 787 needs to remain grounded once "known good" batteries can be identified and procedures can be put into place to test them to ensure that they remain "known good".

You just answered your own question. Developing and executing these procedures will take some time.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-01-23 10:28:22 and read 5260 times.

I agree that there is a cavalier attitude by many about the issues of the 787. Many of the people that share this attitude are shameless fans of BA, engineers or designers. Those of us that have to operate or ride in this new tech are the ones that seem most concerned. The infallibility complex of engineers and designers are what created issues like the caravelle, electra, DC-10 and several other noteworthy failures.

Prior to the some of the significant events that led to this grounding I forecasted major problems for this program. When UA announced a "revised" schedule for the 787 I predicted there would be more revisions because the airplane was unreliable. The general consensus among the fans and engineer/designers was that UA was not used the airplane and it was all the airlines fault that the dispatch reliability was so low. As we see today the airplane has problems, they are not simple in nature nor are they quick fixes. It is going to take some admission on BA's part to address these problems and there has been plenty of newspaper ink saying BA is in denial over the problems this programme has experienced.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: justloveplanes
Posted 2013-01-23 10:31:27 and read 5241 times.

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 235):
Or an internal short resulting from a production defect.

Looking more and more likely, see below

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 240):
Yomiuri, USA Today, and Japan Today all saying that, like the JL frame, the NH plane at TAK did not suffer an over charge. Therefore it's something inherently wrong with the lithium ion batteries themselves.
Quoting Stitch (Reply 243):

The above being said, I do not believe that once the fleet is returned to service with "known good" batteries and a testing regimen to ensure they remain "known good" that the case should be closed.

Agree, as has been mentioned, 100K hours with no battery problems.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 243):
I believe Boeing should be ordered to design and test a more robust containment system to restore full confidence that if a "known good" battery suddenly goes "bad" and enters thermal runaway, there is evidentiary proof that the containment system will hold it for beyond 330 minutes (even if the batteries themselves lack the fuel to burn that long, ensuring no electrolyte leaks outside the container for such a period strikes me as prudent).

Agree, prudent and an AD, but not grounding.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 243):
It is believed that Airbus has chosen an "active discharge" process in which the liquid battery material is vented from the container directly into the atmosphere, which should prevent it from "bubbling over" and escaping the containment system.

Probably what they'll end up with is my guess. A few more pounds in the EE bay. C'est la vie.....

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: PITingres
Posted 2013-01-23 10:40:36 and read 5149 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 250):
Those of us that have to operate or ride in this new tech are the ones that seem most concerned.

If you had written "... are the ones who seem to have the most fear, uncertainty, and doubt" I would agree. Concern is something else entirely and those who have posted the most factual information (including CM, tsdcanuck, rcair1, stitch among others) seem to me to have exhibited plenty of concern.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 250):
The infallibility complex of engineers and designers are what created issues like the caravelle, electra, DC-10 and several other noteworthy failures.

People with infallibility complexes don't design containment and backup systems because their primary designs are perfect. So I don't really have any idea what you are talking about unless it's just ranting.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 250):
When UA announced a "revised" schedule for the 787 I predicted there would be more revisions because the airplane was unreliable. The general consensus among the fans and engineer/designers was that UA was not used the airplane and it was all the airlines fault that the dispatch reliability was so low.

While I don't dispute your statement as such, the fact does remain that up until the grounding event, the dispatch reliability for the 787 fleet was reported as being on par with other new type introductions, specifically the 777 numbers. Are you suggesting that those 787 numbers were false / incorrect? or is this just an "I told you so"? (which might be immodest but there's no rule against it!)

[Edited 2013-01-23 10:42:06]

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Kaiarahi
Posted 2013-01-23 10:41:28 and read 5154 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 250):
The infallibility complex of engineers and designers

Actually, their professional discipline is all about fallibility - but by all means, let's do away with designers and engineers and have aircraft designed by a) teachers, b) hockey players, c) bus drivers, or d) late night television hosts.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-23 10:42:29 and read 5156 times.

Quoting PITingres (Reply 248):
Going back to batteries, the phrase "fire is unacceptable" to me conveys the notion that (some appear to) want to treat it on the same level as a rotor burst -- something that basically must not ever happen. That seems to be an unreasonable engineering trade and I disagree with it; better to assume some sufficiently low probability of battery fires and contain them if it happens.

I'd argue that just declaring that something to be "unacceptable" could hinder safety, rather then advance it.

If the FAA declared that "battery fires were unacceptable", how would that be proven? How many hours of testing? How many simulations? How many scenarios? Assuming you want the system to eventually be certified, you have to declare a standard to be met. And what if Boeing had met whatever that standard was? And because they had met it, and a battery fire was officially declared "impossible", Boeing had been allowed to just put the battery in the bottom of the bay like they are on the KC-135 with no attempt made at mitigating possible deleterious effects.

Because Murphy is an a**hole and Quantum Theory provides that given enough time, anything is possible, the battery catches fire in direct contempt of the FAA. How much damage would have occurred aboard JA804A or JA829J with a battery that burned in the open or disgorged electrolyte solution across the EE bay?

Because the FAA...well, accepts...that some things that should be unacceptable cannot be effectively engineered so as to be impossible, they demand that if the "unacceptable" happens, the effects are not allowed to proceed unhindered and inflict maximum possible damage.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: RNAVFL350
Posted 2013-01-23 10:58:42 and read 4950 times.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 193):
Quoting mcdu (Reply 250):
I agree that there is a cavalier attitude by many about the issues of the 787. Many of the people that share this attitude are shameless fans of BA, engineers or designers

I am pretty sure that the only reason you have a job is because of engineers and designers that build the planes that you fly! Of all the comments that I have read since part 1 of this thread, this is by far one of the most ignorant and classles comments to be posted(and there many).

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: alfablue
Posted 2013-01-23 11:06:23 and read 4887 times.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 242):
They were foreseen, otherwise they wouldn't have wrapped the battery in a big steel box.

I would like to respectfully disagree with you. I don't think they were foreseen in that frequency and in the way they developed. I have read now a few documents and articles from 2007 and one concern was not only containment but also protection. There are many things that can go wrong on an aircraft and those batteries are vulnerable so they also need to be protected (outside heat sources, damage, mishandling) because this conditions could lead to trouble. As you can not prevent those things they wanted a container outside the batteries!

For sure they did NOT anticipate that under normal operations two batteries just catch fire and burn.

Quoting PITingres (Reply 248):
"fire is unacceptable" to me conveys the notion that you want to treat it on the same level as a rotor burst -- something that basically must not ever happen. That seems to be an unreasonable engineering trade and I disagree with it

Well I have to disagree with you on that one from my point of view. I am send twice a year to do fire drills, in the cabin mock up I jump down the slides or try to locate plastic babies (yes they do hide things like that and we have to do a final cabin check), in the sim I do cargo fires, engine fires, CAT3 appr with APU fire in go around, I have to participate in firefighting exercises, discuss it on CRM courses. I know all smoke hood variations and we practice the fire axe to get behind panels!

SO THIS IS MY REALITY! every year once or twice - FIRE EVERYWHERE! It's like the biggest paranoia for aircrews. And now in 2013 an engineer wants to sell me a container on an ETOPS flight? Sorry guys but you should have asked the drivers - in the link I posted you see that pilot unions rejected them pretty much from the beginning - now we have prove - Boeing will not be able to sell that concept to pilots - I DO NOT FLY POTENTIAL FIRES AROUND! and I am sure most of my colleagues agree!

The reality about that paranoia is that if I have a flight like JFK-DUS or so and over the pond in the dark and tired somebody sets off the smoke alarm in a lavatory - this alarm takes away ten years of your live because if that is a real alarm in 10 minutes I might be dead! I am not convinced!

AlfaBlue

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Shenzhen
Posted 2013-01-23 11:11:13 and read 4847 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 243):
Well if they believe it's the battery, and not the 787's charging system, then I don't see why the 787 needs to remain grounded once "known good" batteries can be identified and procedures can be put into place to test them to ensure that they remain "known good".

Totally agree. Once the suspect batteries are removed from service, the easiest way to ensure the remainder remain good would be to hard time the batteries and require that they run through the battery shops for full testing and or overhaul. The test equipment is already available, along with the procedures. As confidence grows through the testing data, new AMOCs can be approved extending the time on wing.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 243):
I believe Boeing should be ordered to design and test a more robust containment system to restore full confidence that if a "known good" battery suddenly goes "bad" and enters thermal runaway, there is evidentiary proof that the containment system will hold it for beyond 330 minutes (even if the batteries themselves lack the fuel to burn that long, ensuring no electrolyte leaks outside the container for such a period strikes me as prudent). It is believed that Airbus has chosen an "active discharge" process in which the liquid battery material is vented from the container directly into the atmosphere, which should prevent it from "bubbling over" and escaping the containment system.

And once that containment system is installed, Boeing should then be at least strongly encouraged to change the chemistry of the cathodes from the current lithium cobalt oxide to something like lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide, lithium nickel manganese cobalt or lithium iron phosphate due to their safer and more stable chemistry.

This should be through the normal NPRM / AD process if the designs are considered a safety issue.

Boeing can always change a design as a product improvement, but airlines won't be required to retrofit unless it is mandated by the Feds.

Very good news today. My guess is that all the fault history (at least from the two incident airplanes) has been reviewed. With the onboard health monitoring systems on the 787, I would imagine that Boeing already has a wealth of chapter 24 fault history, for the entire fleet.

Cheers

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: NathanH
Posted 2013-01-23 11:18:33 and read 4768 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 256):
And now in 2013 an engineer wants to sell me a container on an ETOPS flight?

You literally entrust your entire life to engineers every time you do your job. It is odd that just now you are doubting their qualificaitons. Also, just because you are a pilot, it doesn't give you any special insight into how many of the systems on a plane are designed, or the knowledge to make a call whether they are safe or not.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: starrion
Posted 2013-01-23 11:21:44 and read 4756 times.

So if both events are now known not to involve over-charging, that leads back to a bad lot of batteries.

If the known -bad lot can be identified, then replacing them should be pretty straightforward. Does that not mean there is a light at the end of the tunnel?

Or is it a train?

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: PITingres
Posted 2013-01-23 11:33:35 and read 4651 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 256):
I DO NOT FLY POTENTIAL FIRES AROUND!

I'm sorry, but you do, every day, and I'm not just talking about the engines. Electrical fires, hydraulic fires, cargo fires, all can happen and have happened, with *and without* loss of life. Just because this source of fire is new doesn't make it prima facie worse, and that is what you are saying.

I shouldn't have to add this, but ... just because the fire hazard is contained / containable doesn't make it a trivial matter. The frequency is apparently too high and that needs to be investigated and fixed. However I believe you are being irrational (*) in fearing this ignition source above all the others that already exist in the models already in service.

(*) I don't mean that to be a personal criticism; humans are notoriously bad at risk assessment of all sorts. It's a difficult discipline.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: wjcandee
Posted 2013-01-23 11:40:43 and read 4593 times.

Quoting NathanH (Reply 258):
Also, just because you are a pilot, it doesn't give you any special insight into how many of the systems on a plane are designed, or the knowledge to make a call whether they are safe or not.

Witness our friend Patrick Smith's recent media appearances. It was evident that he really had no idea about 787 systems, certification or engineering. He doesn't fly them so no reason he should. But because of that, he should have kept his mouth shut.

On the other hand, he will never be called out about it because he delivered exactly the quotes that were hoped-for by the media morons that called him.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: seahawk
Posted 2013-01-23 11:41:01 and read 4596 times.

One defect points to a faulty battery, 2 defects point to a more complex problem, unless you can find a third battery from the same production batch that shows a developing defect in line with the faults you have recorded so far. Imho a reason for the battery faults must be found before the grounding can be lifted. I am certain that they are already checking the obvious explanations (batteries from the batch, batteries with the same age, with the same number of flight cycles) as well as for other defects in the 2 planes. (data in the blackboxes, running the electrical system on the ground, etc.) Until we hear anything about the progress of this investigations everything is speculation. (but good speculation, as the information about the fire fighting for such batteries was valuable information for me)

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: alfablue
Posted 2013-01-23 11:43:46 and read 4576 times.

Quoting NathanH (Reply 258):
You literally entrust your entire life to engineers every time you do your job. It is odd that just now you are doubting their qualificaitons.

I do trust our engineers. 100% I can assure you that. I have the uttermost respect of them and we get along very well - you even become friends with them - many of them have even pilot licenses - whats your point? If line maintenance for you is the same as trying to introduce a new technology and I quote Boeing:

The batteries were chosen "after a careful review of available alternatives because they best met the performance and design objectives of the 787," Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel said. "Based on everything we know at this point, we have not changed our evaluation."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...eing-787-faa-idUSLNE90M00J20130123

performance and design objective - am I the only one missing the word safety here?

Quoting PITingres (Reply 260):
Quoting alfablue (Reply 256):
I DO NOT FLY POTENTIAL FIRES AROUND!

I'm sorry, but you do, every day, and I'm not just talking about the engines. Electrical fires, hydraulic fires, cargo fires, all can happen and have happened, with *and without* loss of life.

Yes I do and I am aware of that - why should I accept another source of risk? I mean why dont they install five little ram air turbines popping out if needed - there are other ways to generate or store electricity!

AlfaBlue

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: SonomaFlyer
Posted 2013-01-23 11:47:44 and read 4537 times.

Quoting starrion (Reply 259):
If the known -bad lot can be identified, then replacing them should be pretty straightforward. Does that not mean there is a light at the end of the tunnel?

Or is it a train?

I like that analogy
 

If and ONLY IF these two incidents are traced to a "bad batch" of batteries then the FAA will want to know:

1. What was the nature of the manufacturing defect;
2. Check all other batteries not just in this lot but in the entire fleet (this means putting each and every battery through whatever qualifies as the most rigorous testing regimen available;
3. An action plan by the battery manufacturer to prevent the recurrence of this defect;
4. Enhanced safety checklists for the airlines.

They'll want it in a comprehensive package and will want to see the plan implemented before they lift the grounding order. At the very least, this will mean inspections of all delivered 787s using the new procedures and testing their batteries.

The last thing the FAA or any other oversight agency would want is to lift the order than have another incident - this would make them look incompetent and they certainly don't want that!

A bad battery is actually a best case scenario (i.e. a manufacturing defect rather than a bad design). If the issues are limited to the battery as opposed to the entire electrical charging/discharging system and associated software, that will save them weeks worth of troubleshooting.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-23 11:47:47 and read 4525 times.

Quoting alfablue (Reply 263):
performance and design objective - am I the only one missing the word safety here?

Performance and design objective includes not failing, no?

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: RickNRoll
Posted 2013-01-23 11:51:37 and read 4491 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 243):

I think that addresses my concerns.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: Pygmalion
Posted 2013-01-23 12:06:13 and read 4343 times.



Wow, thank you so very much.

Some much needed perspective on a very serious topic!

The amount of word mincing, pseudo-legal babble, and over- and re-interpretation of published information for the sole purpose of downplaying the problem in this forum has reached unimaginable proportions. It will not stop the (increasingly condescending) posts by the self-proclaimed "experts", but I for one am glad somebody took the time to formulate what needed to be said!

How about "Ladies and gentlemen this is your captain speaking - Sorry to interrupt your lunch but we have some indications that we might have a cargo fire on board."

All commercial aircraft flying today could have a contained fire in the cargo bay from some passenger stuffing a spare Li-ion laptop battery into their suitcase and it going up in flames. Not contained in a steel box but surrounded by lots of flammable clothes/ paperbacks or other flammables... up to 5 hours from any airport but still they fly. Why is it "safe"? Because the regulators and engineers understand the risks and design and install mitigating actions like containment and fire detection/suppression to reduce passenger risk to a agreed upon level. Note they do not eliminate the risk... they mitigate to ensure continued safe flight and landing.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 250):
I agree that there is a cavalier attitude by many about the issues of the 787. Many of the people that share this attitude are shameless fans of BA, engineers or designers. Those of us that have to operate or ride in this new tech are the ones that seem most concerned. The infallibility complex of engineers and designers are what created issues like the caravelle, electra, DC-10 and several other noteworthy failures.

one of the most ludicrous statements I have ever read on Airliners.net and that's saying something. The very business of engineers is understanding their own fallibility and that of the other designers, suppliers, manufacturers, users and unknowledgeable passengers and then mitigating the known risks and the possibility of unforeseen events from causing incidents and accidents

Quoting alfablue (Reply 256):
SO THIS IS MY REALITY! every year once or twice - FIRE EVERYWHERE! It's like the biggest paranoia for aircrews. And now in 2013 an engineer wants to sell me a container on an ETOPS flight? Sorry guys but you should have asked the drivers - in the link I posted you see that pilot unions rejected them pretty much from the beginning - now we have prove - Boeing will not be able to sell that concept to pilots - I DO NOT FLY POTENTIAL FIRES AROUND! and I am sure most of my colleagues agree!

you need to find a new job... probably one working from home where you are exposed to less fear and excitement.

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: starrion
Posted 2013-01-23 12:08:45 and read 4302 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 243):
I believe Boeing should be ordered to design and test a more robust containment system to restore full confidence that if a "known good" battery suddenly goes "bad" and enters thermal runaway, there is evidentiary proof that the containment system will hold it for beyond 330 minutes (even if the batteries themselves lack the fuel to burn that long, ensuring no electrolyte leaks outside the container for such a period strikes me as prudent). It is believed that Airbus has chosen an "active discharge" process in which the liquid battery material is vented from the container directly into the atmosphere, which should prevent it from "bubbling over" and escaping the containment system.

And once that containment system is installed, Boeing should then be at least strongly encouraged to change the chemistry of the cathodes from the current lithium cobalt oxide to something like lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide, lithium nickel manganese cobalt or lithium iron phosphate due to their safer and more stable chemistry.

OK, I am sure that there are a dozen reasons why what I am about to suggest is a horrible idea,

We all know that different objects can be deployed from the aircraft in-flight. RAT, landing gear ect.

Most of the concern centers on "battery fire while x hours from possible landing". presumably over open ocean or artic landscape.

While this is not an 'easy' fix, what about having the batteries in future designs be in a belly location where they can be jettisoned? The most contained battery fire is the one that is 30K below and 10 miles back. This would require breakaway connectors and some additional seams on the exterior surface....

Topic: RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4
Username: iowaman
Posted 2013-01-23 12:09:10 and read 4343 times.

Please continue the discussion in Part 5 as this thread is quite long:

FAA Grounds 787 Part 5 (by iowaman Jan 23 2013 in Civil Aviation)

[Edited 2013-01-23 12:13:06]


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