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FAA Grounds 787 Part 3  
User currently offlineNZ1 From Australia, joined May 2004, 2275 posts, RR: 25
Posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 32630 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Please carry on discussion here. Previous thread was FAA Grounds 787 Part 2 (by iowaman Jan 17 2013 in Civil Aviation)

NZ1
Forum Moderator

268 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineairmagnac From Germany, joined Apr 2012, 321 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 32620 times:

[Reposted from the other thread, as my post came right after the previous thread was closed]

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 196):
Quoting rcair1 (Reply 169):
The FAA believe it MAY BE a safety of flight issue.

Read what they wrote again, carefully:

These conditions, if not corrected, could result in damage to critical systems and structures, and the potential for fire in the electrical compartment.

I think you and some others are parsing out the word "could" to mean "well, it hasn't happened yet, so it's not yet a safety of flight issue, and may never be." But that's not what that means.

Again, we're in the middle of an interpretation problem, due to the subtlety of english vocabulary (differences between "is", "may be", "could", "is not")

Also, you seem to be thinking along the lines of "either it is safe, or it is not". This binary representation is only valid if you have a complete knowledge of the entire situation. Or more precisely, complete knowledge of every single chain of events that could be triggered by a battery issue, and of the consequences of these chains on the rest of the aircraft, so that you can actually assess the safety of the design.

But neither the FAA nor Boeing are omniscient, and probably do not have all this knowledge.
They know the batteries have a problem, they know smoke and electrolyte is projected outside of the containement box.
But this probably invalidates several of the hypotheses used for design and certification of the battery system. So they probably do not know precisely what could happen beyond the projection of smoke and electrolyte.
And they probably have come up with several potential scenarii in which catastrophic failures are a result.

Until these potential scenarii can be confirmed as impossible or sufficently highly unlikely, then these scenarii will have to be considered as a risk, and the appropriate safety measures will have to be taken.
But as the causes of the issue also seem unknown, we can't take any preventive measures directly on the batteries, such as checks and/or replacement. The batteries (at least the MAIN) cannot be removed for flight. So that leaves only one option, to ground the fleet

So to summarize, the situation here is not "the plane is unsafe". But rather "the 787 may very well be sufficiently safe, but it may also not be. We just don't know. And until we do know, then it will remain grounded"

Information is always the key...
And I do not have much more of it than anyone else here about the actual 787 events, which is why I added "probably" or "it seems", and will qualify this entire post as "my opinion".



One "oh shit" can erase a thousand "attaboys".
User currently offlinetraindoc From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 365 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 32363 times:

Go to Bloomberg's website for an article on the LI ion batteries. The problem may be due to a bad batch of these batteries from a Japanese manufacturer. Certainly possible, in that the A/C involved are recent builds. The early build planes seem to not have this problem. At he Bloomberg website they have a picture of the remains of the battery from the JAL plane in Boston. Almost nothing left but the battery box, which survived the fire intact.

Reference here:

.http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-18/why-the-batteries-in-boeings-787-are-burning


User currently offlineBLRAviation From India, joined Feb 2009, 394 posts, RR: 14
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 32323 times:

@HAWK - I agree on the positioning flight. I specifically asked the AI PR department about VT-ANJ and whether AI would move the aircraft to BOM which is their main engineering base (you are the more knowledgeable person on that. They told me that they would fly engineers for the service to respective cities.

We too have the FAA EAD on our site. However, it is not clear.

Also my response was referring to the statement on the previous thread about test flights of the new 787s which are being produced. If empty flights are allowed like in the case of AI, then by the same logic, test flights should also be allowed.



I am on Twitter @BLRAviation
User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 3070 posts, RR: 37
Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 31980 times:

Photo of the damaged NH battery alongside an undamaged battery. The cover has been removed in both.




Empty vessels make the most noise.
User currently offlineJerseyFlyer From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 676 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 31663 times:

This may have been posted in the locked Parts but Boeing has suspended 787 deliveries.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21095056

They will need a large parking lot if the grounding is extended for weeks!


User currently offlineDaysleeper From UK - England, joined exactly 5 years ago today! , 873 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 31533 times:

Quoting traindoc (Reply 2):
he problem may be due to a bad batch of these batteries from a Japanese manufacturer.

So this is a co-incidence? An aircraft with a history of electrical problems severe enough to cause arcing and fire just happens to have a bad batch of batteries installed causing yet more fires.

After reading though hundreds of posts on this subject I’m still none the wiser about this incident – The information just isn’t out there yet.


User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3398 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 31363 times:

Quoting JerseyFlyer (Reply 5):
This may have been posted in the locked Parts but Boeing has suspended 787 deliveries.

Why would any customer take delivery of an aircraft they could not use? A payment is made on delivery, too, IIRC.

Quoting Daysleeper (Reply 6):
After reading though hundreds of posts on this subject I’m still none the wiser about this incident – The information just isn’t out there yet.

Many interesting and informative posts from very knowlegeable a.netters, indeed. Could any of the cognoscenti hazard how long the grounding will be if it is determined that the problem is "simply" manufacturing defects in the batteries concerned? I ask because I imagine that if this were identified as the cause of the problem, it would be the simplest to resolve.


User currently offlinepetteri From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 283 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 31343 times:

I came across this interesting piece of news today. Of course this may be not at all related to the failures of the batteries that we've seen, as the complaints raised by this employee took place during the design phase of the batteries. The article talks about how this employee feels he was fired for pointing out flaws in the design of the battery.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/0...ystem-fired-for-pointing-out-flaws

Of note it certainly appears that this employee had more going on in the work place than his complaint on the battery design and he did not gain Whistleblower protection from his dismissal from the company. The date on the letter from his lawyers is dated from 2011 so it does pre-date the current problems.

EDIT: This firm Securaplane is responsable for the charging unit of the battery.

[Edited 2013-01-19 06:21:49]


The above comments are my personal comments and in no way should be viewed as the views,policy or statements of JetBlue
User currently offlineaeroblogger From India, joined Dec 2011, 1363 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 31321 times:

Quoting BLRAviation (Reply 3):
Also my response was referring to the statement on the previous thread about test flights of the new 787s which are being produced. If empty flights are allowed like in the case of AI, then by the same logic, test flights should also be allowed.

The ban of operations by the DGCA was a ban on revenue operations, not all operations.

The FAA may have different policies for US-flagged aircraft. Tests certainly can take place in India.

[Edited 2013-01-19 06:21:28]


Airports 2012: IXE HYD DEL BLR BOM CCU KNU KTM BKK SIN ICN LAX BUR SFO PHX IAH ORD EWR PHL PVD BOS FRA MUC IST
User currently offlineCXB77L From Australia, joined Feb 2009, 2693 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 31018 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

From Part 2:

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 196):
I think you and some others are parsing out the word "could" to mean "well, it hasn't happened yet, so it's not yet a safety of flight issue, and may never be." But that's not what that means. No design or construction flaw has ever caused an accident before it actually caused an accident; that doesn't mean the danger didn't exist before it did. It's like saying "my house doesn't need smoke detectors because it's never burned down before."

Obviously that's an extreme example - I am not saying were it not for this grounding, that there'd ever be a 787 crash due to a battery fire.

No, that's not what "could" means. It doesn't simply mean it won't happen because it hasn't happened yet, it means that it may or may not happen. That is not a certainty. The FAA are playing it safe, as it rightly should.

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 196):
But the word "could" there means the potential for damage to critical systems exists. When there is a condition that can lead to potential damage to critical systems, that is a safety of flight issue. And the plane wouldn't be grounded otherwise.

Replace the word "when" with "if" and that statement is more or less correct. To use "when" suggests that it will happen. That's not what the FAA are saying.

Quoting airmagnac (Reply 1):
Again, we're in the middle of an interpretation problem, due to the subtlety of english vocabulary (differences between "is", "may be", "could", "is not")

  



Boeing 777 fanboy
User currently offlineboacvc10 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 623 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 30770 times:

Quoting petteri (Reply 8):
I came across this interesting piece of news today. Of course this may be not at all related to the failures of the batteries that we've seen, as the complaints raised by this employee took place during the design phase of the batteries. The article talks about how this employee feels he was fired for pointing out flaws in the design of the battery.

At a first glance, it seems to be an interesting discovery. Could this lead to a, "smoking gun" ?



Up, up and Away!
User currently offlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21582 posts, RR: 59
Reply 12, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 30696 times:

Quoting boacvc10 (Reply 11):

It's the dailykos. Just saying...



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31394 posts, RR: 85
Reply 13, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 30648 times:
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Quoting JerseyFlyer (Reply 5):
This may have been posted in the locked Parts but Boeing has suspended 787 deliveries.

Like they have a choice.

Quoting JerseyFlyer (Reply 5):
They will need a large parking lot if the grounding is extended for weeks!

I would expect they would be allowed to perform positioning flights to other locations for storage, if necessary.


User currently offlinetonytifao From Brazil, joined Mar 2005, 1035 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 30466 times:

So is there any idea when the fleet will be back in the air? Can anyone summarize the latest information? Is this as easy as replacing the faulty batteries?

User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6925 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 30445 times:

Quoting airmagnac (Reply 1):
So to summarize, the situation here is not "the plane is unsafe". But rather "the 787 may very well be sufficiently safe, but it may also not be. We just don't know. And until we do know, then it will remain grounded"

Well, no. If we don't know then by default it's not safe enough, hence the grounding. I agree with spacecadet on this one.
The basis for certification is that many kinds of failures can happen, without downing the aircraft. If we now discover failures that were not predicted, all bets are off.

Quoting Daysleeper (Reply 6):
So this is a co-incidence? An aircraft with a history of electrical problems severe enough to cause arcing and fire just happens to have a bad batch of batteries installed causing yet more fires.

Not to defend the 787 but the arcing was determined to have been caused almost certainly by metal shavings, something that could happen anywhere for many reasons (and a modification has been made to minimize the risk).



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinePW100 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2002, 2584 posts, RR: 13
Reply 16, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 30351 times:

Would, could, will, when, if . . . .

Can't we all just agree that in the view of the regulators (FAA, EASA etc), anything supposed to be airborne that has not been demonstrated to be safe, is by definition unsafe? Makes life and these sort of discussions so much easier.

Thanks,
PW100



Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
User currently offline_AA_777_MAN From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 180 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 29817 times:

I was driving by ORD yesterday and noticed that Lot's 787 is still at ORD. Last I heard they were supposed to ferry it back to WAW on the 17th. Hopefully someone can take some pics.

User currently offlineDaysleeper From UK - England, joined exactly 5 years ago today! , 873 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 29640 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 15):
Not to defend the 787 but the arcing was determined to have been caused almost certainly by metal shavings, something that could happen anywhere for many reasons (and a modification has been made to minimize the risk).

I wasn’t aware that it was proven. I know they suspected it could be FOD, but as the firearc would destroy the FOD then it’s presence could only ever be theorised.


User currently offlineordwaw From United States of America, joined May 2006, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 29614 times:

Quoting _AA_777_MAN (Reply 17):
I was driving by ORD yesterday and noticed that Lot's 787 is still at ORD.

As far as LO's SP-LRA it is my understanding that there were indications in the cockpit of problems with the Air Conditioning system on the WAW-ORD flight, and the plane would have gone tech anyways - was the problem fixed?

On a similar note ...
Is the QR's 788 (canceled LHR-DOH flight on 1/16) still at LHR or was it ferried back to DOH? Was there ever any explanation as to what caused the cancelation of that flight.


User currently offlinefrmrcapcadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1739 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 29526 times:

Quoting PW100 (Reply 16):
Can't we all just agree that in the view of the regulators (FAA, EASA etc), anything supposed to be airborne that has not been demonstrated to be safe, is by definition unsafe? Makes life and these sort of discussions so much easier.

It sounds good, it sounds common sense. But as I understand risk management (and the math et cetera they use) the statement does not make sense, and does not help define the steps that need to be taken to ensure safety.

The basic problem is "Anything ... that has not been demonstrated to be safe". In essence it asserts that regulators must prove and demonstrate a negative. You have stated an impossibility.



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User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3856 posts, RR: 27
Reply 21, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 29473 times:
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Quoting airmagnac (Reply 1):
Again, we're in the middle of an interpretation problem, due to the subtlety of english vocabulary (differences between "is", "may be", "could", "is not")

Consider that all releases from manufacturers and regulatory generally go through their legal staff to ensure no absolutes are stated that leave room for law suits.

Scanning the morning news today I noticed some interesting comments.. One there seems to be a shift from the batteries themselves to the charging process and charging rate regulators. Second, it was noted when a battery burns, it usually destroys some of the key components needed for analysis. And third, they are looking at the a/c's extensive computer logs for everything from charging rates to first flickers of warning/informational displays.
Since 90% of the articles rehashed old stuff and boilerplate, and no conclusions were postulated, I didn't bother copying all the URLs.


User currently offlinePlaneInsomniac From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 684 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 29302 times:

Quoting ordwaw (Reply 19):
On a similar note ...
Is the QR's 788 (canceled LHR-DOH flight on 1/16) still at LHR or was it ferried back to DOH? Was there ever any explanation as to what caused the cancelation of that flight.

Like the FAA, EASA has grounded the 787. The Dreamliners are not going anywhere at the moment.



Am I cured? Slept 5 hours on last long-haul flight...
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31394 posts, RR: 85
Reply 23, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 29230 times:
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Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 22):
Like the FAA, EASA has grounded the 787. The Dreamliners are not going anywhere at the moment.

That wasn't the reason for the original cancellation, however. QR stated their was a technical issue that required the plane to overnight at LHR to await parts. QR still operated all other scheduled 787 services that day after the FAA issued the Emergency AD that grounded UA. QR subsequently grounded their flights in accordance with the AD.


User currently offlineairmagnac From Germany, joined Apr 2012, 321 posts, RR: 52
Reply 24, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 28677 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 15):
If we don't know then by default it's not safe enough

I'll be accused of splitting hairs, but once again that is not sufficiently precise  


First, see :

Quoting frmrcapcadet (Reply 20):
The basic problem is "Anything ... that has not been demonstrated to be safe". In essence it asserts that regulators must prove and demonstrate a negative. You have stated an impossibility.

Second, the actions to be undertaken are different if we are talking about :
1) I KNOW the aircraft is not safe
2) I DO NOT KNOW if it is safe, and I have reason to suspect it is not

In the first case you have to take positive action to correct the situation, in this case modify the architecture of the batteries and/or systems around the batteries to prevent any impact on the systems. Which would last weeks or months, cost a lot, and make lots of noise in the media.

In the second case, you take steps to collect and analyse the necessary data. Until then, you consider any scenario is possible, and take the appropriate safety measures to prevent the worst case scenario (which does not necessarily imply grounding, BTW). Notice the "We consider this AD interim action" in the FAA emergency AD. The same formula was also used by EASA in the Emergency ADs about AOA probes on Airbus aircraft a couple months ago
Once you have the info you need, then you now know for sure what the situation is. If you now know for sure the aircraft is unsafe, then go to 1). If it's OK then case closed.


I'm insisting here because I think it's important in order to understand what's going on.

If you understand the current FAA position as "we don't know if the 787 is safe in case of a battery issue, so we're checking", then it does not invalidate previous statements by FAA management of their confidence in the safety of the plane, it does not invalidate the certification process as a whole (it just has to be completed to take into account the new experience).
Also the outcome of the checks could very well be that the 787 is deemed sufficiently safe. In which case, the 787 could be released without a major architecture change, and definitive corrections to the battery issue will come at a later date.

If you understand the current FAA position as "we know the 787 is NOT safe", then that means the FAA is negating all it has done so far with regard to the 787, and FAA management is backpedaling.
And if the plane is released without any major change, then the immediate conclusion is that the FAA is in bed with Boeing, totally corrupt, bla bla bla. And we are already seeing such reactions...


So i'm insisting because such oversimplifications are usually the starting point for all those conspiracy theories, accusations of corruption and compromising of safety etc...
I know this is not the Tech/Ops section, but I think that people on this forum are aware that aviation is complex. And we can therefore avoid oversimplifications.



Quoting kanban (Reply 21):
Consider that all releases from manufacturers and regulatory generally go through their legal staff to ensure no absolutes are stated that leave room for law suits.

I'm sure they don't leave room for legal action, but there is still room for subtly different understandings of the phrasing



One "oh shit" can erase a thousand "attaboys".
User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3845 posts, RR: 11
Reply 25, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 28976 times:

So it's come down to a semantics battle...

Boy, we really are a bunch of desperate nerds.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31394 posts, RR: 85
Reply 26, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 29055 times:
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Quoting airmagnac (Reply 24):
I'm insisting here because I think it's important in order to understand what's going on.

And I for one appreciate you making the effort.




I honestly don't know if the situation with the batteries warranted grounding the plane versus requiring airlines to intensively monitor the batteries and charging systems. Yes, fire is bad. Yes, smoke is bad. But at this admittedly early stage of the investigation, neither incident appears to me to have been one that with certainty would have caused a hull loss if it had occurred in a situation that prevented a quick diversion. I may be proven wrong in that belief once the investigation is done. Then again, I may not.

The 737 rudder power control unit. The A330/A340 pitot tubes (both Goodrich and Thales). The cargo door locks on the 747-100. The rear cargo hatch on the DC-10.

All of the above were known issues that could have affected flight safety, and yet the planes were not grounded while the issue was investigated. And I am sure there are more situations that could be brought up.

One can certainly argue "better safe than sorry", but with the above cases, alas we did end up with "sorry" due to the families not being grounded until the issue was fully understood and corrected as accidents happened and lives were lost.

Perhaps because so few 787s were in revenue service, it was an easier decision to order them grounded. Or perhaps the FAA felt stung by past criticism for not taking immediate and definitive action and therefore this time decided they would. Or perhaps the two together.

But as they say, it's air over the wing. The FAA has grounded the 787, compelling everyone else to ground it, as well.

However, I wonder if doing so has helped safety or hindered it, going forward.

Even with the few planes in the air and few ready to be delivered, this grounding is going to cost Boeing a significant amount of money.

If the investigation does uncover a severe error in the design of the 787's battery charging subsystem, then grounding the fleet will hopefully encourage the Regulatory Agencies to ground other planes in the face of what could be a serious safety of flight issue.

But if the investigation shows these were isolated cases caused by bad components (be them the battery or the chargers), then I fear the economic costs to Boeing from the grounding might make regulators around the world less likely to order a grounding in the face of a possibly serious safety issue because if they'e wrong, they've seriously hurt the OEMs.


User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3845 posts, RR: 11
Reply 27, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 29704 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 26):
The 737 rudder power control unit. The A330/A340 pitot tubes (both Goodrich and Thales). The cargo door locks on the 747-100. The rear cargo hatch on the DC-10.

One of the difference between these cases and the 787 issue is the ratio of event numbers / total flight hours for the type.

It is much, much greater in that specific case.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 26):
neither incident appears to me to have been one that with certainty would have caused a hull loss if it had occurred in a situation that prevented a quick diversion.

No certainty, but a largely reasonable amount of doubt. in flight fire is never, ever something where you can say there is no risk of losing the aircraft. Especially when it happens in an inaccessible area with little fire protection/fighting capability.

I personally would have been s#|tting bricks myself if it had happened in the middle of the night halfway across the Pacific...



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineseahawk From Germany, joined May 2005, 1315 posts, RR: 0
Reply 28, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 29465 times:

Fire protection against a burning li battery is moot anyway. Either the containment keeps the fire under control or not. You would need to cover the battery in dirt or maybe some long lasting foam to extinguish the flames. Both options are not possible for a plane.

User currently offlineSKGSJULAX From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 84 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 29410 times:

Looks like another theory has been advanced by the Japanese investigators:

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...na-787-battery-malfunction-381268/

(Apologies if this was posted in the locked thread)



Omnium curiositatum explorator
User currently offline7BOEING7 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 1750 posts, RR: 13
Reply 30, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 29228 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 28):
Quoting Stitch (Reply 26):The 737 rudder power control unit. The A330/A340 pitot tubes (both Goodrich and Thales). The cargo door locks on the 747-100. The rear cargo hatch on the DC-10.
One of the difference between these cases and the 787 issue is the ratio of event numbers / total flight hours for the type.

It is much, much greater in that specific case.

Actually at time of the first DC-10 cargo door event there were fewer DC-10's flying than 787's now but it wasn't until the second event on THY that an AD was issued. We don't need to go into the fact that MD new they had issues before the airplane ever flew in passenger service.


User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 3070 posts, RR: 37
Reply 31, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 28694 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 26):
And I for one appreciate you making the effort.

        

I raised the actual wording/meaning of the special conditions in the previous thread, and Cubsrule, airmagnac, Stitch, CM and others took it up. Like it or not, meaning and semantics are critical in a regulatory environment because manufacturers/producers design to meet the precise regulatory requirement, not "near enough", and spend large amounts of money to get there. And as others have pointed out, when the regulatory regime is risk / mathematical probability based, approximate meaning is ... meaningless.

The same issues arise whenever I cite on a.net the wording of international aviation conventions - which often results in accusations of nitpicking. But again, the words are chosen to convey a precise meaning that is understood by the specific target audience (like "fire", "exothermic", "arc", etc for engineers and firefighters). Nobody questions the precise terminology used by medical specialists to convey a specific message to others in the profession. Similarly, the special conditions set for the use of Li-Ion batteries were intended to be understood by the professional engineering risk management and design community to whom they are addressed.

That said, I would not be surprised if one of the outcomes of the FAA review is changes to the conditions.



Empty vessels make the most noise.
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31394 posts, RR: 85
Reply 32, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 28745 times:
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Quoting 7BOEING7 (Reply 31):
Actually at time of the first DC-10 cargo door event there were fewer DC-10's flying than 787's now but it wasn't until the second event on THY that an AD was issued.

And that AD didn't ground the fleet, even after the largest loss of life in the history of commercial aviation to that time.

AA96 also happened less than a year after the DC-10's EIS. The JL and NH incidents were over a year after EIS.

And while the FAA is concerned that a battery failure on the 787 could cause a problem with the safety of the plane, there was direct evidence of a problem with the safety of the plane on AA96.

[Edited 2013-01-19 12:44:39]

User currently offlinerushed From Australia, joined May 2000, 248 posts, RR: 0
Reply 33, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 28622 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 13):


Quoting JerseyFlyer (Reply 5):
This may have been posted in the locked Parts but Boeing has suspended 787 deliveries.

Like they have a choice.

Quoting JerseyFlyer (Reply 5):
They will need a large parking lot if the grounding is extended for weeks!


Interesting point - not much value in delivering a plane the airline can't currently fly. A bit like buying a car and being told you can't have the keys.

I've been following along in the background for a while now - an interesting discussion   I did a quick blog post last night on my take on it all here: http://www.carlousmoochous.com/2013/innews-787-dreamliner-grounding/ (Was going to post the full thing here but it's a bit long). In short, new things, be them airplanes, cars, computers or your phone, have issues when they first launch – that’s how innovation works – you build something, you test the crap out of it, but even after you cover off 99.9% of all bugs, once the consumer gets their hands on it, stuff is going to go wrong, and you need to fix it. We hear so much about this because when something goes wrong with a new airplane the general population and media love it! It’s a high profile story that sells newspapers.

Until the next big plane is launched (eg A350), we will continue to scrutinise the 787 just like we did with the A380 and 777 before it.



travel blogging enthusiast :)
User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7959 posts, RR: 19
Reply 34, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 28697 times:

From Japan Today:
http://www.japantoday.com/category/n...-suspect-excess-voltage-in-battery

Quoting SKGSJULAX (Reply 30):
Looks like another theory has been advanced by the Japanese investigators:

It was in the back of my head too on the other thread.

Let me see if I get this correctly....

Just like when you have a MacBook plugged into the wall while doing homework or whatever, the lithium Ion batteries are being charged by the engine turbines, correct?

And something should keep both the battery in my macbook from overcharging, and same goes with the lithium ion battery...correct?

Well a few weeks back something went wrong with my battery and it would always overheat, eventually bursting its containment and spilling a little bit of the battery material on the wiring that connects the screen to the rest of the computer.... something went wrong with the overcharge safe....just like with these Yuasa battery incidents on the 787, right?

This is just a hypothesis and a layman's comparison.

Also in the other thread which was locked I did bring up that both the JL and NH batteries were apparently from the same line at Yuasa. I wasn't able to confirm any of that using my news sources, was this confirmed by the investigators?



Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/phx787
User currently offlinesuseJ772 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 824 posts, RR: 1
Reply 35, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 28567 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 35):
ust like when you have a MacBook plugged into the wall

I have had four separate MacBook Pros - all the way from the first version - and I can say that the battery recalls on them have been quite high for this exact reason.



Currently at PIE, requesting FWA >> >>
User currently offlineKarelXWB From Netherlands, joined Jul 2012, 13103 posts, RR: 35
Reply 36, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 28303 times:

Quoting rushed (Reply 34):
new things, be them airplanes, cars, computers or your phone,

Or trains, like our beloved Fyra train (sorry, I couldn't resist).



Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe.
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1831 posts, RR: 0
Reply 37, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 28174 times:

The thing that surprises me is that so many here think Boeing and FAA did not think of over charging, testing this etc

Do you really think Boeing and the FAA are morons?! If yes, you better take a long look in the mirror..


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31394 posts, RR: 85
Reply 38, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 27916 times:
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Quoting sweair (Reply 38):
The thing that surprises me is that so many here think Boeing and FAA did not think of over charging, testing this etc.

I fully expect they did.

But if these two batteries failed because they overcharged, why did that happen when the system should have prevented it?

If they failed because they were bad batteries, that should be positive news for Boeing because it implies the charging system in general is sound (since 787s have been charging batteries for over a year without incident). That might be enough to lift the grounding (I would expect in conjunction with regular inspections and testing of batteries).


User currently offlineKarelXWB From Netherlands, joined Jul 2012, 13103 posts, RR: 35
Reply 39, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 27789 times:

Of course they did. Back in 2007 Boeing had to prove the FAA that the use of those batteries were save.


Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe.
User currently offlinefrmrcapcadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1739 posts, RR: 1
Reply 40, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 27525 times:

Now to write something in defense of some of the skeptics. We had two NASA Challenger disasters., there are repeated drug and medical devices disasters with items approved by the FDA. In almost all of these cases it did not take hindsight to know things were amiss. NASA ignored engineers. The FDA has somewhat been captured by the industry. Having diabetes I am appalled at the process which has repeatedly approved drugs, promulgated unduly rosy effectiveness. and ignored likely side effects.

There is no evidence that the multiple aviation regulatory agencies around the world have been captured by A or B. In addition there is the macabre reality that if a loved one is to die in an accident hope it is in a plane - the heirs and survivers will almost automatically get a big settlement. The safety record of newer airplanes speaks to the effectiveness of the industry and regulators. I wish that kind of culture would spread to other sectors of the economy.



Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offlineRobertS975 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 955 posts, RR: 0
Reply 41, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 27218 times:
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Quoting _AA_777_MAN (Reply 17):
I was driving by ORD yesterday and noticed that Lot's 787 is still at ORD. Last I heard they were supposed to ferry it back to WAW on the 17th. Hopefully someone can take some pics.

Why bother going back to WAW? It may be necessary to ferry the plane back to the factory for some reworking before it will fly passengers again.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6925 posts, RR: 12
Reply 42, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 27176 times:

Quoting airmagnac (Reply 24):
I'll be accused of splitting hairs, but once again that is not sufficiently precise

I don't disagree with what you're saying but I don't see where it contradicts what I'm (and others are) saying.
I have no idea how long the grounding will last or what it will take to get the aircraft into the air again, and I'm not discussing this. I'm only discussing why it was grounded, and the reason is "we don't know so it's not safe".

Quoting Stitch (Reply 32):
And that AD didn't ground the fleet, even after the largest loss of life in the history of commercial aviation to that time.

AA96 also happened less than a year after the DC-10's EIS. The JL and NH incidents were over a year after EIS.

And while the FAA is concerned that a battery failure on the 787 could cause a problem with the safety of the plane, there was direct evidence of a problem with the safety of the plane on AA96.

If we follow your reasoning, either the FAA is more safety oriented now than then (which I would see as a good thing) or the 787 is more dangerous than the DC-10 was.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31394 posts, RR: 85
Reply 43, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 27168 times:
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Quoting Aesma (Reply 42):
f we follow your reasoning, either the FAA is more safety oriented now than then (which I would see as a good thing) or the 787 is more dangerous than the DC-10 was.

For the moment, at least, the 787 is less dangerous than the DC-10 as it has not suffered an accident, a hull-loss, an injury* or a fatality.

So I guess that means the FAA is more safety-oriented.


* - The injuries at TAK were part of the evacuation.


User currently offlineComeAndGo From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1041 posts, RR: 0
Reply 44, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 27103 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 38):
If they failed because they were bad batteries, that should be positive news for Boeing because it implies the charging system in general is sound (since 787s have been charging batteries for over a year without incident). That might be enough to lift the grounding (I would expect in conjunction with regular inspections and testing of batteries).

The bad battery could still contaminate and potentially damage the electronics bay. How do you know a battery is good or bad ?? The battery has to be safe without contaminating anything, good or bad. So the problem persists.


User currently offlineplanesmart From New Zealand, joined Dec 2004, 1073 posts, RR: 0
Reply 45, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 27028 times:

A big part of regulatory safety oversight, are financial indicators.

With prudent oversight and enormous financial penalties for non-compliance, outsourcing approvals to manufacturers is commonsense.

A project which is running behind schedule, or an operator struggling financially, are both situations where outsourcing arrangements should be reviewed, at the very least, resulting in more 3rd party peer reviews, to the other extreme, where it's all brought back inhouse.

This is just a blip, in an industry that has transformed in the last 30-40 years. Passenger and airline confidence will be strengthened by the decisive action taken, and industry and safety authorities will be able to add to their case studies and knowledge base.


User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 3070 posts, RR: 37
Reply 46, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 27003 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 42):
"we don't know so it's not safe"

But "safe" needs to be defined, ultimately. No manufacturer can live with "we can't define safe, but we'll know it when we see it and let you know then".



Empty vessels make the most noise.
User currently offlineRickNRoll From Afghanistan, joined Jan 2012, 899 posts, RR: 0
Reply 47, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 26846 times:

Quoting ComeAndGo (Reply 44):
The bad battery could still contaminate and potentially damage the electronics bay. How do you know a battery is good or bad ?? The battery has to be safe without contaminating anything, good or bad. So the problem persists.

        

Zeke has already raised the removal of the APU battery for now. That's pretty easy. For the other battery, stick the container inside another much heavier container that can be pressure sealed.


User currently offlineBEG2IAH From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 980 posts, RR: 18
Reply 48, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 26651 times:
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Quoting PW100 (Reply 16):
Would, could, will, when, if . . . .

Can't we all just agree that in the view of the regulators (FAA, EASA etc), anything supposed to be airborne that has not been demonstrated to be safe, is by definition unsafe? Makes life and these sort of discussions so much easier.
Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 31):
Like it or not, meaning and semantics are critical in a regulatory environment because manufacturers/producers design to meet the precise regulatory requirement, not "near enough", and spend large amounts of money to get there.

In a world of tax accounting and regulations semantics is very well defined and I can't see why it wouldn't be in a far more precise engineering field. Here's how tax regulations define various thresholds of risk:

- Frivolous (below 10% probability);
- Non-frivolous (at least 10%);
- Reasonable basis (at least 15%);
- Realistic possibility of success (at least 33%);
- Substantial authority (objective weighing required; at least 40%);
- More likely than not (>50%);
- Should (at least 70%);
- Will (at least 90%).

Quoting frmrcapcadet (Reply 40):
We had two NASA Challenger disasters

You mean one shuttle (i.e., the whole stack, Challenger) and one orbiter (Columbia)?



FAA killed the purpose of my old signature: Use of approved electronic devices is now permitted.
User currently offlineordwaw From United States of America, joined May 2006, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 49, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 26657 times:

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 39):
Of course they did. Back in 2007 Boeing had to prove the FAA that the use of those batteries were save.

Yet, they modified the design in 2008 to boost their service life. Interesting article from 2008, describing what appears to be last minute design changes, and FAA's overall concerns over the use of lithium ion batteries.

http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2013/01...ithium-batteries-are-not-the-same/


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31394 posts, RR: 85
Reply 50, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 26510 times:
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Quoting ordwaw (Reply 49):
Yet, they modified the design in 2008 to boost their service life. Interesting article from 2008, describing what appears to be last minute design changes, and FAA's overall concerns over the use of lithium ion batteries.

Interesting to note that the older chemistry, while inherently more volatile than what Boeing swapped for, might have ended up being the safer route because the system was designed and tested implicitly to work with that chemistry.

One wonders the level of howling that would result should Boeing be allowed to return the 787 to service with a battery that contains more volatile chemistry, even if that chemistry is the one that was "proven" through testing.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6925 posts, RR: 12
Reply 51, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 26348 times:

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 46):
But "safe" needs to be defined, ultimately. No manufacturer can live with "we can't define safe, but we'll know it when we see it and let you know then".

Well, it's a little like that I would think. Lots of experiences made the current regulations what they are, experiences including incidents and accidents. This is precisely why what is happening with the 787 is surprising and unusual.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineairtechy From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 519 posts, RR: 0
Reply 52, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 26139 times:

Assuming that the problem is a pair of bad batteries, it brings up the challenge of how you test for the unknown defect that caused the battery to catch on fire. Presumably the batteries are passing an existing test. Having been involved in electronic test.....and design....for years, this could be a real challenge especially if the defect is brought on by environmental conditions or number of charge/discharge cycles. Identifying a defect on what is believed at the moment to be a good battery could be a real challenge.

If there is a tolerance on the amount of charge, I wonder if the problem could be alleviated by reducing the max charge?

The idea of totally sealing the battery box would only create a bomb and will never fly....so to speak.

Based on my experience, I doubt if the battery carcases will yield the cause of the problem. You can bet there are lots of "red team" reviews of batteries and chargers. Been there ... done that!  


User currently offlinerickabone From United States of America, joined May 2006, 130 posts, RR: 0
Reply 53, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 26102 times:

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 12):
It's the dailykos. Just saying...

A very reputable news organization... Just saying!


User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8034 posts, RR: 5
Reply 54, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 26118 times:

From what I've read they have found the culprit: the lithium-ion battery charging system. It appears that the software protocol to recharge the batteries is causing the battery packs to overheat. Hopefully, changing the software and/or changing the computerized systems that manage the battery charging system will fix the problem.

User currently offlineRickNRoll From Afghanistan, joined Jan 2012, 899 posts, RR: 0
Reply 55, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 26018 times:

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 54):
From what I've read they have found the culprit: the lithium-ion battery charging system. It appears that the software protocol to recharge the batteries is causing the battery packs to overheat. Hopefully, changing the software and/or changing the computerized systems that manage the battery charging system will fix the problem.

Not wanting to be a pain, but it only fixes the problem of the batteries failing as they have recently. They still need to address the issue of containing a battery adequately when it does fail.


User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3845 posts, RR: 11
Reply 56, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 25975 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 51):
This is precisely why what is happening with the 787 is surprising and unusual.

On the contrary. Based on your accurate statement that safety regulations are based on experiences, good and bad, then an aircraft pioneering new technologies is likely to initially operate in a shady areas of these regulations based only on theoretical knowledge and limited experience. No choice.
And I think they're managing those 'shady areas' much better than they were a few decades ago when they seem to be a lot more cavalier in their approach, as exemplified by the DC-10 mentioned above.

In 10~15 years time the regulations regarding the operation of Li-ion batteries in aircraft will likely have evolved to a level where operational experience will have given them a solid statistical basis.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31394 posts, RR: 85
Reply 57, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 26016 times:
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Quoting RayChuang (Reply 54):
From what I've read they have found the culprit: the lithium-ion battery charging system. It appears that the software protocol to recharge the batteries is causing the battery packs to overheat.

If that is indeed the culprit, I wonder why have so many 787s flown for so long (four of them for over a year) without the batteries overheating?

There are indeed reports that the two batteries did receive a charge higher than they were designed to take. But the NH bird had been in service a full year prior to the incident. And even with a new battery, it took some three months before the incident manifested itself. The JL bird also flew for a number of months before the battery failed.

At the moment, I remain inclined to believe that the two batteries themselves are the "critical link" in the chain of events that led to the fire on the JL frame and the partial meltdown on the NH frame. However, I am also inclined to believe that they should not have been allowed to become that "critical link" and the entire chain of events needs to be reviewed thoroughly to determine why those batteries could fail and to make adjustments to prevent similarly bad batteries from failing in the future.


User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3398 posts, RR: 1
Reply 58, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 25948 times:

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 54):
From what I've read they have found the culprit: the lithium-ion battery charging system. It appears that the software protocol to recharge the batteries is causing the battery packs to overheat. Hopefully, changing the software and/or changing the computerized systems that manage the battery charging system will fix the problem.

How long to fix - 2 weeks / 4 weeks / 6 weeks / 8 weeks? Don't suppose it matters THAT much. It's not like the airlines have lost the use of hundreds of aicraft.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3856 posts, RR: 27
Reply 59, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 25945 times:
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Quoting airtechy (Reply 52):

Assuming

the information was the serial numbers were within 30 of each other.. now with only 50 planes flying and another 30 built plus 5 spares at each airline, people could say "oh they were within 200 units" and were should go AHA.. case closed?

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 55):
Not wanting to be a pain

We have heard you.. unfortunately, A.net is not the designer, regulator, or manufacturer... Time will tell what the final fix is however first is why and how they failed, last is handling the spillage when they do... that said, looking at the volume of excreted material, a larger box is an easy fix.. personally I think a safe pathway for the excreted material is better if as it would get the material away from an ignition source.


User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5478 posts, RR: 31
Reply 60, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 25794 times:

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 31):

Semantics are of key importance in regulations...they are what wins and losses hang on in court.

Quoting frmrcapcadet (Reply 40):
Now to write something in defense of some of the skeptics.

On a practical level, safety is never absolute. In every case, it's a compromise...and not just for airliners. No matter how safe something is, it can still kill. Look at cars...every year, we get more airbags, bigger crumple zones and still people die.

You can't even be 100% safe anywhere. Aircraft makers and regulators decide on levels of safety, based on predictions of reasonable probability and history. They could make an aircraft 99% safe but it would be so heavy it would never get off of the ground. It's a piece of cake to put parachutes on aircraft...but it would cost tens of millions of dollars, making the planes significantly heavier, which means it burns more fuel, can carry fewer people and in the end, it won't be economical. If it can't pay for itself, it will never be purchased so all that safety will never get put into service.

Instead, we have acceptable levels of risk. AF447 could have been saved by parachutes...but it could have also been saved by pushing forward on the stick. I'm willing to bet airlines are training pilots how to better deal with stalls in airliners so that accident may have already prevented more subsequent deaths.

You can't prove something is 100% safe...ever. Everything fails eventually and the more complex, the more things that can go wrong...and Li-ion batteries are both very complex and very nasty if something does go wrong. You can bet these batteries, including their engineering, development and manufacturing, have already undergone intense scrutiny...yet we still got failures. Like the mac batteries and the host of Sony batteries which burned up a lot of computers, it only takes a very small bit of contamination, (microscopic), to get a Li-ion battery to very energetically fail...eventually...provided other conditions are met.

The trick is to predict ever single condition under which a failure can occur. That means everything you know, everything you can think of and everything you don't know and can't think of. Tough sledding, that.

The Sony batteries were found to be contaminated with microscopic bits of metal which eventually caused shorts which cascaded into violent failures. The solution was to spend more time, effort and money on quality control.

My opinion is that these Li-ion batteries, (and batteries of similar chemistry), are unsuitable for high power applications on aircraft. The probability of failure and the difficulty in predicting failures, as well as the violent way they fail, raise them above the level of acceptable risk.

Aircraft have been moving around with batteries forever...as have vehicles of all sorts, and mostly without incident but not these. Even if these batteries are tested for more years, they are now a PR disaster. Fire on an aircraft in flight is just about the most frightening thing ever and even the most ardent fan of flying will give some pause to sitting directly above these batteries, at 41,000 ft.

Until more robust lithium batteries are certified, time to bite the bullet and go with time proven technology. I'm no battery expert, (nor a conspiracy theorist), but I am an electric vehicle enthusiast. I have used many types of batteries and the only ones that ever violently failed while being operated exactly to spec, were li-ion types...and it can be spectacular. I have overcharged, overdrained, shorted and otherwise abused Ni-Cd's, NiMh, and lead acid batteries until they were too hot to hold and never got a fire going. I am using LiFePo4 batteries in electric bikes and giving them some serious abuse as well, and so far, no problems.

The regulatory bodies may once again certify aircraft with these batteries airworthy, but I'm willing to bet you won't find many airlines willing to take another chance with them.



What the...?
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6925 posts, RR: 12
Reply 61, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 25759 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 56):
On the contrary. Based on your accurate statement that safety regulations are based on experiences, good and bad, then an aircraft pioneering new technologies is likely to initially operate in a shady areas of these regulations based only on theoretical knowledge and limited experience. No choice.
And I think they're managing those 'shady areas' much better than they were a few decades ago when they seem to be a lot more cavalier in their approach, as exemplified by the DC-10 mentioned above.

In 10~15 years time the regulations regarding the operation of Li-ion batteries in aircraft will likely have evolved to a level where operational experience will have given them a solid statistical basis.


While true, I don't remember discussing the batteries before recent events.

If we had to bet on what would go wrong, I doubt the batteries would have made the list. The plastic wings causing trouble was much less surprising.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineCM From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 62, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 25771 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 59):
the information was the serial numbers were within 30 of each other

The S/N of the batteries won't really be meaningful. It is the batch number of the cells within the battery that matters. The way the cells within these batteries are manufactured results in many cells being produced from a single layup of the electrolyte, anode and cathode (produced as a spiral roll, then cut into individual cells). Even very small defects in the layup or cutting process can produce a weakness in the cell that is vulnerable to overcharging, or normal charging after a deep discharge.

The manufacturing process is intended to ensure the quality of the layup and cut. If this has failed and there may be quality escapes into batteries which are installed on 787s, it is conceivable a cell stress test could be developed which would reveal whether or not this weakness exists in any given cell. There are now many reports of Boeing proposing a special test of the batteries as one step toward getting the 787s flying again. If this true, it would not surprise me if a test similar to what I have described above is what is being proposed.


User currently offlineRickNRoll From Afghanistan, joined Jan 2012, 899 posts, RR: 0
Reply 63, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 25496 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 59):
We have heard you.. unfortunately, A.net is not the designer, regulator, or manufacturer... Time will tell what the final fix is however first is why and how they failed, last is handling the spillage when they do... that said, looking at the volume of excreted material, a larger box is an easy fix.. personally I think a safe pathway for the excreted material is better if as it would get the material away from an ignition source.

It is just as important. It will have to be tested and re-certified.

An analogy is ETOPS. A plane is certified for ETOPS 180. During a flight, an engine fails. Instead of being able to fly safely on one engine, it is found that under one engine, the plane cannot handle safely on one engine. This did not show up during testing. The plane is not safe to fly, even if they find the reason for the engine failure was a simple faulty part from a manufacturer. They still have to fix the problem of the plane not handling safely on one engine. They have to redo the testing of one engine handling and rectify and recertify that as well.


User currently offlineairtechy From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 519 posts, RR: 0
Reply 64, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 25383 times:

CM....Interesting. Would you see this as a test run at the spiral level, after it is cut into individual cells, or at the battery level? What sort of defect would be produced and how would it be detected? Inquiring minds want to know.

Jim


User currently offlinespacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3669 posts, RR: 12
Reply 65, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 25228 times:

Quoting airmagnac (Reply 1):
Again, we're in the middle of an interpretation problem, due to the subtlety of english vocabulary (differences between "is", "may be", "could", "is not")

No, we're actually not. There is no subtlety here. The words and phrasing are very clear - it takes a severe mangling of the English language and the parsing of individual words out of context to interpret it a different way. "Could" and "might" are not the same word, and it seems that some of you are mistaking one for the other. Those two words exist in the English language for a reason. "Could" indicates blanket potential; "might" indicates a binary choice; in other words, it could be one or the other. Don't confuse the two. The FAA used the word "could" intentionally, not "might".

If something *could* affect critical flight systems and structures, then that means there is a safety problem. It's no different than saying the DC-10's cargo door could open in flight, or the 737's rudder could jam. In those cases you could look after the fact and say "well, it did happen, so we know it *could*", but it's the same word with the same meaning. The fact that it *hasn't* happened yet on the 787 is not relevant.

Quote:
Also, you seem to be thinking along the lines of "either it is safe, or it is not".

That is in fact the case. There's no "well, it's *kind* of safe. Therefore it's not not safe". That doesn't mean 787's would be suddenly dropping out of the sky once a week, but there are no "acceptable losses" when it comes to airliner safety. If one 787 crashed because of a known problem over a 20 year span, that doesn't mean it wasn't a safety of flight issue when first discovered - in fact, such an accident would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was! A safety of flight issue is one that has the potential to cause a serious accident. You just can't fly planes with a known potential for damage to critical systems and structures. That's why the plane is not flying.

Again, this isn't coming from me. Just read the FAA statement and try not to twist the words to make things look less serious than they are. The FAA does not certify planes with issues that "could" affect critical flight systems and structures, and the 787 would never have been certified in the first place if this issue had come to light beforehand. And that's because it's a safety of flight issue.

It would also be helpful if some of you would look up the definition of "critical" as the FAA defines it.

This may turn out to be a simple problem, but that doesn't mean it's not a serious one, and a safety of flight problem. The 737's rudder issue turned out to be relatively simple too, and so did the DC-10's cargo door for that matter, but that didn't mean they "couldn't" cause an accident if not corrected.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineKC135Hydraulics From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 323 posts, RR: 0
Reply 66, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 25215 times:

Have there been any pictures of the main battery that has failed? I saw pictures of the Boston APU battery but not of the main battery. There are just too many posts to go through on this matter so I'd appreciate it if someone could throw me a bone!

User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31394 posts, RR: 85
Reply 67, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 25183 times:
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Quoting KC135Hydraulics (Reply 66):
Have there been any pictures of the main battery that has failed? I saw pictures of the Boston APU battery but not of the main battery.

Yes. They have been posted in a number of the threads on the 787.


User currently offlineKC135Hydraulics From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 323 posts, RR: 0
Reply 68, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 25243 times:

Just found some photos. The battery from ANA looks to have failed very similarly to the battery from JAL! What an eery coincidence these events occured so close to one another in such a similar fashion.

User currently offlinebonusonus From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 69, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 25103 times:

A lot of the latest reports seem to be pointing to overcharging. It's interesting that one failure was in an APU battery and one was in a Main battery. We know that the batteries are identical, but are the charging systems the same as well?

How and when does each type of battery get charged? And how much recharging is typically required in each?

I would think that the APU battery gets recharged from ground power, and needs a substantial percentage. But how about the main battery? Does that charge from engine power in the air? How much energy does the main battery put out during a normal flight (considering it is designed only as a backup in double-engine shutdown situations)?


Finally, it's been mentioned in earlier posts, but, just because overcharging let to the thermal runaway, that doesn't mean that a manufacturer's defect can't also be involved, right? Could these batteries be more susceptible to runaway from a level of overcharging that was within normal design limits?


User currently offlineKC135Hydraulics From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 323 posts, RR: 0
Reply 70, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 24930 times:

From my experience working with aircraft batteries on the 135/17 both batteries are identical in terms of their charging systems. I do believe the main battery gets significantly higher usage/charge during normal ops, however, because there are some electrical components on a battery-direct bus that are powered by the battery at all times, and the battery charger keeps the battery topped off at all times.

On the KC-135, the APU battery is wired only to the two APUs in the back, and its power is only used for starting the APUs and operating the electrical controls (IE, solenoids on the manifolds, the ESCU, etc), and the power usage is small. Also on the KC-135 the APUs are hydraulically started, so you only need the voltage to power a few things.

I would imagine that the APU battery on the 787 sees a very large initial discharge as I assume the battery turns an electrical starter, which to me would require a massive amount of amperage to turn over the APU. If a diesel engine on a Ford truck requires 700+ cranking amps initially, imagine what a large aircraft APU would require.


User currently offlinenm2582 From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 71, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 24880 times:

Quoting KC135Hydraulics (Reply 68):
The battery from ANA looks to have failed very similarly to the battery from JAL!

Lithium cells only have one typical failure mode, that's why they look the same. Overcharge? they get hot, vent, and burn. Short them out? They get hot, vent, and burn. Get them too hot from an external source? Vent and burn. Puncture them? vent and burn. Pretty much any significant lithium cell failure is going to be a molten mess. Most of the other failure modes really aren't visible.

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 47):
For the other battery, stick the container inside another much heavier container that can be pressure sealed.

And let the pressure build up sky high? the pressure vessel would have to be rated to ensure that it doesn't become a source of high velocity shrapnel when it explodes. No thanks. Now, a sealed enclosure that has fuse plugs similar to the tires (the ones that blow when the tires get too hot, such as due to excessive break heat) that, when blown, vent directly outside the aircraft - that could work. You don't want the cells actually exposed to outside air (too cold) so it can't be a constantly open system, but a sealed box with the only way out being the fuse plugs - that might work.

I am not an engineer, though.


User currently offlinenm2582 From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 72, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 24797 times:

This is a pretty good read on lithium cells:

http://www.mpoweruk.com/lithium_failures.htm

I can't vouch for the information, but at first blush it all looks correct to me.


User currently offlineCM From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 73, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 24833 times:

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 65):
there are no "acceptable losses" when it comes to airliner safety
Quoting spacecadet (Reply 65):
If one 787 crashed because of a known problem over a 20 year span, that doesn't mean it wasn't a safety of flight issue when first discovered - in fact, such an accident would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was!
Quoting spacecadet (Reply 65):
A safety of flight issue is one that has the potential to cause a serious accident
Quoting spacecadet (Reply 65):
that didn't mean they "couldn't" cause an accident

As long as we're asking others to be precise with their words; It's worth pointing out that the actual FAA statement never mentions the word "accident", "catastrophic", "loss of an aircraft", "hull loss" or any other language we typically see applied to concerns about a crash. What the FAA said was:

Quote:
"These conditions, if not corrected, could result in damage to critical systems and structures, and the potential for fire in the electrical compartment."

The concern is a fire in the electrical compartment, and damage to critical systems and structures. You can argue the FAA is taking a round-about way of saying it could lead to an accident, but, to be precise, that is not what they said. Furthermore, when the FAA has concerns about specific or catastrophic consequences, they are not shy about saying so...

Quote:
Emergency AD 2010-26-54 "This condition, if not corrected, could result in catastrophic failure of the wing due to disbonding of the wing skin from the wing spar."
Quote:
Emergency AD 2012-26-51 "Blockage of two or three AoA sensors at the same angle may cause the Alpha Prot of the normal law to activate. Under normal flight conditions (in normal law), if the Alpha Prot activates and Mach number increases, the flight control laws order a pitch down of the airplane that the flight crew might not be able to counteract with a side stick deflection, even in the full backward position. This condition, if not corrected, could result in reduced control of the airplane."
Quote:
Emergency AD 2009-07-52 "This condition, if not detected, could result in failure of a bearing, failure of a lever assembly, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter."
Quote:
Emergency AD 2005-05-52 "Such a wing failure could result in the wing separating from the airplane with consequent loss of control of the airplane."

Don't get me wrong; I'm not diminishing the seriousness of the battery issue. It is just that there are a large group of people here on a.net trying to read the tea leaves and come up with an interpretation of what the FAA is trying to say in the AD. My suggestion is to just take the action and the language of the AD at face value. The action indicates they have a serious safety concern about the batteries on the airplane. The words indicate the concern is a fire in the equipment bay and damage to critical system and structure. That should be enough. It certainly is for me. Let's go fix the problem.


User currently offlineADent From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1406 posts, RR: 2
Reply 74, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 24577 times:

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 54):
From what I've read they have found the culprit: the lithium-ion battery charging system. It appears that the software protocol to recharge the batteries is causing the battery packs to overheat. Hopefully, changing the software and/or changing the computerized systems that manage the battery charging system will fix the problem.

Typically during a failure investigation you are looking for root cause. It may be the battery charging software. But during the process you will find few/several/many other issues that may/could/probably lead to an accident, just not this one. You address them - some immediately, some soon, some ASAP in the factory.

There will be several changes to the design of the 787 because of this.


User currently offlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6537 posts, RR: 54
Reply 75, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 24568 times:

Quoting airtechy (Reply 52):
The idea of totally sealing the battery box would only create a bomb and will never fly....so to speak.

Absolutely correct! A battery box must be vented. And it shall be vented with outflow only out of the plane.

But there is nothing which prevents Boeing to make a system which allows the Li-Ion battery to burn to ashes without any possibility of collateral damage. Then they can demonstrate for the FAA a forced in-flight battery fire, land, exchange the battery container and its contents, and take off again.

No carbon box. No aluminum box. A double wall steel box with heat insulation, please.

It will add some weight. It will take up some underfloor (cargo) space.

And since it wasn't designed that way from the beginning, it will cost some money to redesign, and to remanufacture the present fleet.

It's all about money.

It's nothing new. Double or triple redundant hydraulic systems also add weight, take up space, and cost money.

I will be surprised if FAA re-certifies the 787 with Li-Ion batteries venting its goof in the EE-bay when they fail, as they do today. We can maybe improve reliability, but to ask batteries to never fail, that's like asking the stars not to shine. And the failure mode of Li-Ion batteries it just too nasty to combine in the same environment with other systems.

Maybe they will allow flight temporarily with some extra checks or other operational changes. Simply switching off inflight charging could be one thing. That would reduce the risk, especially if battery temperature check would be included in the preflight checklist. I don't imagine any need to charge the batteries inflight, except maybe faster turn-around times and more APU burn, but I could easily be wrong.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlinebonusonus From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 76, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 24464 times:

One more battery question. This article says that the batteries are 65 amp-hours each. http://arstechnica.com/business/2013...e-and-yours-may-be-too/?comments=1 But most car batteries are at least 50 amp-hours. It would seem that an airplane requires significantly more power than a car. Is there more to the equation than this?

User currently offlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6537 posts, RR: 54
Reply 77, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 24447 times:

Quoting bonusonus (Reply 76):
One more battery question. This article says that the batteries are 65 amp-hours each. http://arstechnica.com/business/2013...e-and-yours-may-be-too/?comments=1 But most car batteries are at least 50 amp-hours. It would seem that an airplane requires significantly more power than a car. Is there more to the equation than this?

Yes, there is more to it.

Car batteries are 12 volt, 14 point something volt under charge.

The same values for the 787 batteries are roughly 29 - 32 volt.

Available power is volt multiplied by amp-hours. So they are roughly three times more powerful than a standard car battery.

My neighbor has a 1951 Ford F100 pickup truck with V8 engine and 6 volt system. It has a 100 amps-hours battery.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlinenm2582 From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 78, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 24174 times:

I believe that the lithium cells are also capable of delivering many more instaneous amps than a lead-acid pack for a given amp-hour rating. Your typical 50Ah car battery might be able to push say a few hundred amps for tens of seconds, and it will not at all take kindly to repeated treatments like this (short lifespan), I believe the lithium packs on the 787 are far more robust.

[Edited 2013-01-19 19:37:52]

User currently offlineRickNRoll From Afghanistan, joined Jan 2012, 899 posts, RR: 0
Reply 79, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 23890 times:

Quoting CM (Reply 73):
Don't get me wrong; I'm not diminishing the seriousness of the battery issue. It is just that there are a large group of people here on a.net trying to read the tea leaves and come up with an interpretation of what the FAA is trying to say in the AD. My suggestion is to just take the action and the language of the AD at face value. The action indicates they have a serious safety concern about the batteries on the airplane. The words indicate the concern is a fire in the equipment bay and damage to critical system and structure. That should be enough. It certainly is for me. Let's go fix the problem.

What has to be fixed?


User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17147 posts, RR: 10
Reply 80, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 23808 times:

Where does UA have all their 787s sitting now? I was spotting at LAX today and could see one parked there.


Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlinestasisLAX From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3287 posts, RR: 6
Reply 81, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 23842 times:

Quoting SKGSJULAX (Reply 29):
Looks like another theory has been advanced by the Japanese investigators:

Securaplane, the manufacturer of the battery-charging componets in the 787, is based here in Arizona (Oro Valley, Arizona to be exact - near Tucson). Strangely enough, Securaplane's facility burned to the ground after a Li battery fire in a battery assembly area went out of control, burning the entire 12,000 square foot building to the ground. The fire reached 3 alarms and led to an evacuation of residents in the area due to the fumes from the fire.

Source: http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/global/story.asp?s=5647597



"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
User currently offlineKC135Hydraulics From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 323 posts, RR: 0
Reply 82, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 23821 times:

Quoting nm2582 (Reply 78):
Quoting nm2582 (Reply 78):
I believe that the lithium cells are also capable of delivering many more instaneous amps than a lead-acid pack for a given amp-hour rating. Your typical 50Ah car battery might be able to push say a few hundred amps for tens of seconds, and it will not at all take kindly to repeated treatments like this (short lifespan), I believe the lithium packs on the 787 are far more robust.

If a pickup-sized Diesel engine requires upwards of 700 cranking amps to turn over, imagine the instanteous draw from the electric starter on the 787's APU. It has to be quite high.


User currently offlinebellancacf From United States of America, joined May 2011, 155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 83, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 23765 times:

Oh Good Grief. What is anyone's take on this?

http://victimsoflaw.net/Leon_Securaplane.htm

Quote: Mr. Leon was forced under threat of termination (March 5. 2007) to ship defective system to aircraft that had a direct short across the failure protection circuitry (fault detection circuitry). He would not ship these parts because they did not match schematics. The system (power converter/ lithium ion battery system) is for the new Boeing 787.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3856 posts, RR: 27
Reply 84, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 23165 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting CM (Reply 62):
The S/N


No argument.. my point was in a small population all serial numbers are close and that may or may not have any significance... I'd be more interested in the Thales controllers. Thanks for your comments from a Boeing retiree

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 63):
It is just as important.

Where I have trouble with your posts is in the impatience portrayed.. There are many factors to be looked at and with some on they inside (like CM) they can not print anything here that has not been vetted for public consumption. There are also dead ends that if posted and abandoned give conspiracy theorists a hay day. There is also a sequential approach to ensure all aspects are reviewed simulated and tested. It's easy to shotgun.. some managers did that early in the program.. some managers are no longer around.


User currently offlineSkydrol From Canada, joined Oct 2003, 982 posts, RR: 10
Reply 85, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 23138 times:

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 81):
Securaplane, the manufacturer of the battery-charging componets in the 787, is based here in Arizona (Oro Valley, Arizona to be exact - near Tucson). Strangely enough, Securaplane's facility burned to the ground after a Li battery fire in a battery assembly area went out of control, burning the entire 12,000 square foot building to the ground. The fire reached 3 alarms and led to an evacuation of residents in the area due to the fumes from the fire.


''Investigators say a battery cell exploded and burned in a lab inside the building''
''All employees were evacuated as the fire quickly spread throughout the 10,000 square foot building, which did not have a sprinkler system.''

Sorry to say this (a production facilty and employer burned down), but considering the current B787 situation, the irony is almost laughable.




✈LD4 ✈



∙ ---{--« ∙ ----{--« ∙ --{-« ∙ ---{--« ∙ --{--« ∙ --{-« ∙ ----{--« ∙
User currently offlinenm2582 From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 86, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 23119 times:

Quoting bellancacf (Reply 83):
Quote: Mr. Leon was forced under threat of termination (March 5. 2007) to ship defective system to aircraft that had a direct short across the failure protection circuitry (fault detection circuitry). He would not ship these parts because they did not match schematics. The system (power converter/ lithium ion battery system) is for the new Boeing 787.

***IF*** this is in fact true, that a safety device was knowingly and willfully bypassed but certified and shipped to Boeing as intact and working, then heads are going to roll.


User currently offlineWingedMigrator From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 2259 posts, RR: 56
Reply 87, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 23021 times:

Quoting bellancacf (Reply 83):
What is anyone's take on this?

It may be unrelated, but it strikes oddly close to the matter at hand. Quotes from a US Department of Labor administrative law judge's decision:

Quote:
Among these products, Securaplane was awarded the contract to design the Battery Charger Unit, or BCU, for the Boeing 787 in approximately 2004.
Quote:
In November 2006, during this transition and growth, Securaplane experienced a devastating fire that destroyed its labs and production building. The fire destroyed records (including many personnel records), upset projects and production, rattled the workforce, and sparked a multi-party root cause analysis investigation that spanned the next two years. The fire ignited when the battery Leon was using to conduct tests on the BCU exploded.
Quote:
Following the fire, beginning in approximately January 2007, Leon claims he began making complaints to his Securaplane supervisors that there were discrepancies between the schematics and assembly documents used in the manufacture of the BCUs and the BCUs themselves. He knew they were shipping the BCUs to customers and the BCUs eventually would go into airplanes. He believed Securaplane would be violating FAA regulations or other federal laws if it shipped what he thought were nonconforming units. He says he was pressured to sign off on Acceptance Test Procedures (ATPs)7 for noncompliant units and ship them to customers. He says he gave in to pressure to run the ATPs, knowing they would be re-run after he fixed the units, but balked at actually shipping noncompliant units. On March 1, 2007, he left work without shipping what he thought were noncompliant BCUs, and when he returned to work on March 5, 2007, he received a formal written disciplinary warning. Leon says he continued to raise the nonconformance issues and the discrepancy, but no one fixed it. Eventually he filed an FAA complaint. Meanwhile he was subject to additional discipline including a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). He was later suspended, and eventually fired. Leon believes the timing of his termination proves Securaplane was motivated by retaliatory animus towards Leon‘s protected safety activities.

The decision goes on and on into great detail about issues raised concerning the BCU. There is no smoking gun that I could tell, but this Michael Leon guy was a high caliber of Prima Donna, that's for sure.


User currently offlineflood From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 1383 posts, RR: 1
Reply 88, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 23072 times:

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 81):
Securaplane, the manufacturer of the battery-charging componets in the 787

Looks like the NTSB is heading down there on Tuesday.

Ostrower just tweeted:

- NTSB Says Battery That Caught Fire On JAL Boeing 787 Didn't Exceed Design Voltage
- NTSB Investigators Have Analyzed Black Box Data From Boeing 787 Fire In Boston
- NTSB-Led Team To Examine And Test 787 Battery Charger In Arizona Tuesday

Quoting B747forever (Reply 80):
Where does UA have all their 787s sitting now? I was spotting at LAX today and could see one parked there.

As far as I know, 1x LAX, 1x NRT, 4x IAH.


User currently offlinecornutt From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 338 posts, RR: 1
Reply 89, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days ago) and read 22737 times:

Good evening folks, first-time poster, etc. First, full disclosure: I'm an ex-Boeing employee; worked there for 11 years. However, I did not work for the commercial airplanes division.

I've seen several posts asking how the FAA defines "safe". For commercial aircraft, Advisory Circular 25.1309 quantifies the level of risk that must be achieved for different categories of failures. Failures are categorized depending how severe the foreseeable consequences of the failure is. If we assume that the most severe reasonable consequence of the batter fire would be hull loss and/or loss of life, that meets the definition of "catastrophic", which is the most severe category.

Catastrophic failures most be reduced to a probability of less than 10^-9 per flight hour. You figure that up by using a fault tree, which diagrams all of the faults that must occur in order to bring about the failure. You start with the 10^-9 at the top of the tree, and then you allocate it across the failure mitigations and design redundancies. For example, if you have two subsystems which will cause a catastrophic failure if they both fault, then you might assign a probability level of 10^-4 to one and 10^-5 to the other. You then go further down the tree, breaking it down into individual components (to the extent that you can). For a lot of individual electrical and mechanical components, historical fault rates are fairly well established and you can work out the top-level failure probability with a high degree of confidence.

You run into problems when you have a new-technology component like these batteries, because there isn't enough data to establish a fault rate with a high degree of confidence. You can use data from other applications (e.g., automotive), but that other application might not use the components in the same way. Or you can do accelerated-aging testing, but that might not be capable of duplicating all of the conditions encountered in flight. So you do the best you can with what you have, and hope there aren't any unknown unknowns.

One thing that remains to be seen is whether there is a previously unidentified risk (an unknown unknown) at work with these batteries. Does the aviation application trigger a previously unobserved failure mode? Otherwise, we run into the matter of why the presumably multiple layers of redundancy present in the subsystem are not preventing the failure. When you have multiple layers of redundancy failing, you of course start by looking for a common factor that was missed in the fault tree analysis. Such a common factor "short circuits" the fault tree -- it effectively takes the multiple layers of redundancy out of the analysis, and ties the higher-level probability directly to the occurrence probability of the common factor. That's nearly always a bad thing, and when you find them during analysis, you have to do something to break the common factor up. A good example of a common factor that was missed is shown by the Iowa City DC-10 crash a few years ago. There were four redundant hydraulic loops for actuation of the aircraft's control surfaces. But they were all routed through the upper rear fuselage near the center engine. And when the center engine suffered an uncontained failure, that became a common factor that faulted all four hydraulic loops and resulted in the catastrophic event of complete loss of pitch and roll control.

And in case you were wondering, there's another Advisory Circular, 23.1309, which defines acceptable levels of risk for general aviation aircraft. As you might guess, small aircraft which are not high-performance, seldom used in revenue service, and don't have complex systems are allocated levels of risk which are somewhat less stringent.


User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1831 posts, RR: 0
Reply 90, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 21833 times:

So to repeat my question, would or could a fuel cell fueled by Jet-A be safer than a battery? They create heat, but has there been any serious incidents with fuel cells?

User currently offlineRickNRoll From Afghanistan, joined Jan 2012, 899 posts, RR: 0
Reply 91, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 21693 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 84):
Where I have trouble with your posts is in the impatience portrayed.. There are many factors to be looked at and with some on they inside (like CM) they can not print anything here that has not been vetted for public consumption. There are also dead ends that if posted and abandoned give conspiracy theorists a hay day. There is also a sequential approach to ensure all aspects are reviewed simulated and tested. It's easy to shotgun.. some managers did that early in the program.. some managers are no longer around.

They are two distinct aspects of the problem, which both need to be solved. Solving either one alone is not enough.

1) Preventing a battery failing
2) Coping with a battery failing.


User currently offlinepacksonflight From Iceland, joined Jan 2010, 391 posts, RR: 0
Reply 92, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 21040 times:

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 91):
They are two distinct aspects of the problem, which both need to be solved. Solving either one alone is not enough.

1) Preventing a battery failing
2) Coping with a battery failing.

You are spot on!

This really boils down to three main points:

The batteries are flawed, and then the manufacturer has to make a correction, but in that case we could see some kind of test to verify if the batteries are good or bad and the 787 could be flying soon.

The charging/discharging system does not work as designed, and then Boeing has to make some changes and get the FAA to approve them. Considerable time needed.

The 787 did not contain the battery failure properly. As far as I can see this is a fact, and Boeing definitely have to make some hardware changes here and get them certified.


User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3398 posts, RR: 1
Reply 93, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 20583 times:

Quoting bellancacf (Reply 83):
Oh Good Grief. What is anyone's take on this?

http://victimsoflaw.net/Leon_Securap...e.htm

"Mr. Leon was forced under threat of termination (March 5. 2007) to ship defective system to aircraft that had a direct short across the failure protection circuitry (fault detection circuitry). He would not ship these parts because they did not match schematics. The system (power converter/ lithium ion battery system) is for the new Boeing 787."

Don't know if that is true but if it is true that Mr Leon was forced to ship a defective battery, that's commercial interest overiding safety interest to me or perhaps an employer/employee dispute overiding safety interest. Would such an action not breach the QC procedures required for the battery supplier to retain its ISO rating (or local equivalent) without which it would not be an authorised supplier?


User currently offlineB2319 From China, joined Jan 2013, 150 posts, RR: 0
Reply 94, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 20502 times:

All,

My first post on a-net after a long-time lurker. I've an important point to raise a little bit later, however, let me make some general points:

On this thread, I've never seen so much drivel posted in a public place. In my native dialect, this is a four letter word that ryhmes with wish and starts with a 'p'. This is in complete contrast to this thread A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 6 (by ManuCH Nov 8 2012 in Civil Aviation) where the overall quality is so much better...... (Joke: First post on a-net and inadvertently started an A vs. B war..... (Actually, no- the linked thread has superb contributions from fanboys (of both colours) and non-fanboys alike)). Now, this thread has some great input, a handful of you, and I don't want to name anyone for risk of omitting one. However, you know who you are.....  

Also, tempted to post elsewhere, e.g. new Beijing airport thread, where some people way off the mark regarding China and its ability to implement infrastructure projects. Is the 787 programme an infrastructure project? Well, there's enough semantics on this thread, so, another joke, folks.

However, my main point is more of a question. Over 500 posts in and nobody has mentioned this so far: China hasn't certified the 787 and there are units sat on the ground in the USA because of this. Can people have a think about the significance of this?

A crude observation is that China throws its not-insignificant resources in order to progress projects and solve issues. So, why not in this case? I'm sure there's a reason for this, and I do not want to make a political point, especially on my first post. So, I'll stick to crude jokes. On the 787 Deliveries thread, there's a comment from a user who puts a '   ' next to the fact that CAAC certification will be at March 2013, at the earliest. You can trawl (not troll) through that thread for the offending person.......

Anyway, that's my point made. Looking forward to the dabates and challanging the 'bad science' that is contaminating this thread, and others. After I return from the pub.....!

Cheers

B-2319


User currently offlinepacksonflight From Iceland, joined Jan 2010, 391 posts, RR: 0
Reply 95, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 20341 times:

Quoting bellancacf (Reply 83):
Quote: Mr. Leon was forced under threat of termination (March 5. 2007) to ship defective system to aircraft that had a direct short across the failure protection circuitry (fault detection circuitry). He would not ship these parts because they did not match schematics. The system (power converter/ lithium ion battery system) is for the new Boeing 787.

Possibly another Koito industry (The defect aircraft seats) scandal unfolding here.......


User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 3070 posts, RR: 37
Reply 96, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 20251 times:

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 91):
They are two distinct aspects of the problem, which both need to be solved. Solving either one alone is not enough.

1) Preventing a battery failing
2) Coping with a battery failing.

I suggest you read post 89 (just 2 before yours) carefully and think about fault trees. You may also wish to note that the regulatory conditions for use of Li-Ion batteries do not require them to be fail-proof. With that in mind, you may wish to again read post 89 and think carefully about fault trees.

Quoting CM (Reply 73):
As long as we're asking others to be precise with their words

  



Empty vessels make the most noise.
User currently offlinewjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5331 posts, RR: 23
Reply 97, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 20231 times:

This Leon whistleblower thing is a sideshow. What is quoted in the previous post [reply 93] is the allegations by Leon, who represented himself, rather than the finding. (By representing himself, Leon had a greater opportunity to display his personality to the judge than would have been the case had he sat at the table and let his lawyer do the questioning, arguing, etc.; accordingly, the judge got to view first-hand what Leon's co-workers and employer were complaining about personality-wise.)

The well-thought-out opinion by the Adminstrative Law Judge who heard the case in a 4-day trial has a number of interesting points.

Leon was found to be an intemperate, argumentative person who scared many of his coworkers. He was a tech who was good at diagnosing problems in individual components, and the company had bent over backwards to try to keep him because his work was good, even though he screamed at supervisors, threw things, walked off the job, etc. Numerous coworkers thought he might harm them and complained. Finally, the employer had had enough and canned him.

The "nonconforming" products which he allegedly "refused to ship" were not production sets of the charger for use in aircraft. This happened at a much earlier stage in design and testing. The total planned time to design and test the charger was SEVEN YEARS and this happened a couple of years in. What was being shipped then were "red tagged" prototypes of the charger for various stakeholders to test and to use to see how they integrated with other components in the overall battery power system. None of these would ever be getting on a plane, except for very specific tests, and never on a passenger version.

The alleged nonconformity was that the then-current revision of the design drawing described a circuit that was slightly-different from the circuit in the production drawing. Both were regularly revised to reflect engineering changes based on experience with the prototypes, and the production drawing was in fact correct. However, the design drawing should have been revised to reflect reality, and it was once Leon brought his complaint forward. In his mind, if the production drawing was different from the design drawing, then anything produced under the latter was "nonconforming" and that was his beef. Also, one revision of the design drawing may have had essentially a typo in it (a "draw-o"?) that was a material mistake made when they tried to turn engineering instructions into a drawing -- it may have reflected a short-circuit. Interestingly, the PhD who designed the circuit went from being a fan of Leon's to being someone who no longer wanted to work with him when he discovered that Leon had discovered the errors about 4 months prior to bringing them forward. He was angry not that the mistake had been found but rather that Leon hadn't brought it immediately to his attention so it could be fixed, which it was. That same PhD later had some concerns about whether Leon had intentionally or recklessly caused the battery explosion and resulting fire that destroyed the company's headquarters. From the other evidence, including that Leon was truly distraught about the fire and had helped try to put the battery out and was upset that he wasn't able to get it out of the building, this was probably an unfounded concern.

The opinion contains some very interesting descriptions, including of the battery itself, which show what an amazingly-complex system this is -- far beyond what I had envisioned, and far beyond what anyone in the media or on here, other than the real engineers, seem to understand.

Here's how the battery and charger are described:
"Two groups at Securaplane were assigned to use a specially made lithium ion battery, the Starting Power Use (SPU) group and the BCU [battery charger unit] group with which Leon worked. The battery weighed about 50 pounds, was approximately twice the size of a car battery, and was considered the Ferrari of batteries because it was lightweight and powerful. It had a signal connector made to connect with the BCU with roughly 20 to 30 interface signals that go between the two. The BCU was designed to recharge the battery once it had been drained,

The company had this version of the battery from Yuasa, and they had an accident with it prior to the fire:

In June 2006, the SPU group had an accident with the lithium ion battery. When the technician removed the ground power supply connections, he accidentally connected the connections on the battery harness to the capacitor bank rather than the input contactor and the SPU power return directly. Then when he tried to connect the power plug into the power receptacle on the Li-Ion battery the terminals saw a temporary short circuit into the cap bank and arced to each other. The power plug was immediately removed and the damage assessed. The technician opened up the battery to replace the power connector with a new connector. During the change out, the bus bars were moved to a position that shorted the battery cells to the case. This happened very quickly and they were moved to remove the short. Securaplane manager Curtis Brown documented the accident, including photographs of the damage and reported it to GS Yuasa, the Japanese company that built the battery, and Thales, the French company for which Securaplane was designing and manufacturing the BCU, which would eventually be sed in the Boeing 787. GS Yuasa and Thales employees exchanged several emails with Securaplane discussing the damage, testing cell voltages, and determining if the battery was safe to use. Brown explained he wished to continue using the battery for SPU testing and BCU charging. GS Yuasa concluded there should be no problem with the battery, instructed Securaplane to monitor the battery temperature and appearance during testing and not use it in an unmanned lab. GS Yuasa sent an email explaining they‘d analyzed the battery data and didn‘t think it posed a problem.

Leon thought the battery prototype, because it had been in an accident, wasn't fully-safe to use, and, when later using it himself months later, caused it to ignite and explode and burn down the administration building. Securaplane, along with Boeing, Yuasa, and others conducted a root cause analysis that took two years to complete, and don't appear to have reached a definitive conclusion about the cause of the fire, although the fact that Leon wasn't using the signalling harness on the battery when it went up may have contributed, as the charger (and he) couldn't monitor the battery condition while charging.

The thing is a worthy read that really highlights the complexity of the system, the battery, etc. This plainly isn't just a car battery or an iphone battery, nor is the equipment which charges it.

[Edited 2013-01-20 04:50:56]

User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 3070 posts, RR: 37
Reply 98, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 20117 times:

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 97):

Thank you.



Empty vessels make the most noise.
User currently offlineRickNRoll From Afghanistan, joined Jan 2012, 899 posts, RR: 0
Reply 99, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 20104 times:

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 96):
I suggest you read post 89 (just 2 before yours) carefully and think about fault trees. You may also wish to note that the regulatory conditions for use of Li-Ion batteries do not require them to be fail-proof. With that in mind, you may wish to again read post 89 and think carefully about fault trees.

If we solved one perfectly, we would not need two. Obviously, we do. What I meant was fixing the current reason for them failing. Overcharging, spikes on the power distribution circuit, faulty manufacturing, whatever. The FAA will want to know why the current batteries failed, and that it has been rectified. It also wants to know if, when a battery does fail in the future, as they will, but much more rarely, that there is a means of containing what results (with the current set of failures) if they do fail.


User currently offlinerheinwaldner From Switzerland, joined Jan 2008, 2289 posts, RR: 5
Reply 100, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 19734 times:

Quoting SKGSJULAX (Reply 29):
Looks like another theory has been advanced by the Japanese investigators:

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...1268/

Overcharging is serious

Quoting sweair (Reply 37):
The thing that surprises me is that so many here think Boeing and FAA did not think of over charging, testing this etc

Do you really think Boeing and the FAA are morons?!

Yes, they did think of overcharging. But they did not consider it to happen. In fact the FAA asked for a solution that would rule it out.

The regulatory requirements (no excessive heat increase of any cell during charging) means nothing else, that overcharging would never be a condition of this batteries. Because when overcharged, any lipo battery will hurt that requirement:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EseOhC8n7ro

So the system had always to guarantee safe cell temperatures during charging. As this requirement seems to have been broken, the grounding is a logical decision.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 38):
If they failed because they were bad batteries, that should be positive news for Boeing because it implies the charging system in general is sound (since 787s have been charging batteries for over a year without incident).

No, the charging system has to consider battery aging during charging. In a real lipo battery each cell of the battery behaves differently over time. Therefore the charging system needs to monitor the voltage on each cell seprately and apply differential charging currents, to maintain a very strict voltage balance over each cell. If this is not done, the total voltage over all the cells in serie might not indicated the slightest problem, while a single cell is quitly dying (before exploding).

What I do wonder, is whether having only a small number of high capacity cells (8 IIRC) has contributed to the troubles. That means that a single cell is quite large. Because of these extensive dimensions the consequence could be, that not the whole cell would start charging and discharging homogeneously. Could there have been local "overcharged" areas in a single cell? Just an educated guess...


User currently offlinejreuschl From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 550 posts, RR: 0
Reply 101, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 19504 times:

http://bit.ly/13RLGvi.

Apparently Boeing didn't like the grounding at all. Not a good reaction. Did they not think at the very least they had a bad batch of batteries that needed replacement?


User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1899 posts, RR: 0
Reply 102, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 19217 times:

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 100):
No, the charging system has to consider battery aging during charging. In a real lipo battery each cell of the battery behaves differently over time. Therefore the charging system needs to monitor the voltage on each cell seprately and apply differential charging currents, to maintain a very strict voltage balance over each cell. If this is not done, the total voltage over all the cells in serie might not indicated the slightest problem, while a single cell is quitly dying (before exploding).

That's the best way to do it. It's how Tesla handles their packs. All chemistries have that same problem, where a bad cell in a seires starts climbing in voltage while charging, which doesn't show up on the total voltage reading for the series. Usually, even if you don't have individual cell monitoring, a simple thermistor type device will cut off charging current when the temperature starts climbing. But a Lithium cell can take off before that happens if the pack is poorly designed or manufactured.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31394 posts, RR: 85
Reply 103, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 18887 times:
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Quoting B2319 (Reply 94):
China hasn't certified the 787 and there are units sat on the ground in the USA because of this. Can people have a think about the significance of this?

Before the JL and NH incidents, Boeing had pulled some of the Chinese carrier frames out of storage and were performing flight tests on them. So there was hope that CAAC was going to issue certification and allow the planes to be delivered. The grounding, of course, has put those on hold.

As to why CAAC had not certified the 787, one theory put forward is that CAAC wanted the FAA to relax the certification rules for the COMAC ARJ21 and C919 and was holding up the 787 to apply pressure. Personally, I don't give that theory any credibility.


User currently offlinefrmrcapcadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1739 posts, RR: 1
Reply 104, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 18713 times:

Quoting cornutt (Reply 89):
Good evening folks, first-time poster, etc. First, full disclosure: I'm an ex-Boeing employee; worked there for 11 years. However, I did not work for the commercial airplanes division
Quoting wjcandee (Reply 97):
The thing is a worthy read that really highlights the complexity of the system, the battery, etc. This plainly isn't just a car battery or an iphone battery, nor is the equipment which charges it.

Found it useful reading these posts.



Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17147 posts, RR: 10
Reply 105, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 18626 times:

Quoting flood (Reply 88):

As far as I know, 1x LAX, 1x NRT, 4x IAH.

So that bird never left NRT before the grounding.



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlinecornutt From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 338 posts, RR: 1
Reply 106, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 18174 times:

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 99):
It also wants to know if, when a battery does fail in the future, as they will, but much more rarely, that there is a means of containing what results (with the current set of failures) if they do fail.

That's the preferable way to do it, but it isn't always possible. For example, there is no known technology to contain a vapor explosion in a fuel tank. So what you do, to meet the certification standard, is design the systems to minimize the possibility of a fuel tank explosion from happening. I don't know how much energy is involved in these battery failures, but minimizing the possibility of the failure might be a more practical approach than trying to contain it. As long as the probability of the hazard is reduced to less than the 10^-9 standard, either approach is acceptable from the certification standpoint.


User currently offline7BOEING7 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 1750 posts, RR: 13
Reply 107, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 18053 times:

Quoting B747forever (Reply 105):
So that bird never left NRT before the grounding.

I believe it was inbound at the time.


User currently offlineNewark727 From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 1367 posts, RR: 0
Reply 108, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 17776 times:

Apologies if this has been asked and answered before, but what are the plans of NH and JL for the routes they've started that have only ever used the 787? BOS, SAN, SJC, maybe others? So far all I've seen is a bunch of cancelled flights, would they ever consider some kind of equipment substitution or what?

User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7959 posts, RR: 19
Reply 109, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 17863 times:

Japan Today, Yomiuri, and AvHerald all saying one thing about ship 829 (BOS)- apparently the resulting fire near the APU was NOT the result of an overcharge.

I'm having issues getting Japan Today to post and of course Yomiuri is in Japanese, so here is the article from the AvHerald:

http://avherald.com/h?article=45c377c5&opt=1

Quote:
The NTSB reported on Jan 20th 2013 that a first examination of the flight data recorder of JA829J showed the nominal battery voltage of 32V has never been exceeded.

However, Yomiuri and other reports from Yuasa's probe are also saying that the incident in TAK could possibly very well be from an over charge, as we have previously established.


Well we have two very different cases now on our hands, and these reports surely aren't going to make the FAA lift the A.D. anytime soon, in my opinion.

Quoting jreuschl (Reply 101):
Apparently Boeing didn't like the grounding at all. Not a good reaction. Did they not think at the very least they had a bad batch of batteries that needed replacement?

Well if I was a multi-national corporation whose livelyhood stood on the success of this huge investment, I wouldn't be happy about it too.



Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/phx787
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3856 posts, RR: 27
Reply 110, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 17808 times:
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per http://avherald.com/h?article=45c377c5&opt=6144

The NTSB reported on Jan 20th 2013 that a first examination of the flight data recorder of JA829J showed the nominal battery voltage of 32V has never been exceeded. The battery, powering the APU for APU startup, has been disassembled into its 8 cells for detailed examination and documentation, 3 of the cells were selected for further disassembly and examination of cell internal components.

Rickandroll... continually repeating yourself will not make things happen faster.. nor will getting 9 women pregnant produce a baby in a month.


User currently offlineWingedMigrator From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 2259 posts, RR: 56
Reply 111, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 17654 times:

Quoting cornutt (Reply 106):
I don't know how much energy is involved in these battery failures

That much is easy. 32V x 65Ah = 7.5 megajoules


User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 3070 posts, RR: 37
Reply 112, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 17555 times:

Quoting WingedMigrator (Reply 111):
Quoting cornutt (Reply 106):
I don't know how much energy is involved in these battery failures

That much is easy. 32V x 65Ah = 7.5 megajoules

I think he meant the energy released by the cells letting go.



Empty vessels make the most noise.
User currently offlineteme82 From Finland, joined Mar 2007, 1636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 113, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 17548 times:
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Quoting WingedMigrator (Reply 111):
That much is easy. 32V x 65Ah = 7.5 megajoules

I think that is more than enough to cause serious issues with the aircraft. If all the batteries would fail at the same time it would be really bad day for that plane and it's occupants.



Flying high and low
User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 114, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 17501 times:

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 102):
It's how Tesla handles their packs.

Totally off topic, but Tesla should design everything everywhere all the time, I think.

The level of technology sharing between Tesla and SpaceX is high, as well.

I wonder if Tesla could in fact handle producing sufficient batteries for this application?

Wishful thinking of course.

NS


User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 3070 posts, RR: 37
Reply 115, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 17439 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 110):
Rickandroll... continually repeating yourself will not make things happen faster.. nor will getting 9 women pregnant produce a baby in a month.

   Has that been tested?

Especially since it took 7 years to design and test the BCU - maybe not continuous effort, but still ....



Empty vessels make the most noise.
User currently offlineF9animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5120 posts, RR: 28
Reply 116, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 17413 times:

The plane is grounded because it is not safe. A fire from a battery is dangerous. Stop downplaying it, because it is what it is. We can try to word it as possible, maybe, could.... But, the FAA grounds planes when they are NOT safe. We can call these arcs, shorts, and non fires... But... They shot flames, and if you can roast marshmallows on a flame, the flame is a fire. These groundings were not because of "minor" incidents. These are serious incidents, warranting a grounding of the airplane. Not just dangerous, but very dangerous to breathe those toxins.


I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 117, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 17289 times:

The toxins cannot get into the cabin from where they are, but that's another really related to this.

NS


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23299 posts, RR: 20
Reply 118, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 17252 times:

Quoting F9animal (Reply 116):
But, the FAA grounds planes when they are NOT safe.

Given the length of time that has passed since a grounding, I don't know how it's possible to make any sort of categorical statement about when FAA does or does not ground planes. That's particularly true given the political/regulatory environment the current administration has created for manufacturers (see, e.g., the Toyota mess in 2009 and 2010, complete with Ray LaHood going on TV and telling people not to drive their Toyotas).



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently onlinemke717spotter From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 2465 posts, RR: 5
Reply 119, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 17255 times:

Not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet, but is LO's 787 still at ORD or has it been ferried back to WAW yet?


Will you watch the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Only if coach Eric Mangini resigned after a loss.
User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 120, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 17195 times:

It can't be ferried, it doesn't presently have the legal ability to fly.

NS


User currently offlineordwaw From United States of America, joined May 2006, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 121, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 17198 times:

Quoting _AA_777_MAN (Reply 17):

Due to EASA following FAA, no EU registered 787s planes can fly. So SP-LRA is still at ORD.


User currently offlinenm2582 From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 122, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 16927 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 110):
The NTSB reported on Jan 20th 2013 that a first examination of the flight data recorder of JA829J showed the nominal battery voltage of 32V has never been exceeded. The battery, powering the APU for APU startup, has been disassembled into its 8 cells for detailed examination and documentation, 3 of the cells were selected for further disassembly and examination of cell internal components.


Ok, so an 8 cell pack with 32v as the "never exceed" value: we can assume this pack is simply 8 cells in series; and that Boeing has chosen to set 4V per cell as the maximum (the cells last longer this way than taking them up to the absolute max 4.2V).

I *hope* that there is a lot more to it than the NTSB reported, though. You MUST monitor the individual cell voltages, overall pack voltage is NOT enough (it's practically useless). If you don't monitor individual cell voltages, here's what can happen:

Let's say you have a pack of 8 cells, and one of the cells (for whatever reason) experiences a loss of capacity - that is, the amount of energy it can store is not as much as it should be. It's still "safe" in that it's not hot, it's not on fire, etc.; and it still acts like a lithium cell (it's voltage output is the same and it's safe operating parameters are the same) it just can't accept the amount of energy that it used to. If it was rated as a 65Ah cell, maybe it's capacity is now 30Ah.

So then, we have 8 cells in series, 7 of which have full 65Ah capacity, and one of which is now 30Ah. Now let's charge this pack, lets assume that the pack is completely "dead" (3.0 volts per cell) and let's say we charge it with 65 amps of current. The battery SHOULD fully charge in about an hour - if all the cells were 65Ah capacity. But they aren't. The cell which has degraded to 30Ah absorbs it's maximum amount of energy (hitting 4.2v) well before the other 7 cells (perhaps they are all still at 3.8v). 7 cells at 3.8 volts plus 1 cell at 4.2 volts only registers 30.8 volts, so everything looks fine (it's below the 32v max); but if you keep putting power into the pack, the one cell which is at 4.2 volts is going to continue to rise in voltage at a fairly brisk rate and WILL fail.

Again, that's what can happen IF you don't monitor individual cell voltages.

I sincerely hope the NTSB is "dumbing down" what they report, and that in fact the charger design prevents the possibility of the above scenario.

There are successful ways to combat the above scenario: You can charge each cell individually with it's own dedicated charge circuit (best way but complex, requires charging outputs with non-common ground, more expensive/complex). You can charge the pack as a whole (apply charge current at the +/- terminals of the entire pack) but have monitoring on each cell which imposes a drain (resistance) on individual cells to control the cell voltage, with the goal being that when the charge current stops, all cells are at identical voltage. The problem with this approach is that chargers often have a limit on how much current they can drain from each individual cell, which means that there is a limit to how much of a capacity mismatch between cells they can cope with.


User currently onlinegemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5807 posts, RR: 6
Reply 123, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 16907 times:

Quoting gigneil (Reply 120):
It can't be ferried, it doesn't presently have the legal ability to fly.
Quoting gigneil (Reply 120):
Due to EASA following FAA, no EU registered 787s planes can fly. So SP-LRA is still at ORD.

Actually this is not true. The relevant National Airworthiness Authority (NAA) COULD issue a Ferry Permit to enable the aircraft to return to its base or to another MRO. In this particular case it would also need agreement from all the NAAs under the flight path, which is theoretically possible, but undoubtedly a major P-in-A.
Obviously LOT & EASA do not think this is necessary, at this point in time.

Gemuser



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 3070 posts, RR: 37
Reply 124, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 16764 times:

Quoting F9animal (Reply 116):
the FAA grounds planes when they are NOT safe

It does, but not even the FAA knows that yet - that's why there is an investigation and review. It also sometimes grounds planes when they may not meet design or production certification requirements or the certifications may require review.

There's probably little point in trying to demonstrate nuance to someone who sees everything in layman's absolutes, and apparently doesn't believe that the precise language used by regulators and engineers has a precise meaning, but if you want to inform yourself regarding the FAA safety regime, I suggest you read its definitions of failure and the supporting probability metrics. This post

Quoting cornutt (Reply 89):

is also very informative regarding fault trees.

Quoting F9animal (Reply 116):
Stop downplaying it

Nobody's doing that. Some (knowledgeable) posters are providing insight into known facts and design / testing parameters and practices. To suggest an analogy, heart surgeons who perform hundreds of operations do not consider their work particularly dangerous or challenging, because they are aware of and manage the risks. The rest of us are probably terrified, or at least anxious, about undergoing heart surgery. I'd suggest you accord the experienced professionals on this thread, from whom I and many others are learning a lot, the same professional courtesy.



Empty vessels make the most noise.
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3856 posts, RR: 27
Reply 125, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 16468 times:
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Quoting F9animal (Reply 116):

The plane is grounded because it is not safe.

recognizing that some posts border on trolling, I believe the plane is grounded until the safety of flight is confirmed .. that does not mean it is not safe, it means they want to recheck and validate the safeguards. It's very easy to jump from one to the other, however they are not the same.

Exaggerated statements do not further understanding of the problem nor do they add to the resolution. They do however tie up competent people working on the problem by diverting them away to respond.


User currently onlineflyingbird From Sweden, joined Mar 2005, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 126, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 16360 times:

Quoting mke717spotter (Reply 119):
Not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet, but is LO's 787 still at ORD or has it been ferried back to WAW yet?

I saw it east of terminal 5, 30 minutes ago.


User currently offlinedcann40 From United States of America, joined Sep 2012, 303 posts, RR: 0
Reply 127, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 16466 times:

It looks like it may remain there for a while, because the investigation may take weeks or months instead of days based on today's news.

NTSB Rules Out Excessive Voltage as Cause for Dreamliner Battery Fire

Quote:
....The agency did not set a timetable for the investigation, which, according to industry experts, could take months.


[Edited 2013-01-20 13:46:34]

User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13197 posts, RR: 15
Reply 128, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 16347 times:

Some here have suggested that the lithium cell batteries be replaced with ones of other technologies. Problem is that could mean grounding all 787's for a number of months as they and their associated components and software would have to be extensively tested to assure their safety and certification. Due to the possible weight and space issues significant revisions to the a/c structure and wiring to properly fit them may mean further testing, certification and delays.

Perhaps for ferrying with no revenue pax, a temporary battery system of other technology could be put in, and a ferrying permit issued, but for revenue use and delivery of new a/c, they need to be fully fixed or they can't be certified for flight.

Are their any money numbers so far of what the current and potential costs to airlines, Boeing and suppliers of these groundings?


User currently offlineiahmark From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 55 posts, RR: 0
Reply 129, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 16269 times:

I honestly don't think Boeing nor the FAA investigators know what the real culprit is, the longer the planes are grounded the more you get that feeling and also the more negative the image for Boeing..

I believe this will take at least two weeks if not more because the fix -i suspect- won't be that easy to implement, if it were so we would have known it by now!!
Also there many eyes on the story from Asia to Europe with other agendas, for some the longer the 787 stays on the ground the better (PR wise).

Here's something I found (proof that Boeing didn't want to go along with the grounding)
http://seattletimes.com/html/busines...020173453_787teethingpainsxml.html


User currently offlineKC135R From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 728 posts, RR: 4
Reply 130, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 16272 times:

Not sure if anyone can shed any light on this, but I have a question - first, let me explain my thought process.

I was an aircraft maintainer for the better part of 14 years; as a result, I know there are operating limits and then there are max limits - essentially the point at which a component would fail (typically well above the normal operating limit). A crude example - I worked on hydraulic systems which operated at 3,000 PSI, there was a relief valve that would open preventing system pressure from exceeding 3,500 PSI. Even so, most of the components (to include plumbing) in the system were rated to handle much more that that - some all the way up to 8,000 PSI if memory serves. I guess the requirement to load test wings to 150% would follow the same logic.

It seems (if I read the current info correctly) that the JAL battery DID NOT exceed "max" voltage and the ANA battery did. Initially this gave me the impression there are multiple things going on, but applying what I mentioned before gives me a little pause and leads to my question - Was the battery exposed to voltage above its normal operating range, or was the battery exposed to more voltage than it is designed to EVER handle (fail limit)??

These two things are not necessarily the same thing - though I have no inside knowledge of the 787's battery system, I would be incredibly surprised if, for example, going 1V over the normal operating max would lead to a battery failure. If the ANA battery exceeded operating limits but not design limits that still suggests to me that the common thread is the battery. Any insight???


User currently offlineiahmark From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 55 posts, RR: 0
Reply 131, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 16001 times:

Batteries may not have been overcharged but not 100% sure...
http://www.suntimes.com/business/176...advances-faa-tries-to-keep-up.html

Quote:
But NTSB investigators are continuing to look at the battery system. They plan to meet Tuesday with officials from Securaplane Technologies Inc., manufacturer of the charger for the 787s lithium ion batteries, at the company’s headquarters in Tucson, Ariz., said Kelly Nantel, a spokeswoman for the board.

“Potentially there could be some other charging issue,” Nantel said. “We’re not prepared to say there was no charging issue.”

Even though it appears the voltage limit wasn’t exceeded in the case of the battery that caught fire in the Japan Airlines 787 in Boston, it’s possible that the battery failures may be due to a charging problem, according to John Goglia, a former NTSB board member and aviation safety expert.

Too much current flowing too fast into a battery can overwhelm the battery, causing it to short-circuit and overheat even if the battery’s voltage remains within its design limit, he said.

“The battery is like a big sponge,” Goglia said. “You can feed it with an eye dropper or you can feed it with a garden hose. If allowed, it will soak up everything it can from the garden hose until it destroys itself.”


User currently offlinewjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5331 posts, RR: 23
Reply 132, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 15940 times:

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.


User currently offlineRickNRoll From Afghanistan, joined Jan 2012, 899 posts, RR: 0
Reply 133, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 15894 times:

Quoting WingedMigrator (Reply 111):
That much is easy. 32V x 65Ah = 7.5 megajoules

I think the chemical reaction releases a lot more than that.


User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5478 posts, RR: 31
Reply 134, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 15871 times:

Quoting F9animal (Reply 116):
The plane is grounded because it is not safe.

That's not necessarily true. Those two batteries might be the only anomalies and the rest of the fleet might have flown for decades without problem.

The planes are grounded because they don't know the exact cause(s) of the two battery fires and until they discover that, they have to assume the rest of the identical batteries are potentially unsafe, until proven otherwise or another safe solution is found.

More semantics but there is a significant difference. They do have their work cut out for them. First, they have to find the failure causes, which still might be the same for both batteries, regardless of one overcharging. Then they have to ensure that every battery in every 787 doesn't have the same flaws...which probably takes destructive testing so every battery is likely to be replaced. Then, an all new batch of batteries with the new safeguards will have to be produced, tested, re-certified, tested on the planes and then eventually installed on the planes and they are released for passenger service.

I don't see any of that happening quickly. As an interim step, they take a battery already certified for use in passenger aircraft, (equipment can't tell what type of battery the 32v come from), reprogram the charging software and go directly to flight testing.

My wild arsed guess is that would take at least half the time of waiting for new lithium batteries. Even a few days saved still means millions of dollars saved for everybody.

Quoting nm2582 (Reply 122):
Ok, so an 8 cell pack with 32v as the "never exceed" value: we can assume this pack is simply 8 cells in series; and that Boeing has chosen to set 4V per cell as the maximum (the cells last longer this way than taking them up to the absolute max 4.2V).

The lithium packs that I use on my bikes are 10 cell (in series), 10amp/hr, 36v Lithium Iron Phosphate packs. 36 volts is the middle value between full charge and drain cutoff. At full charge, the batteries are at 42v, controlled by the charger), and they cut off, (controlled by the speed controller, not the battery itself), at 30v.

That range give a relatively steady and flat voltage drop for the 10 amp/hr capacity. Below 30v, the voltage drops off very quickly so in reality, there really isn't much capacity left at 30v.

Every battery works the same way; the rated voltage is essentially, 'nominal' voltage...a mid range between full charge and what they consider 'empty'. Your car battery is 12v but full charge is 14.x, (which is what the system charges at), and will be useful until about 10v. The same principle applies to NiCd, NiMh or any other battery.

I haven't seen the specs of the 787 batteries but 32v is probably the nominal voltage value, rather than the full charge value...which could be 38v or even more. There will also be a safety factor built in since you can't have batteries explode if they go 0.1v over the max charge voltage. I don't know what that safety factor is but there would be a buffer built into the specs.

So an overcharge could be over the rated charged battery voltage and still under the absolute tested safety margin.

A weak cell will manifest itself in a number of ways. You might still get full charge but the capacity is reduced. You test for this with a load tester. This happened on one of my packs and is a common failure mode for auto batteries. A shorted cell will usually only let a pack charge to a lower voltage and is an easy failure mode to detect with a volt meter.

The real beeoch of the whole deal is testing for the cause of the problem is not fun, easy or obvious...and it invariably involves destructing testing.



What the...?
User currently onlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2411 posts, RR: 2
Reply 135, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 15807 times:
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Quoting KC135Hydraulics (Reply 82):
If a pickup-sized Diesel engine requires upwards of 700 cranking amps to turn over, imagine the instanteous draw from the electric starter on the 787's APU. It has to be quite high.

I doubt it. Turbines start up slowly and smoothly, totally unlike a diesel, which require a huge push to deal with the compression. Larger diesels, some paradoxically, are often better, since the so much force would be required to spin it up that they open the valves during the spin up to reduce that problem. You see the same thing done on some small diesel’s that you can hand crank. Some very large gasoline engines that that as well.

And let’s remember, the APU on the 787 is not really all that large. It only drives a pair of 225KVA generators, which assuming only 80% efficiency (way low), implies about 750hp output on the turbine shaft.


User currently offlineRheinbote From Germany, joined May 2006, 1968 posts, RR: 52
Reply 136, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 15785 times:

Quoting WingedMigrator (Reply 111):
Quoting cornutt (Reply 106):
I don't know how much energy is involved in these battery failures

That much is easy. 32V x 65Ah = 7.5 megajoules

Not so easy - if parts of the battery are combusted the released energy is much higher, particluarly in case of a metal fire.


User currently offlineWingedMigrator From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 2259 posts, RR: 56
Reply 137, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 15809 times:

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 133):
I think the chemical reaction releases a lot more than that.

You're probably right. A fully discharged battery isn't charred and burned, so there must be even more chemical potential energy that can be released through combustion.

I have a lithium ion battery on my bicycle that has about 1/5th the energy capacity of this one... Should I worry?  


User currently offlineSkydrol From Canada, joined Oct 2003, 982 posts, RR: 10
Reply 138, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 15719 times:

Quoting KC135R (Reply 130):
I would be incredibly surprised if, for example, going 1V over the normal operating max would lead to a battery failure.

Battery chemistry is such that a one volt difference for a cell in a battery is a huge difference. There isn't a 'design safety factor'.

Consider a common lead-acid car battery... with cells below 2.0 volts, the battery is close to being dead, 2.1 volts charged-idle, 2.4 volts maximum voltage during charge. Anything beyond that and the electrolyte boils out, and the battery will be destroyed. If a dried-out cell shorts, a fire is possible, but the major event is the battery itself is destroyed.

Lithium battery cells are even less tolerant of out of range charging voltages, or overloading due to extreme loads or shorts, and the consequence of either is chain-reaction thermal runaway and one or more, or even all of the cells in the battery explode. The energy release is significant enough to not only destroy the battery, but also cause damage to anything near it.

As has been mentioned by others here several times, the final series voltage of the battery, and measured voltage under charge is not as critical as the voltage drop across each cell in the battery; there is only a fraction of a volt difference between dead, charged and an explosion. The worst scenario is when the individual cell voltages / internal resistances become imbalanced and a common charging current is impressed upon the series-wired cells. The weak cell with highest internal resistance will drop more voltage, not good for lithium cells. Actually, not good for lead-acid batteries either; a cell with low electrolyte level will often go high voltage during charge, and this in turn causes it to boil out even more, compounding the problem and ruining the battery.



✈ LD4 ✈



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User currently offlinecornutt From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 338 posts, RR: 1
Reply 139, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 15421 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 125):
I believe the plane is grounded until the safety of flight is confirmed .. that does not mean it is not safe, it means they want to recheck and validate the safeguards.

That's a good way to state it. Currently the aircraft's fault tree has a node labeled "battery failure" which has no number next to it... the number that was there previously has been erased. And at the moment nobody has any idea how to derive the number that belongs there. That means that, at present, the safety of flight is unknown. It could be that the two incidents that have occurred were flukes, and that the aircraft could be released and fly for the next 40 years without another battery failure. Or it could be that it happens again the very next time a 787 is powered up. That's why the 787 is now grounded... it's the inability to quantify the risk. That doesn't mean that the aircraft is unsafe, in the colloquial sense, but it does mean that compliance with that 10^-9 probability standard cannot currently be demonstrated.


User currently offlinekalvado From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 497 posts, RR: 0
Reply 140, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 15392 times:

Quoting Skydrol (Reply 138):
Quoting KC135R (Reply 130):
I would be incredibly surprised if, for example, going 1V over the normal operating max would lead to a battery failure.

Battery chemistry is such that a one volt difference for a cell in a battery is a huge difference. There isn't a 'design safety factor'.

Comparing to original hydraulics example - charge (current) of battery has wider tolerance - like flow or pressure in tubing. Battery voltage is more like tubing diameter - some variation may be OK, but if you came to the point tubing is either collapsing or expanding beyond specs- many bets are off.


User currently offlineSonomaFlyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1888 posts, RR: 0
Reply 141, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 15365 times:
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Well, this will certainly have a bigger impact on NH then airlines such as UA and the longer it goes of course, the greater the impact given NH is already well along in realigning their fleet and route structure for these a/c.

Its a shame given the benefits this plane provides and the fact this issue will be a difficult one to trouble shoot and likely fix.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6925 posts, RR: 12
Reply 142, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 15226 times:

Quoting iahmark (Reply 129):
Also there many eyes on the story from Asia to Europe with other agendas, for some the longer the 787 stays on the ground the better (PR wise).

Frankly I don't see who, so many airlines have the thing on order ! And anything that instill fear of flying in people will have effects on the industry in general.

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.

If that happens, I would be far more worried than before. A disaster of epic proportions in the making if another battery burns down (and I'm not talking about the aircraft crashing, I'm talking about the people you mention facing consequences).



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineb2319 From China, joined Jan 2013, 150 posts, RR: 0
Reply 143, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 14880 times:

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.

Honest, polite question: Can you please substantiate this statement, especially the last eight words of my quote?

Cheers

B-2319


User currently offlineRickNRoll From Afghanistan, joined Jan 2012, 899 posts, RR: 0
Reply 144, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 14849 times:

Quoting cornutt (Reply 139):
That's a good way to state it. Currently the aircraft's fault tree has a node labeled "battery failure" which has no number next to it... the number that was there previously has been erased. And at the moment nobody has any idea how to derive the number that belongs there. That means that, at present, the safety of flight is unknown. It could be that the two incidents that have occurred were flukes, and that the aircraft could be released and fly for the next 40 years without another battery failure. Or it could be that it happens again the very next time a 787 is powered up. That's why the 787 is now grounded... it's the inability to quantify the risk. That doesn't mean that the aircraft is unsafe, in the colloquial sense, but it does mean that compliance with that 10^-9 probability standard cannot currently be demonstrated.

Doesn't it take a long time to get those new numbers?


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20335 posts, RR: 59
Reply 145, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 14824 times:

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 132):
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.

No. Boeing will have killed Boeing.

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 132):
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.

If the aircraft flies again and there is another major issue, either with this battery or with another system, the aircraft will be grounded again. And if that happens, it could essentially mean the end of the 787 program. It would be, AFAIK, unprecedented in commercial aviation history.

So they'd better be very sure that they have it right this time around.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 142):
If that happens, I would be far more worried than before. A disaster of epic proportions in the making if another battery burns down (and I'm not talking about the aircraft crashing, I'm talking about the people you mention facing consequences).

And it is a good point. If the aircraft is allowed to be returned to service before the investigators and engineers have a very firm handle of the problem, then the consequences to the FAA regulators will be severe. Careers will be lost. And that's just on the FAA side of the equation. The results for Boeing would be equally disastrous. Nobody would win from such a course of action.

iahmark's article is concerning, but it's also very indicative of the exact attitude I've seen from certain posters on this board who have minimized these issues all along. It's very disconcerting that Boeing is in denial about the word "fire." One would imagine that everyone at Boeing would want to get this fixed finally and perfectly. They simply cannot afford to have the 787 fleet grounded again, and the threshold for the near future will be very low.


User currently offlineWingedMigrator From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 2259 posts, RR: 56
Reply 146, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 14548 times:

Simple question--sorry if it's been answered before. Since the time for the battery to combust itself totally is far less than the certified ETOPS time, is it not a condition for certification that the battery be allowed to combust itself totally, in flight, without endangering life?

User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23299 posts, RR: 20
Reply 147, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 14539 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 145):
then the consequences to the FAA regulators will be severe. Careers will be lost.

Maybe. I cited the Toyota recalls in 2009 and 2010 as a good recent example of a different part of DoT running amok, and the stop sale in early 2010 was the functional equivalent (for cars) of a grounding. AFAIK, no one at NHTSA lost their job over how that was handled.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 145):
It's very disconcerting that Boeing is in denial about the word "fire."

Come on, Doc. You're a scientist. You know that the media throws around scientific terms of art casually but wrongly all the time. That's exactly what went on with ZA002.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineSkydrol From Canada, joined Oct 2003, 982 posts, RR: 10
Reply 148, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 14304 times:

Quoting WingedMigrator (Reply 146):
Simple question--sorry if it's been answered before. Since the time for the battery to combust itself totally is far less than the certified ETOPS time, is it not a condition for certification that the battery be allowed to combust itself totally, in flight, without endangering life?

This may very well be the case, but battery containment was intended to be the last line of defense against an onboard fire and not be relied upon to deal with battery exotherms as a routine event. The first should be to prevent the main and APU batteries from self-destructing using appropriate charging and monitoring methods. The second line of defense should be electrical isolation and disconnection of cells based on unsafe cell voltages or temperatures. And then if all else goes wrong, contain the fire/explosion. I believe we would be crossing a dangerous line if battery melt-downs become an accepted norm. And beyond the inflight fire hazard, a burned-up battery would not be able to perform the required tasks should primary power systems fail; if it really wasn't necessary for the batteries to be charged and serviceable at all times, Boeing surely would have saved the space and weight and deleted them.




✈ LD4 ✈

[Edited 2013-01-20 18:45:53]


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User currently offlinecornutt From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 338 posts, RR: 1
Reply 149, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 14301 times:

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 144):
Doesn't it take a long time to get those new numbers?

Maybe. It depends on what the fault mechanism turns out to be. Right now, the biggest problem is that, without knowing what the fault mechanism is, no one knows what to test for. If the fault mechanism can be found, then they can experiment with accelerated-aging testing (on the ground) of some design variations, and get a handle on what fault rates to expect and how to design so as to control it.

The worst situation will be if the failure mechanism can't be identified from the two incidents that have occurred. If that happens, they will have to run a bunch of simulated flight tests on a number of batteries and try to duplicate the failures. That could take months.


User currently offlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6537 posts, RR: 54
Reply 150, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 14308 times:

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 144):
Doesn't it take a long time to get those new numbers?

It will be impossible to predict such a time frame. Therefore the fix will have to be done differently, by rearranging the branches on the fault tree.

That's doable. The really big problem is not that batteries can fail, even if that probability of course shall be minimized. The real issue is that a battery failure can cause collateral damage. The latter is the really touch words from FAA ("could" etc.), and it doesn't need to be the case.

The batteries will be removed from the EE-bays. Their failure mode has proved incompatible with other equipment in there.

Just add turbulence and negative G to the fault tree, and we have the battery goof all over.

The FAA won't accept that. Other CAAs overseeing non-US carriers won't accept that. The airlines won't accept that.

Add to that, this is close to an unparallelled world wide PR disaster. Boeing used the internet and social media to market this plane as the plane of choice ("jet lag free", etc.), and it so far backfired. If they had instead told that they made another plane, bigger than the 737 and smaller than the 777, then... They cannot un-invent the internet. They can only recover by taking a technical action which is clearly explainable to the non-technical public.

It may wipe away the weight advantage over older and proven systems. But just look at the alternative.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20335 posts, RR: 59
Reply 151, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 14291 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 147):
Maybe. I cited the Toyota recalls in 2009 and 2010 as a good recent example of a different part of DoT running amok, and the stop sale in early 2010 was the functional equivalent (for cars) of a grounding. AFAIK, no one at NHTSA lost their job over how that was handled.

I would consider those recalls to be nothing in comparison to this. Cars and airliners are not really analogous other than the fact that they are both transportation.

There was a stop sale. The issue was fixed. Toyota moved on. Toyota was also very responsible and very attentive to getting the recall notices out there and performing the required actions. At no point did I feel like Toyota was trying to minimize the issue. Rather, people were faking accelerator malfunctions and brake malfunctions to try to get money out of Toyota.

And... a plane crash (or the mere suggestion that there's a risk of one) is different from a car crash in the same way that Hurricane Sandy was different from a bit of rain.

This situation is so different, it's not even comparable.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6925 posts, RR: 12
Reply 152, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 14342 times:

And car recalls happen all the time.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23299 posts, RR: 20
Reply 153, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 14272 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 151):
There was a stop sale. The issue was fixed. Toyota moved on.

Stop sales are pretty rare (sort of like groundings). Recalls are more like ADs - frequent and not usually newsworthy (for instance, practically no one in the mainstream media is talking about the fact that the new Ford Escape has been recalled four times in a matter of months, including a couple of times for issues that can cause fires). That's why it's an interesting comparison.

In hindsight, the stop sale was absolutely the wrong decision, for there was nothing serious wrong with any Toyota vehicle and absolutely nothing wrong with the vast majority of Toyota vehicles -- those without all-weather floor mats and without the accelerator pedal at issue in the second recall. DoT acknowledges that it was bungled, but there's been no public fallout at the agency. What makes you think that a determination down the road that the 787 grounding was somehow handled incorrectly (either started or ended at the wrong time) would have any different effect?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinesankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 154, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 14250 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 151):
I would consider those recalls to be nothing in comparison to this. Cars and airliners are not really analogous other than the fact that they are both transportation.

Fully agree. Besides a stop sale is not the same as a grounding: Toyotas were not taken off the road. It is much more analogous to an AD.


User currently offlinerotating14 From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 723 posts, RR: 0
Reply 155, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 14292 times:

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news...ents-on-boeings-new-787-dreamliner


So I ran across this article that may shed some light on the 787 dilemma. Just as interesting, since the 787 is the first of its kind and there is no other plane to compare it too, how does the FAA properly diagnose the problem(s) so that it won't happen again?


User currently offlineSkydrol From Canada, joined Oct 2003, 982 posts, RR: 10
Reply 156, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 14273 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 151):
There was a stop sale. The issue was fixed. Toyota moved on. Toyota was also very responsible and very attentive to getting the recall notices out there and performing the required actions. At no point did I feel like Toyota was trying to minimize the issue. Rather, people were faking accelerator malfunctions and brake malfunctions to try to get money out of Toyota.

Sorry to go off the 787 topic, but wasn't the root cause found to be the driver side floor mat could bunch up and jam the bottom of the accelerator pedal? And gosh, no driver on earth would realize the safe way to stop the acceleration of a 'runaway car' is accomplished by turning the ignition key OFF. Now, if turning the ignition off or selecting neutral on the transmission didn't stop the car from accelerating, Toyota would be responsible for an unsafe design. But as it was, Toyota went over and above what was necessary. As to the 'fakes' Doc mentioned, I remember one Prius driver who was on the news stating his car accelerated wildly out of control to 120 MPH. A Prius accelerating wildly out of control to 120 MPH? Give me a break! In the forty or fifty second yawn-fest that ensued getting up to that speed (if a Prius is actually able to go that fast), it never occured to the driver to select neutral or kill the ignition? Hopefully they crawled back under their stone.


Back to the 787... I must admit I am a life-long Boeing fan, and I am very concerned about the 787 devastating their reputation, from an airline standpoint and from a passenger standpoint. With all the negative publicity, will anyone ever really trust the outcome of the investigation, even if they announce they have found the fault?

The 787 jabs are already going around:

''ScreamLiner'', ''Boeing Broiler'', ''Come Fry with us'', ''Arrive alive in aluminum, or perish in plastic''

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 145):
If the aircraft flies again and there is another major issue, either with this battery or with another system, the aircraft will be grounded again. And if that happens, it could essentially mean the end of the 787 program. It would be, AFAIK, unprecedented in commercial aviation history.

So they'd better be very sure that they have it right this time around.

I really feel bad for the employees who worked so hard on this project, only to have it become a PR nightmare. Air Canada was planning to add the B-787 to their fleet next year, now I wonder if they still want to?




✈ LD4 ✈

[Edited 2013-01-20 19:54:36]


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User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23299 posts, RR: 20
Reply 157, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 14267 times:

Quoting sankaps (Reply 154):
Fully agree. Besides a stop sale is not the same as a grounding: Toyotas were not taken off the road. It is much more analogous to an AD.

The analogy is important (but imperfect) because of how rare both events are. The fact that NHTSA deals with recalls on a daily basis doesn't really prepare them to handle a stop sale.

Similarly, the fact that FAA handles ADs on a daily basis doesn't prepare them to ground a type. I am confident that in hindsight, we will all find much to criticize in how FAA handled this grounding, but that's the nature of the beast.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineNewark727 From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 1367 posts, RR: 0
Reply 158, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 14182 times:

Quoting Skydrol (Reply 156):
Air Canada was planning to add the B-787 to their fleet next year, now I wonder if they still want to?

Seems as if a year ahead will give them time enough to plan around this, by then something will have been found to get the type back in the air and that's the important part in the long run even if passenger perception does suffer a bit. I figure the carriers that were getting them, adding more, or starting destinations in the next few weeks/months would have more to worry about.


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 159, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 14007 times:

Quoting rotating14 (Reply 155):

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news...liner

The end of this article is pretty damning against the FAA:

"In other words: the investigation is becoming a lot more complex than expected, which will likely delay the Dreamliner's return to the air.

But there's a bigger picture here: The complexity of this problem is also raising questions about whether the F-A-A is equipped to oversee such sophisticated technology.

The FAA failed to detect these problems in its original inspection process."


There were 'special conditions' in the certification process which the 787 had to adhere to. What possible problems in the design did the FAA fail to detect?



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6428 posts, RR: 3
Reply 160, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 13871 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 159):
There were 'special conditions' in the certification process which the 787 had to adhere to. What possible problems in the design did the FAA fail to detect?

No doubt that when they find it, 14 CFR Part 25 (transport category certification rules) will be a few paragraphs longer  



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlinenm2582 From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 161, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 13790 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 159):
The end of this article is pretty damning against the FAA:

"In other words: the investigation is becoming a lot more complex than expected, which will likely delay the Dreamliner's return to the air.

But there's a bigger picture here: The complexity of this problem is also raising questions about whether the F-A-A is equipped to oversee such sophisticated technology.

The FAA failed to detect these problems in its original inspection process."

The FAA may be a li