iowaman
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:49 pm

The last thread is over 260 replies, so please continue the discussion here.

Previous thread: FAA Grounds 787 (by brons2 Jan 16 2013 in Civil Aviation)
 
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kanban
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:51 pm

posted this just before cut off
Yuasa makes these batteries for many land surface operations, trains, trucks, etc. and seem to have no problems. Possibly could the problem be related to the pressure differentials when flying... ie water boils at a lower temperature at elevation, so could the organic fluid in these batteries "boil" at altitude and leave the anodes/cathodes bare and in contact?
 
PHX787
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:59 pm

Let me attempt to recap and correct me if I am wrong:

The 787 is grounded worldwide indefinitely due to battery issues which brought ANA ship 804 in TAK and lit JL ship 829 on fire in BOS. Anyone know if the MOT has probed Yuasa yet? There was some word going around my circles about it.
Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/phx787
 
bellancacf
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:01 pm

Repeating myself, here, but the question got lost in the flood.

Is there continuous, realtime monitoring of the temperatures in the Li-ion batteries?

Are these batteries designed like bricks, that is, one big block (which is a terrible shape to try to dissipate heat out of) or are they designed with intermal channels for coolant circulation?

And, um, if not, why not?

Thanks.
 
dcann40
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:05 pm

LOT issued a statement earlier this morning re EASA and the 787. See 4th paragraph.

LOT Polish Airlines Voluntarily Grounds Dreamliner Flights

Quote:
CHICAGO—Following a move by the Federal Aviation Administration, which ordered an immediate halt to Boeing Dreamliner flights by U.S. airlines, LOT Polish Airlines announced it was cancelling its inaugural Dreamliner flight from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to Warsaw on Wednesday. LOT is the only European airline operating the new high-tech aircraft....

 
capri
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:05 pm

 
BlueShamu330s
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:12 pm

The 787 "worldwide grounding for safety issues" was the 2nd story on the BBC's main 6pm news.

Must make very unpleasant viewing, not only for Boeing, but British Airways and Thomson also, especially when a BALPA spokesman, by default a spokesman for aircrew, warned these battery issues could cause, his exact words, "a crash."

Rgds
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airmagnac
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:15 pm

Picking up from the first thread :

Quoting Daysleeper (Reply 236):
I'm in agreement with a few others here which believe the battery fires to be a symptom of a problematic electrical system rather than being the problem themselves.

Operative word : "believe"
to believe : to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/believe

We're not dealing with what you, or I, or any poster on this thread believes. Safety means dealing with cold hard reality, also named the laws of nature. It means objectively assessing how those laws apply to the specific situation being studied, and how that application could become deadly.

That means we need in this case
- confirmed, trustworthy information about what happened in Boston and Japan,
- confirmed, trustworthy information about the design of the battery cells, the pack, the battery system (pack + controller + containement + connectors) and the electrical system of the 787,
- confirmed, trustworthy information about the test results of these various systems, and
- confirmed, trustworthy information about the underlying technologies


From that you can
1) assess which information you still need, but is still missing (the "known unknowns")
2) assess the various failure possibilities of each component, sub-system and system, and assess the impacts on the aircraft as a whole, taking into account fact that you have incomplete information.
3) assess the possible solutions to prevent or mitigate the identified impacts. Solutions which are not just "do nothing" or "ground every aircraft", but also everything in between : inspections, switch parts or replace them, special operating procedures, avoid using the risky component(s), slightly change the installation, etc...


It's called objective reasoning and decision-making, and it's certainly what the FAA did to decide to ground the fleet (with the help of established quantified criteria, as CM described)
Until you can provide the confirmed, trustworthy information, and the analysis that shows the 787 electrical system is dangerous (= points 1) and 2) above), then your belief is as worthy as my belief that this was all caused by klingon spaceships launching photon torpedoes, which just poped into my head after I watched the trailer for the next Star Trek.


Meanwhile, restricting the discussion to a-net and speaking for myself, I consider that in the past year CM has sufficiently established his credentials, and in these threads has sufficiently quallified his statements, so that I can judge his posts as globally trustworthy (although I do sometimes check the info for myself when I can). And I welcome his enlightening insights in this otherwise sad mess. So thanks man ! from an Airbus system engineer.
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spacecadet
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:30 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 2):
Anyone know if the MOT has probed Yuasa yet? There was some word going around my circles about it.

"Probed" them for what? What have they done wrong? What is anyone alleging they've done wrong?

First they need to figure out what the problem is, so any probe of suppliers is premature at best. If the batteries are working as designed (and there is so far no reason to think they aren't), then there is no reason to drag the battery supplier's name through the mud.

In other words, if I have a battery and I send some ridiculous current through it for an extended period and it blows up, do I turn around and probe the battery maker? We first need to know what's actually going on here.
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IBOAviator
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:30 pm

Hi all,

This is a true shame to see. The B787 is critical to the future of Boeing, even though they're doing very well with the 777 and 737. It is the public confidence that hurts them here, not so much the airplane being grounded for how ever long it will be grounded.

Quoting jreuschl (Reply 51):
Sounds like the batteries are terrible. I'm shocked this didn't come up during testing though.

You'd think during flight test, the batteries would be put under extra stress?
Quoting ikramerica (Reply 53):
But why wasn't that demonstrated during certification?

I am going to get flamed for this but I am going to look at the FDA for just a minute. From the outside, a reasonably 'good' governing body but a closer look unfolds a ton of corruption. It is very safe to assume that Boeing did battery battery testing to the capacity of putting it through "unusual" tests so it can be assured to function in the regular flying world. What's not to say that Boeing engineers did the testing but didn't deal with any problems they found... fear of preventing the aircraft from entering service and prolonging it's delivery EVEN more when it was already hugely delayed will definately plays on engineers' minds... I am not knocking any one engineer but consider that sometimes people glance over certain things (that maybe are not easily discoverable in the regular world or maybe their best guess that the problem will not arise in the regular world and remaining undiscoverable) to produce the final result and make management happy. I imagine the management was hasty to get this already hugely delayed airplane rolled out into service.

Quoting todareisinger (Reply 49):
It is truly frightening to see how a GREAT company can be so miserably managed.

   Pressure from management to get an airplane out into service is kinda a big player on an engineers mind... The FDA approves drugs for use by the American public that have been not been properly tested, etc, for the sake of getting them out there and keeping drug companies happy (for obvious reasons).

Boeing engineers (thinking of safety of course) also need to keep their job and 'make happy' their management. Maybe not reporting certain "extreme" failed testing results on the battery system, etc that they might say are not ever likely to surface in the real world just might be a little more "better" (but really not) than delaying the airplane even more. I imagine that the FAA would probe to see who and what kind of testing was done? Audit the battery testing? I would hope so...

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 56):
Woow, talk of an over-reaction? The FAA didn't say this airliner will never fly again. I for one don't know what the issue is and I don;t think anyone on scare.net....I mean A.net knows but I can tell you it's not the end of the world for the 787 and I wouldn't be surprised to see them back up in a week.

Like I said above, it is public confidence in the airplane that matters and for that matter public confidence in Boeing. The regular travelling public are sometimes misinformed and do not know that the grounding of an airplane isn't the end of the world. All they are going to see is that the 787 has been grounded... stay away from that plane. People will even go as far as to say "stay away from that airline [operating the 787]" That of course applies to the average, uneducated traveller. Obviously frequent flyers, experienced flyers will think a little bit differently.

Quoting yellowtail (Reply 68):
Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 38):
It's down a few bucks. On a stock which trades in the 70s, that's not a nose dive. That's a market correction based on news. Boeing isn't falling apart at the seams.

Perfect time to buy....have you seen the backlogs of 777s and 737s

   Yes, exactly! Many people here are exaggerating some sort of nosedive which is hardly the case. But again, public confidence in aviation is huge, even if the stock is doing well.

My thoughts...

Regards,
IBO
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Stitch
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:36 pm

Quoting IBOAviator (Reply 9):
What's not to say that Boeing engineers did the testing but didn't deal with any problems they found... fear of preventing the aircraft from entering service and prolonging it's delivery EVEN more when it was already hugely delayed will definately plays on engineers' minds...

What benefit does Boeing have in putting into service an airframe they know is unsafe?

Beyond the civil liability if there was an accident, if said accident resulted in a fatality, those engineers and managers would be subject to criminal charges up to and including murder.
 
AeroWesty
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:39 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 2):
There was some word going around my circles about it.

What do your "circles" say about your earlier claim of a "nose dive" in Boeing's stock? I note it's up today about 1% at the moment.

(And who are in these "circles" you keep referring to? Industry professionals? Inquiring minds would like to know.)
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IBOAviator
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:52 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 10):
Quoting IBOAviator (Reply 9):
What's not to say that Boeing engineers did the testing but didn't deal with any problems they found... fear of preventing the aircraft from entering service and prolonging it's delivery EVEN more when it was already hugely delayed will definately plays on engineers' minds...

What benefit does Boeing have in putting into service an airframe they know is unsafe?

Beyond the civil liability if there was an accident, if said accident resulted in a fatality, those engineers and managers would be subject to criminal charges up to and including murder.

Here is how I see it. The benefit is that they get the airplane into service without causing anymore huge delays. What if it was thought that any potential "failed" extreme battery testing results were very unlikely to surface in the real flying world? If it could be justified (to the extent of the person signing off on it), then those results become "extraneous" and are likely to never appear unless the airplane is put through such extreme circumstances which the POH would already prohibit.

I am NOT saying the above claim is by any means the case but rather an idea to consider. Boeing is a great American company but sometimes management creates pressures that cannot be turned away.

There are many examples where "products" are released to the public without proper testing and as long as there is no evidence of those tests ever being run (and thus results never being ignored or discovered) then it's a different ball game. No one person is to blame.

I am NOT an aircraft engineer and do not work for an aircraft manufacturing company so I do not know how they are regulated/do not know the internal workings of Boeing. This is merely an idea, a possible situation to consider.

Regards,
IBO

[edit] grammatical error x 2


[Edited 2013-01-17 10:54:10]

[Edited 2013-01-17 10:56:13]
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flipdewaf
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:54 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 10):

What benefit does Boeing have in putting into service an airframe they know is unsafe?

knowing something is unsafe and not knowing if something is safe are very different things, I would wager that Boeing (or relevant responsible company) would much more likely be 'guilty' (for want of a better word) of the latter.

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Kaiarahi
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:59 pm

Quoting IBOAviator (Reply 13):

Read CM's description of the testing/certification processes on the first thread. OCA is all over them.
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Aesma
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:59 pm

Lithium Ion batteries need careful management, with electronics and software. Even the ones in phones and the like.

So what I would like to know is if this is done by the plane itself (some circuits near the battery in the bay), or if it is part of the battery itself.
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Stitch
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:02 pm

Quoting flipdewaf (Reply 14):
knowing something is unsafe and not knowing if something is safe are very different things, I would wager that Boeing (or relevant responsible company) would much more likely be 'guilty' (for want of a better word) of the latter.

I am in agreement with that statement. And if Boeing and the FAA do identify the battery situation as an "unknown unknown" that cropped up, it will likely lead to more stringent future certification criteria.

However, IBOAviator put forward the theoretical possibility that Boeing may have known something on the 787 was unsafe and shipped it anyway with the hope that this unsafe condition would never occur in order to start booking revenue through deliveries. In such a theoretical scenario, Boeing and it's employees would be putting themselves at considerable personal risk.



Quoting Aesma (Reply 17):
So what I would like to know is if this is done by the plane itself (some circuits near the battery in the bay), or if it is part of the battery itself.

I believe both the charging system and the battery itself have management functionality.

[Edited 2013-01-17 11:07:02]
 
SonomaFlyer
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:06 pm

A simple heightened inspection program won't cut it in this case. Once they go through the process airmagnac described above, they will have an action plan. That plan will be shared with all stakeholders and the FAA.

The FAA will need to approve the plan and see how its implemented and once completed, whether the incidents can be replicated. If not, they have the needed solution and the change can be pushed out to the airlines (Boeing will likely oversee the work or do it directly). It's not a quick fix and will take time.
 
frmrCapCadet
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:06 pm

Per other posts and today's Seattle Times article on lithium batteries (I supplied a link to near the end of the original thread) really is not just a battery, at least in the sense that might have been true 50 years ago. The battery, its cooling system, wiring and equally important software and packaging comprises the basic unit.
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CM
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:08 pm

Quoting bellancacf (Reply 3):
Is there continuous, realtime monitoring of the temperatures in the Li-ion batteries?

Are these batteries designed like bricks, that is, one big block (which is a terrible shape to try to dissipate heat out of) or are they designed with intermal channels for coolant circulation?

And, um, if not, why not?

Answered in order:

Yes, the Main and APU batteries both have active temperature monitoring.

The batteries contain a number of individual Li-ion cells, electrically ganged together to produce ~29V. This is very similar to the basic architecture of Ni-Cd batteries on other aircraft. There is no cooling provision in the 787 battery architecture. Actively cooling the batteries would certainly be possible and active air-cooling is common in Ni-Cd batteries on some other aircraft (777 batteries have an integral fan), but this would not have helped in the case of the two battery incidents on the 787. Thermal runaway in a Li-ion battery is not typically brought on by high operating temperatures (although it could be). There are much more common causes of thermal runaway such as internal defects and problems with managing the state of charge. Once the battery begins a thermal runaway, no amount of cooling will help; the process is exothermic and is self sustained until the energy source (lithium) is depleted.

Quoting airmagnac (Reply 7):
I consider that in the past year CM has sufficiently established his credentials, and in these threads has sufficiently quallified his statements, so that I can judge his posts as globally trustworthy (although I do sometimes check the info for myself when I can). And I welcome his enlightening insights in this otherwise sad mess. So thanks man ! from an Airbus system engineer.

Truly appreciated. Thank you.
 
sweair
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:11 pm

Very bulky but will the answer for the future be fuel cells? Create current on the fly? But what fuel would be safe for aviation?
 
dfambro
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:16 pm

Quoting IBOAviator (Reply 9):
I am going to get flamed for this but I am going to look at the FDA for just a minute. From the outside, a reasonably 'good' governing body but a closer look unfolds a ton of corruption.

Unless you've got something to back that up, you deserved to get flamed.

Quoting IBOAviator (Reply 9):
Pressure from management to get an airplane out into service is kinda a big player on an engineers mind... The FDA approves drugs for use by the American public that have been not been properly tested, etc, for the sake of getting them out there and keeping drug companies happy (for obvious reasons).

Obviously you don't work in the pharma or biotech industy. Are you aware of the data standards, review processes, and approval rates? Or the multi-hundred million dollar illegal marketing fines they've been handing out. The FDA is slow, conservative, and a pain in the butt to work with, but corrupt they aren't.

Things can go wrong, in aviation and in pharma, but that doesn't mean there is a conspiracy to subvert proper regulation.
 
sweair
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:18 pm

http://www.hes.sg/products.html

Seems like there is some products available but not for airliners..Should be a safer path?!
 
ZB052
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:25 pm

Can I also second those who have commend posters like Stich, CM, Astuteman & Winged Migrator. You can tell that, from reading their posts, that they 'know their onions' to coin a phrase. For those of us in the industry, but not close to the '87 program, your posts provide a shining light amongst the conspiracy theories, drivel and you-know-what waving that pervades this place from time to time.


Oh, and *FIRST POST* (Have lurked here for close to a decade - finally decided to register!)

Yay!

Looking forward to contributing my knowledge to the forum! Especially from a 757/767 and A320 series standpoint

[Edited 2013-01-17 11:27:36]
 
SonomaFlyer
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:36 pm

Quoting ZB052 (Reply 27):
Looking forward to contributing my knowledge to the forum! Especially from a 757/767 and A320 series standpoint

Glad to see you joining the posting community!

For the person that advanced the idea of moving to fuel cell technology - this would require a certification process and likely changes to at least the software managing the power charging/distribution system. It would ground the 787 for well over a year.

The media has unfortunately published all sorts of "information," much of it contradictory and often wrong. We must do that which is most difficult for humans, be patient and let the stakeholders sort through the problem and come up with a solution that is safe and satisfies the FAA and the airlines. I'm sure we'd all love to see it happen overnight with the re-writing of a couple lines of code or the switching of a single part but that doesn't appear to be in the offing.
 
xaapb
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:47 pm

Is this accurate?

http://es.flightaware.com/live/aircrafttype/B788

Looks like there are 787s flying out there, 2 of them United from DEN and ORD to IAH.

Greetings.
Jorge Meneses
 
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Stitch
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:47 pm

Quoting ZB052 (Reply 27):
Looking forward to contributing my knowledge to the forum! Especially from a 757/767 and A320 series standpoint

Looking forward to learning from your knowledge.  
 
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kanban
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:54 pm

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 8):
"Probed" them for what? What have they done wrong? What is anyone alleging they've done wrong?

the entire chain needs to be audited ,, so what they would look for are manufacturing processes, testing data, and quality control, then looking at serial number records.. this all can be done simultaneously with investigations at Thales, Boeing and the airlines maintenance areas.
 
SonomaFlyer
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:55 pm

Quoting xaapb (Reply 29):

Is this accurate?

http://es.flightaware.com/live/aircrafttype/B788

Looks like there are 787s flying out there, 2 of them United from DEN and ORD to IAH.

Greetings.

Flightaware is slow to pick up a/c substitutions. Check flightradar24 instead or with the airline website.

UA 1510 from ORD to IAH has a 739 sub'd to fly the route.
UA 1180 from DEN to IAH has a 753 sub'd to fly the route.
UA 32 from LAX to NRT was cancelled as was UA 33 returning.
 
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lightsaber
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:58 pm

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 28):
We must do that which is most difficult for humans, be patient and let the stakeholders sort through the problem and come up with a solution that is safe and satisfies the FAA and the airlines. I'm sure we'd all love to see it happen overnight with the re-writing of a couple lines of code or the switching of a single part but that doesn't appear to be in the offing.

First, excellent point of view.

Even if this can be solved by rewriting new software code, that code must be qualified. It takes days just for the minimum delta-qualification that allows it to fly on test aircraft (unless there is an in-flight emergency... I have seen code uploaded sans qual to enable an aircraft to land in a lose the airframe or update the code situation due to a stuck control surface... but that is a prototype and highly risky). If it is a new part, that qual test program could take months unless there is a 'qual by similarity' situation that has the part out quick.

Some engineers will not see their family for weeks and Boeing will be paying overtime and expediting fees to vendors as well as their own staff. But first, the problem must be identified. Is it too much current? Voltage fluctuations out of spec? A change in the manufacturing process that is inducing defects?

I would love to know how old each battery is.

Quoting sweair (Reply 26):

http://www.hes.sg/products.html

Seems like there is some products available but not for airliners..Should be a safer path?!

But that is only qualified for unmanned vehicles as you noted which have slightly less strict certification requirements. And... Fuel cells are not instant start as well as they require a fuel source (which is *not* JetA). Safer? Probably. But I doubt that the bay is designed for access post each flight to refuel the fuel cell (or maybe ever 5 or 10 flights). The fuel type will determine if an exhaust path is required. Links on that website were broken to follow on the details.

Lightsaber
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BrouAviation
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:59 pm

Quoting xaapb (Reply 29):

Looks like there are 787s flying out there, 2 of them United from DEN and ORD to IAH.

Both are 737's according to FlightRadar24.
Never ask somebody if he's a pilot. If he is, he will let you know soon enough!
 
Passedv1
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:06 pm

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 226):
These are very high energy batteries, which are needed for the 787 power demands. The 787 battery has about the same footprint as the 777 battery, but is about half as tall. The 787 battery weighs 66 lbs, the 777 NiCad battery weighs 106 lbs. To design a NiCad battery for the 787, it has been said that it would weigh approx 3 times as much as a 777 battery, or 300+ lbs, to meet the massive electric demand of the 787.

I am not an engineer, I am a mere pilot, and before the last week I had (and still have) very little understanding of the nuiances between the various battery type options available to engineers when they are designing aircraft.

Correct me if i'm wrong, but my current understanding, which is mostly based on what I have read here on A. Net, is that the only advantage these batteries have to the current...proven technologies...is that they weigh less and have a smaller volume.

If this is indeed the case, I honestly cannot understand how an engineer could choose/how the FAA could allow/why an airline would buy, an airplane designed using these batteries on such a large scale.

Aviation is the safest form of travel without a doubt, and that is no accident. The reason airline travel is so safe is because of the culture up to this point perpetuated by the airlines, FAA, engineers, pilots, etc. One of the fundamnetal pilars of this philosophy, is that in airline flying, we do NOT change for cost sake unless it can be PROVEN that the change MAINTAINS AN EQUIVALENT LEVEL OF SAFETY to the current technology.

Some of you on here are justifying the selection by saying "well the equivilant such and such battery would weight 300 more lbs or be so much bigger". Well, we are not talking about a Honda, 300lbs is not significant.

Some of you try to deflect and say...well there is an even hotter fire on the wings, or there is so much Jet-A, etc. That is irrelevant. There is no suitable alternative to Jet-A that would be more safe, in fact, Av Gas and some of the other possible fuels are even worse. There is no suitable alternative to having a fire out on the wings to make the jet go. When we figure out how to make an engine that uses Cold Hydrogen Fusion, then we can talk...but there are currently no other options then to have the Jet-A or the engines at 2,000 degrees.

This does not appear to be the case with these batteries. It appears to me that we have a couple of tried, tested, alternatives to these batteries that have been in avionics compartments of airliners for years if not decades. I know WHY these batteries were chosen, but it is the WRONG reason, and if the players involved were part of the right culture, it would NOT have happened.

Airline flying is safe because we let the experimentation take place in other parts of transportation. Let's let GM figure it out for awhile, when they do, let's start using them in corporate jets and GA aircraft. Once the technology is proven, then we can start using them when grandma and the kids are in the back.

HOW THE HECK is this even certified for ETOPS at all, never mind 330 min ETOPS. The plan is to let a battery burn uncontrolled, albiet in it's rack, for 6 HOURS. REALLY? What could possibly go wrong?

I am starting to think that this is yet another symptom that I am seeing in other parts of aviation. I think it's an "arrogance" that has developed because of the computing power at the disposal of the engineers. Back in the day, our old performance charts had thick lines where the width of your pencil was 1,000 lbs or more. I would calculate that I could takeoff with 150,000 lbs + a little. Now our performance engineers are so sure of the computer models that now the T/O weight I get back is 148,326. Yeah right! We know the weight of the jet to +/- 2,000 lbs MAYBE. I guess that's how we know that performance engineers have a sense of humor. I am wondering if a similar mechanism is being used to shave corners when making design decisions such as "which batteries to use".

Quoting frmrcapcadet (Reply 260):
I would comment beyond the article that these batteries, or related ones, will continue to get better and more reliable. And with tens of thousands of cars that technology and operational reliability/safety will/is working its way back to airplanes.

And when they figure it all out...we can put it in airplaners.

Don't get me wrong, I am not against new technology in airplanes. If Harrison Ford wants to use one on his G-V, knock yourself out. With airliners though, there is a different standard.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 223):
., I know ways of evacuating aircraft and had to prove I could do so that 'normal' flight crews wouldn't likely know about.

Aside from the doors and the cockpit windows/hatches, what do you mean? Seriously.

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 171):
I was wondering whether the AD will also prevent Boeing from conducting test, delivery and ferry flights? If so, how long can the AD remain in effect before it starts having consequences on Boeing's calendar?

There is no way an airline will take delivery of a non-airworthy airplane. My guess is you will start seeing a long line start forming in Everet.
 
ZB052
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:08 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 31):
the entire chain needs to be audited ,, so what they would look for are manufacturing processes, testing data, and quality control, then looking at serial number records.. this all can be done simultaneously with investigations at Thales, Boeing and the airlines maintenance areas.

Indeed - hence why I believe that this may take a bit longer than a few days to get a handle on the 'catalyst' to the issue. Faulty manufacturing, duff wiring harnesses, etc - could all be a contributory factor. During Human Factors training at my old employer, it was explained to us that an 'incident' could be a series of contributory factors, that all line-up at a certain place and time to create the incident. Wonder if that's what we have here?

The more robust the audit, the longer it may take, but the chances of finding the issue are pretty good. One thing that some people seem to be wanting is an answer right this minute. That is not going to happen of course.................
 
xaapb
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:13 pm

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 34):
Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 32):

Thanks for the info guys.

Kind Regards
Jorge Meneses
 
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Aesma
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:13 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 18):
I believe both the charging system and the battery itself have management functionality.
Quoting frmrcapcadet (Reply 20):
Per other posts and today's Seattle Times article on lithium batteries (I supplied a link to near the end of the original thread) really is not just a battery, at least in the sense that might have been true 50 years ago. The battery, its cooling system, wiring and equally important software and packaging comprises the basic unit.

Thanks, I will look into that.

Quoting sweair (Reply 24):
Very bulky but will the answer for the future be fuel cells? Create current on the fly? But what fuel would be safe for aviation?

You could use a small cracking system and have the primary fuel as jetA, however I'm not sure the thing would be safer than a battery. And it may need a battery to start anyway. If such thing made more sense than a big battery then I would expect a small diesel generator would also make sense.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
Shenzhen
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:20 pm

The industry (meaning Thales/Boeing/Airlines/FAA) will come up with an interim solution to allow the airplanes to comply with the AD, like testing the batterries. Any battery that fails the test will be sent for additional testing (along with the two failed batteries). Once they have a root cause, they can pull certain serial number batteries from the fleet and/or mandate a change to the airplane charging/monitoring system or the battery itself.

Watch, the batteries will be tested in the next week or so and airplanes will return to service (hopefully). Would expect scheduled tests of the battery on a quite frequent basis until a final solution is implemented.


Cheers
 
gigneil
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:27 pm

Quoting sweair (Reply 24):
Very bulky but will the answer for the future be fuel cells? Create current on the fly? But what fuel would be safe for aviation?

A fuel cell APU was originally default plan, then an optional plan, then eliminated as a choice for this airplane, I believe.

NS
 
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kanban
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:31 pm

Bloomberg is reporting that both batteries came from the same production lot according to unnamed sources.. so take it with a large grain of salt.

Am still hoping Tdscanuck or CM will comment in whether or not atmospheric pressure changes might have a role.. (See post 1)
 
IBOAviator
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:40 pm

Quoting dfambro (Reply 25):
Quoting IBOAviator (Reply 9):
I am going to get flamed for this but I am going to look at the FDA for just a minute. From the outside, a reasonably 'good' governing body but a closer look unfolds a ton of corruption.

Unless you've got something to back that up, you deserved to get flamed.

Quoting IBOAviator (Reply 9):
Pressure from management to get an airplane out into service is kinda a big player on an engineers mind... The FDA approves drugs for use by the American public that have been not been properly tested, etc, for the sake of getting them out there and keeping drug companies happy (for obvious reasons).

Obviously you don't work in the pharma or biotech industy. Are you aware of the data standards, review processes, and approval rates? Or the multi-hundred million dollar illegal marketing fines they've been handing out. The FDA is slow, conservative, and a pain in the butt to work with, but corrupt they aren't.

I do have evidence to back these claims... evidence that is publicly shared, not hidden to industry specific individuals... yes, I do not work in Pharma but perhaps maybe people's opinions of their own occupation (Pharma, Biotech) are not those of corruption, etc. Of course someone who works in Pharma would say there is no corruption. Little research will prove the FDA is corrupt. But this is not a discussion regarding the FDA... I merely used it as a comparrison to say that some companies take shortcuts, have corruption that the public is not really aware of. Will I stop flying Boeing aircraft, no absolutely not. Sae reason why I wont stop using Advil if I have a headache.

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 16):
Quoting IBOAviator (Reply 13):

Read CM's description of the testing/certification processes on the first thread. OCA is all over them.

Thanks, I will go and read up on what CM has to say.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 18):
However, IBOAviator put forward the theoretical possibility that Boeing may have known something on the 787 was unsafe and shipped it anyway with the hope that this unsafe condition would never occur in order to start booking revenue through deliveries. In such a theoretical scenario, Boeing and it's employees would be putting themselves at considerable personal risk.

Yes, absolutely they are exposing themselves to great personal risk both as a collective company and as individuals... But if it can't be proven those failed "extreme" test results were discovered or paid the attention they should have deserved, then Boeing is clean from that avenue.

My "alternate" thoughts to some of the speculation/reasoning going around.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 33):
But first, the problem must be identified. Is it too much current? Voltage fluctuations out of spec? A change in the manufacturing process that is inducing defects?

I would love to know how old each battery is.

Hmmm.. maybe a dumb question but if the aircraft is a brand new delivery, would't the battery (along with every other part of the aircraft) be fairly new as well?

Regards,
IBO

[edit] grammatical error

[Edited 2013-01-17 12:49:11]
Keep Calm and Go Around!
 
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lightsaber
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:40 pm

There was post in the last thread about making all APU starts from ground or engine power. Well... what about the case when engines stop due to flying through a volcanic ash cloud? Not a very likely case, but one Boeing must design for and thus there must be APU batteries. And as Stitch noted, customers also want the option on the ground.

Quoting ZB052 (Reply 36):
The more robust the audit, the longer it may take, but the chances of finding the issue are pretty good. One thing that some people seem to be wanting is an answer right this minute. That is not going to happen of course.................

Agreed. Now that the planes are grounded, expect them to stay down for a while.

Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 35):
is that the only advantage these batteries have to the current...proven technologies...is that they weigh less and have a smaller volume.

So no technology development? No planes went down, the battery containment worked. The engineers job is to pick the best technology available. Lithium batteries work. I can think of several technical changes that would make the batteries safer, at the expense of more weight, but still be far lighter and take less volume than alternatives.

On reason Lithium batteries were chosen is to make the weight penalty low enough while providing the needed number of APU starts for ETOPS 330 as well as any other loads that I am unaware of.

Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 35):
The plan is to let a battery burn uncontrolled, albiet in it's rack, for 6 HOURS. REALLY? What could possibly go wrong?

Easy enough to do. The paint on the containment didn't even char. Those engines on the wings have far more severe contained fires the ENTIRE FLIGHT!

Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 35):
I honestly cannot understand how an engineer could choose/how the FAA could allow/why an airline would buy, an airplane designed using these batteries on such a large scale.

The FAA mandated the batter containment. It did its job. The concept was sound. I'm not aware of any issues the first year of service, so the concept isn't that bad.

Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 35):
unless it can be PROVEN that the change MAINTAINS AN EQUIVALENT LEVEL OF SAFETY to the current technology.

   The requirement is a probability of loss of life less than 10^-7 per flight hour. Your statement is correct in intent, but not the law.

Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 35):
Now our performance engineers are so sure of the computer models that now the T/O weight I get back is 148,326.

How much weight would you add? Every kg of weight added to an airframe increases the fuel burn about $1,000 per decade. I'm working four parts that are each 0.1 kg over-weight. But the airframer will not accept over-weight components as if they do not hold the line, it adds several thousand pounds to the takeoff weight. We all know the computed weight is off.

Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 35):
Aside from the doors and the cockpit windows/hatches, what do you mean? Seriously.

Fair question. Of course all the doors/windows/hatches, plus ways to get into the cargo bay and out or via the electronics bays. Now, in a flight test aircraft there is usually no carpet, so those floor panels that are latched in and not screwed in were easy to pull up and jump down through into the cargo hold. For some aircraft, I now know where to rip up the carpet to get down below.   Every possible way for a human to get off that aircraft must be taught to flight test crew (at least on the teams I was on). Even options that seem insane (such as into the cargo hold by pulling up a floor plate and squeezing between floor ribs, into an electronics bay, and out a front wheel well hatch in one aircraft). Where the ropes are in the doors, how to use the drag breaks when going out the pilot hatch, etc. We even had a small number of windows that had aluminum plugs that could be removed (which I am not thin enough to get through, one unusually thin tech squeezed through a window on a dare, so he was the only one that could have used that method); note, I expect that is a more viable path on the 787 with its 19" high windows. Some military aircraft have paths into the wings and then out, but that could have been the 'old dogs' pulling my chain.

Lightsaber

ps
Late edit: We were also trained where to break floor panels with a fire axe if that was the only way to get to the cargo hold and out. But we had extra 'latched' floor panels for flight test.

[Edited 2013-01-17 12:42:56]
"They did not know it was impossible, so they did it!" - Mark Twain
 
SonomaFlyer
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:45 pm

Passedv1, you raise legitimate questions about the process to select Li On batteries as opposed to standard NiCad ones. Unfortunately, to revert to NiCad will take longer (likely) than fixing the current problems given the certification process.

I think we have to assume (always dangerous I know) that ETOPS was granted based upon a very low probability of a battery fire coupled with the containment box. Based on the studies provided and evaluating the system, cert was granted.

The success of this plane depends on ETOPS. The airlines know it and so does Boeing and the suppliers. The nature of the fault(s) will determine their course and how long this will take.

It is puzzling that things got to this point and maybe things have gotten a bit lax re quality control due to technology but this experience will force changes in validation and that will be a good thing.
 
Shenzhen
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:55 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 43):
The requirement is a probability of loss of life less than 10^-7 per flight hour. Your statement is correct in intent, but not the law.

You can bet the numbers are being crunched and risk assesments are being put together for multiple "possible" solutions to the batteries overheating.

Quoting kanban (Reply 41):
Am still hoping Tdscanuck or CM will comment in whether or not atmospheric pressure changes might have a role.. (See post 1)

There is no doubt that the batteries would have been tested in a vacum chamber to at least two times the altitude that the batteries would ever reach (say -2000 to 100,000 feet). Cabin pressure pressure would be significantly less then the 40 some odd thousand feet that it could operate.
 
RickNRoll
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:59 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 33):
Some engineers will not see their family for weeks and Boeing will be paying overtime and expediting fees to vendors as well as their own staff. But first, the problem must be identified. Is it too much current? Voltage fluctuations out of spec? A change in the manufacturing process that is inducing defects?

Even if the batteries are fixed and there is no battery event again, the FAA says the current venting system has to be redone. The liquid that was sprayed around the inside of the forward bay had the potential to disrupt other systems in the plane.
 
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Stitch
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:59 pm

Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 35):
Correct me if i'm wrong, but my current understanding, which is mostly based on what I have read here on A. Net, is that the only advantage these batteries have to the current...proven technologies...is that they weigh less and have a smaller volume.

Those are two of the reasons. As I recall from the previous discussions, the power they supply is also more stable and they will hold a charge longer (as neither battery is required to provide constant power - the generators in the engines are the primary source of electrical power).



Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 35):
HOW THE HECK is this even certified for ETOPS at all, never mind 330 min ETOPS. The plan is to let a battery burn uncontrolled, albiet in it's rack, for 6 HOURS. REALLY? What could possibly go wrong?

It is not possible for the battery to burn for six hours - there is insufficient consumables.



Quoting kanban (Reply 41):
Bloomberg is reporting that both batteries came from the same production lot according to unnamed sources.. so take it with a large grain of salt.

Even if the batteries are discovered to be defective, the special conditions appear to read that even if a defective battery was installed, it could not be allowed to fail in the way that the batteries aboard the JL and Nh did. And both failed in separate modes - the JL battery entered thermal runway and caught fire, while the NH battery ruptured and leaked electrolysis solution.

So I do not believe the discovery that both batteries were bad would be sufficient for the FAA to nullify the AD that has grounded the fleet.
 
AeroWesty
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:01 pm

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 46):
Even if the batteries are fixed and there is no battery event again, the FAA says the current venting system has to be redone. The liquid that was sprayed around the inside of the forward bay had the potential to disrupt other systems in the plane.

Interesting point. Could you expand upon that? It's not something I've seen discussed at all.
International Homo of Mystery
 
bellancacf
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:06 pm

to capri @ reply 5:

That's _IT_?!!? That's PUNY! If you made it twice as large, it _still_ would be small. (Man oh man. Someone went with this technology for the sake of that small an improvement? Hard to believe, from my totally uninformed, amateurish point of view.)

Was that case filled with fluid? If not, is that lump in the center the bundle of cells? And if you knew the thing was prone to thermal runaway, with all that space, why on earth wouldn't you have provided cooling? Now I'm well and truly puzzled by this whole affair.

Can anyone enlighten me? Thanks in advance. And sorry if my expressed surprise has stepped on any toes. Not meant to.
 
mham001
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:11 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 17):
So what I would like to know is if this is done by the plane itself (some circuits near the battery in the bay), or if it is part of the battery itself.

If you look at the picture of the burnt battery, you can make out the main bus bars between cells. The aviation cells Yuasa advertises are 10ah and 65ah each. The 787 pack is 8 cells wired in series for ~28v. Based on the ruler in the burnt picture, it is difficult to say which size the box contains, it may be made special for Boeing. The smaller wires visible are (likely) for the battery monitor system (BMS) which appear to exit via the top plug. I expect there is a module containing the BMS somewhere nearby. We have been told that the APU batt does not have a cockpit warning light as the main battery which I read here is the same size.
The FAA mandated an extensive monitor system beyond what is normally used in other applications. Yuasa says they produce the BMS for their battery. I am involved in the electric vehicle world as well as use lage batteries for off-grid storage and bms problems are very often the source of battery problems. enough so that many are eschewing BMS in LiFePo4 battery systems, as it is a safer chemistry. The key is not to over-dischaarge and even worse, don't over-charge.

Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 35):
If this is indeed the case, I honestly cannot understand how an engineer could choose/how the FAA could allow/why an airline would buy, an airplane designed using these batteries on such a large scale.

This is not a "large scale" application. these are moderately small packs in the battery world.
 
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glideslope
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:11 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 2):

Let me attempt to recap and correct me if I am wrong:

The 787 is grounded worldwide indefinitely due to battery issues which brought ANA ship 804 in TAK and lit JL ship 829 on fire in BOS. Anyone know if the MOT has probed Yuasa yet? There was some word going around my circles about it.

I believe Yuasa sub contracts the 787 Battery for production in France. Forgot the name of the French Co that makes them.
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
 
IBOAviator
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:13 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 47):
Even if the batteries are discovered to be defective, the special conditions appear to read that even if a defective battery was installed, it could not be allowed to fail in the way that the batteries aboard the JL and Nh did. And both failed in separate modes - the JL battery entered thermal runway and caught fire, while the NH battery ruptured and leaked electrolysis solution.

So I do not believe the discovery that both batteries were bad would be sufficient for the FAA to nullify the AD that has grounded the fleet.

   The FAA would have to see that the batteries can function at altitude and that the systems supporting the operation of these batteries are operational to the extent that they can operate safely.

Isn't the thermal runaway of a battery and the rupturing of a battery related to one another? It seems like both cases are related and connected to eachother. When a Lithuim battery discharges too rapidly, it will overheat very quickly and quite possibly rupture as a result. Although 2 different cases, seems like a related issue of rapid battery discharge.
Keep Calm and Go Around!
 
texl1649
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 2

Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:22 pm

Quoting glideslope (Reply 51):

I believe Yuasa sub contracts the 787 Battery for production in France. Forgot the name of the French Co that makes them.

Thales makes the auxiliary control circuit I have read, but I don't think Saft Groupe SA actually makes the battery in the 787.

http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/0...-faa-battery-idINDEE90G03B20130117

- Boeing's new 787 airliner uses two lithium-ion batteries made by the Japanese company GS Yuasa Corp (6674.T), with the associated control circuits made by Thales SA (TCFP.PA). They are part of an auxiliary power unit supplied by UTC Aerospace, a unit of United Technologies Corp (UTX.N), that provides power while the airplane is on the ground.

- The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, built by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), uses a similar lithium-ion battery but it is built by a different manufacturer, France's Saft Groupe SA (S1A.PA). Lockheed said it did not expect any impact on the Pentagon's largest weapons program from the Boeing grounding since the batteries were built by a different company.

- The Airbus A350 airliner built by Europe's EADS (EAD.PA) is also due to use a lithium-ion battery made by Saft. That plane is due for its first flight this year.