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FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:25 pm

Link to previous thread FAA Grounds 787, Thread 9 (by 777ER Feb 9 2013 in Civil Aviation)

WARNING: Due to thread 9 going off topic quickly and turning into a 'battle ground', the moderators will be watching this thread frequently and ANY offending/rule breaking posts will be removed. Please respect each others right to have their opinion.

[Edited 2013-02-20 00:15:16 by SA7700]
 
mjoelnir
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:49 pm

The Boeing solution, mentioned in The Seattle Times, of a robust containment should hopefully be enough to get the B 787 flying again. It takes care of the safety aspect. I really do not think that the flying public will take a burning battery safely contained worse than for example a failing engine.
 
jetblueguy22
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:56 pm

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 1):
I really do not think that the flying public will take a burning battery safely contained worse than for example a failing engine.

I'm going to have to disagree with you on that. People hear fire and airplane in the same sentence and it really freaks them out. No matter if it a roll burning in the galley ovens or the battery, people get really uncomfortable. I like Boeing and would fly the 787 the moment it was back in service, but the general public doesn't understand the complexities and how safe the plane would be with a true permanent fix.
Pat
All of the opinions stated above are mine and do not represent Airliners.net or my employer unless otherwise stated.
 
PHX787
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:57 pm

OK so to recap some, Japanese airlines (NH, JL) have cancelled 787 flights through the end of March, and LO through the end of October....... What about UA, AI, and QR? I find it quite hard to follow these threads to keep up.
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BestWestern
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:20 am

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 1):
The Boeing solution, mentioned in The Seattle Times, of a robust containment should hopefully be enough to get the B 787 flying again.

This is nothing more than a rumor of a possible solution to an unknown problem. Boeing have said nothing publicly of the concept.

I too hope that this containment is approved so we can relaunch aircraft before the northern summer peak, but I really fear that we are looking at the end of the IATA Summer schedule before aircraft will be relaunched. We then fall into the trap of aircraft arriving when they are least needed - the start of the winter timetable.
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NAV20
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:07 am

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 4):
This is nothing more than a rumor of a possible solution to an unknown problem.

More information here:-

"Boeing is set to propose a short-term fix for batteries on its grounded 787 Dreamliner passenger jets, according to a report by the Seattle Times.

"The Seattle Times reports Boeing will propose building fireproof titanium or steel containment boxes around lithium ion battery cells that, in the event of a fire, would vent gases outside of the plane. The newspaper reports Boeing could submit the proposal to the Federal Aviation Administration as early as this week in an effort to get 787s flying again by May.

"Boeing is simultaneously working on a comprehensive redesign of the batteries in a process that could take nine months or longer, according to the report."


http://www.stltoday.com/business/col...b-836d-56c7-a249-033003a4607e.html
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BestWestern
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:25 am

NAV20, thats a repost from another article with a more positive spin - no new information at all from St Louis.

From the original article: http://seattletimes.com/html/busines...ology/2020373450_boeing787xml.html


"Boeing will not disclose any details of the solutions it is working on."

"investigators have still not pinpointed the cause."

"it’s unclear if the FAA is ready yet to accept containment of an overheated battery cell rather than prevention."

"the short-term fix will take at least three months to design, test, certify and retrofit,"


And from an analyst in that article...

“Boeing is trying to play it down to some degree, hopeful the solution is just around the corner,”

“We believe the grounding costs Boeing over $25 million a month in direct costs, and the total cost to Boeing could be over $1 billion.”

"Doubtful that Boeing will easily persuade regulators to let the 787 return to service soon."

"Polish national airline LOT on Thursday declared it’s not planning on having its 787s back in service before October. “I think even October is optimistic,” said Pilarski."
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Stitch
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:28 am

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 2):
eople hear fire and airplane in the same sentence and it really freaks them out. No matter if it a roll burning in the galley ovens or the battery, people get really uncomfortable. I like Boeing and would fly the 787 the moment it was back in service, but the general public doesn't understand the complexities and how safe the plane would be with a true permanent fix.

Just guessing here, but I would expect that once Boeing has proven they have a containment system robust enough to survive a battery fire that consumes the entire battery (so it burns the maximum time), such a fix will be considered sufficient to allow the 787 to return to service, but Boeing will still be ordered to either develop a more stable Lithium-Ion battery or switch to a NiCad-based replacement.

As for the flying public, I would not be surprised if it quickly moves to the back of their mind and then out of their conscious thought as people have short attention spans.
 
KFLLCFII
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:38 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 5):
"The Seattle Times reports Boeing will propose building fireproof titanium or steel containment boxes around lithium ion battery cells that, in the event of a fire, would vent gases outside of the plane.

Would the combination of such a box and the Lithium-Ion battery end up weighing close to what a conventional Ni-Cad installation would be?
"About the only way to look at it, just a pity you are not POTUS KFLLCFII, seems as if we would all be better off."
 
BestWestern
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:38 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 7):
I would not be surprised if it quickly moves to the back of their mind and then out of their conscious thought as people have short attention spans.

Agree 100% - the news cycle has become very short indeed. I really hope that this aircraft is up and flying before the Summer peak - however I fear it will be longer.
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
NAV20
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:51 am

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 6):
no new information at all from St Louis.

Agreed, BestWestern, not confirmed by Boeing. On the other hand, though, it's the only thing that Boeing CAN propose? The alternative - spending upwards of a year re-designing and re-certifying the aeroplane with totally-different batteries - is just about 'unthinkable' in business terms. It would mean thousands of lost jobs, not just at Boeing but among all the suppliers worldwide; and untold amounts of money having to be found to compensate the customer airlines. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that the 'spiralling costs' of that sort of scenario might result in the whole of Boeing having to close down?

My guess is therefore that the proposal will be made - and, further, that the FAA will eventually approve it.

[Edited 2013-02-17 17:53:55]
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ZKCIF
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:17 am

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 6):
We believe the grounding costs Boeing over $25 million a month in direct costs

if this is true, the direct costs are next to nothing. a couple of brand new 737s per month will cover that easily  
Quoting BestWestern (Reply 6):
the total cost to Boeing could be over $1 billion.”

What does THIS mean? Do they run into a 1-billion-loss if the delay is 6 months long? 9 months long?

I tried to calculate very roughly the expenses for airlines.
I am likely very far off the mark but my idea is:
The lifetime of a 787 is 25 years as that of any other contemporary plane. In 2037, there will be far superior planes anyway.
The acquisition costs of one plane probably were in the area of 120 million USD (heavy discounts for early frames, etc.)
one plane is expected to operate for about 9000 days (25yrs*365 days minus heavy checks).
when the plane is on the ground, it gets no extra cycles and requires comparatively little maintenance thus has insignificant costs in terms of spares, etc.
as a result, each day of grounding costs 120mil/9000days= 13,333USD of the plane's value, and one month is 400,000USD worth. how far off the real mark am i? thanks a lot for your answers.

[Edited 2013-02-17 18:24:46]
 
prebennorholm
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:24 am

Quoting bonusonus (Reply 222):
Where did the 2.5 times heavier value come from? I have an MIT paper showing that Li-ion has a specific energy of 150 Wh/kg, compared to 50 for Ni-Cad.

The Yuasa LVP65 spec sheet, which has been linked several times in these threads, tells that energy density is 101 Wh/kg. Those 150 Wh/kg indicated by MIT is more like dreaming, or hopefully a typo.

Maybe MIT was looking at only the active interior of the cell, without the supporting structure, connectors and such. But a cell in the shape of a wet towel in a plastic bag isn't very useful.

50 Wh/kg for Ni-Cad is also on the optimistic side. 40 is more like a realistic average.

But these number naturally vary with maker and other specs, such as how rugged they are designed to be.
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rheinwaldner
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:34 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 7):
Just guessing here, but I would expect that once Boeing has proven they have a containment system robust enough to survive a battery fire that consumes the entire battery (so it burns the maximum time), such a fix will be considered sufficient to allow the 787 to return to service, but Boeing will still be ordered to either develop a more stable Lithium-Ion battery or switch to a NiCad-based replacement.

How to proove a containment?
IMO Boeing should build 10 of them and let burn down 10 batteries within the aircraft. After that examine the impact. That would be aproper test, that could also restore a minimum of confidence. Generally I agree however with those, who think any other burning battery is not something Boeing or the FAA especially can afford.

Quoting KFLLCFII (Reply 8):
Would the combination of such a box and the Lithium-Ion battery end up weighing close to what a conventional Ni-Cad installation would be?

Not fully, but the advantage starts dissapearing.

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 12):
Quoting bonusonus (Reply 222):
Where did the 2.5 times heavier value come from? I have an MIT paper showing that Li-ion has a specific energy of 150 Wh/kg, compared to 50 for Ni-Cad.

The Yuasa LVP65 spec sheet, which has been linked several times in these threads, tells that energy density is 101 Wh/kg. Those 150 Wh/kg indicated by MIT is more like dreaming, or hopefully a typo.

About 100 Wh/kg is not really progressive, which is good. Resarch is tackling 600 Wh/kg, but this is something for the future: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2010/05/sion-20100501.html
 
jetblueguy22
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:00 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 7):
Just guessing here, but I would expect that once Boeing has proven they have a containment system robust enough to survive a battery fire that consumes the entire battery (so it burns the maximum time), such a fix will be considered sufficient to allow the 787 to return to service, but Boeing will still be ordered to either develop a more stable Lithium-Ion battery or switch to a NiCad-based replacement.

As for the flying public, I would not be surprised if it quickly moves to the back of their mind and then out of their conscious thought as people have short attention spans.

I for sure agree with you on the first part. I think that would absolutely get the 787 back into service. As for the flying public I'm not sure initially. Most probably couldn't pick it out of a lineup if you put it next to a 777 and an A330, but when they are booking that trip to Poland or Tokyo and see that "Aircraft Type:787-8 Dreamliner" some people are going to get nervous. Obviously their fear would be unneeded after the fix, but it may exist. I certainly wouldn't have a problem booking it.
Pat
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BestWestern
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:18 am

Quoting ZKCIF (Reply 11):

Over and above the actual costs of the repairs and analysis, The analyst here is also probably including the NPV effect of shunting the entire delivery timetable back a further nine months - $100 in todays money is the same as $88 paid in one year if Boeing have an average cost of capital of 12%.

Delays like this wreck profitability in large projects, throw out company cash flow forecasts, and damage company valuations. Basically what is happening is boeing are manufacturing today for payment in say nine months after completion. Profitable companies go out of business because they run out of cash due to slow payment of bills -this wont happen to Boeing - expect bonds to be Secured - but probably is a part of the worries of the analyst.

Oh the joys of project financing when the shareholder wants a return yesterday. Lucky I'm not an accountant.

On top of this I can only imagine the inventory cost of the dozens of 787s and future parts.
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mke717spotter
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:47 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 3):
Japanese airlines (NH, JL) have cancelled 787 flights through the end of March, and LO through the end of October

I also reponded to this in another thread, but surely its not going to take THAT long to sort out the battery issue? What's going to happen if the FAA ban gets lifted in May for example? Are they just going to have their five 787s just sit in a corner somewhere until October? Hopefully this isn't set in stone because I'm probably going to Poland in July and was looking forward to flying the 787.
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:07 am

Quoting mke717spotter (Reply 16):
I also reponded to this in another thread, but surely its not going to take THAT long to sort out the battery issue? What's going to happen if the FAA ban gets lifted in May for example? Are they just going to have their five 787s just sit in a corner somewhere until October?

I would guess they would park the 767s and fly the 787s, just to save fuel costs. Keep the 767s they can't return to the leasers as spares and look for some charter work.

It could be awhile. A month for Boeing to get the fix certified. A month until the first plane is flying. A month to modify the remaining 50 planes. That is 3 months before LOT gets their 2 787s back in the air. Could be more or less.

LOT is just basically saying we are not going to schedule any flights until we see the 787s back in the air. With the 787s long history of delays, IMHO this is not a bad idea.
 
Rara
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:52 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 7):
As for the flying public, I would not be surprised if it quickly moves to the back of their mind and then out of their conscious thought as people have short attention spans.

Until, of course, the next battery burns - contained or not.

Let's face it, Boeing is going to need a permanent solution.
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AndyEastMids
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:38 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 7):
Just guessing here, but I would expect that once Boeing has proven they have a containment system robust enough to survive a battery fire that consumes the entire battery (so it burns the maximum time), such a fix will be considered sufficient to allow the 787 to return to service...

That's all well and good, but the first time a 787 with the new containment system rocks up at some airport with streaks of smoke/electrolite down the side ejected by the improved venting system, and lots of engineer-type folks start peering into lower compartments, and it's dragged off to some hangar and the next flight is cancelled... Or a 787 diverts and the fire crews are called out for a suspected battery fire... Someone's going to notice, the press are going to report it... The headlines are going to say something like - even though it was contained and the airplane didn't burn, there's been another 787 battery fire... Not good PR for Boeing, for the airplane, or for the operating airlines. Even with a temporary fix, how many battery further fires can be noticed/reported, even if they're totally and safely contained, before the travelling public and the FAA get the willies? Could the 787 survive with a temporary fix until a permanent fix is introduced, if ongoing evidence of occasional or even regualar battery fires arose?
 
cmf
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:38 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 10):
I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that the 'spiralling costs' of that sort of scenario might result in the whole of Boeing having to close down?

I think you're painting the devil on the wall. I can't see a scenario where scrapping 787 would mean the end of Boeing. Nor can I see a scenario where the 787 is scrapped because of this battery issue. It takes something where there isn't alternatives.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 10):
My guess is therefore that the proposal will be made - and, further, that the FAA will eventually approve it.

It is a very serious accusation you make with nothing more than prejudice to support it.
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LJ
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:32 am

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 14):
Most probably couldn't pick it out of a lineup if you put it next to a 777 and an A330, but when they are booking that trip to Poland or Tokyo and see that "Aircraft Type:787-8 Dreamliner" some people are going to get nervou

The majority of the flying public will forget the problems as soon as it's flying again. You see already that the media attention is not so high (apart from some outlets) thus people will forget (or have already forgotten).

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 9):
I really hope that this aircraft is up and flying before the Summer peak - however I fear it will be longer.

This will be very important for some airlines. Airlines like Norwegian have big plans with the 787 for S13, and missing the Summer peak means missing the most profitable time of the year (and no NYC and BKK for DY this Summer).
 
B777LRF
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:01 pm

There is talk now, from ever increasing circles and not all of them repeating each other, that we're looking at a lengthy delay. The sources usually quotes in very conventional terms; weeks, few months, even a year. While that may be true, in fact it's certain one of them will be, it is, however, an imprecise measurement and unfit for a.net purposes.

To rectify this shortcoming I made some quick calculations on the back of my laptop, partially (well, fully then) based on post counts and sequel numbers on the "FAA Grounds 787, Part xxx" thread. I shall not divulge the intensity of the mathematics used, merely state the results as they came out. Thus I can say, with a level of certainty not uncommon to these boards though equally far removed from actual knowledge, that the 787 will fly again at the exact moment post number 27.501 is published in Part 103 of this thread.
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NAV20
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:07 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 20):
I can't see a scenario where scrapping 787 would mean the end of Boeing. Nor can I see a scenario where the 787 is scrapped because of this battery issue.

Misunderstanding, I think (hope?), cmf? I don't see any prospect of the 787 being scrapped - do you? I'm talking about the possibility of the authorities refusing to allow any further use of these batteries, thus forcing Boeing to spend a year or more developing, installing, and certifying new batteries straight away. And that, during that 'year-plus,' Boeing would have to close down the whole 787 production line, suspend deliveries, and compensate both the airlines already flying 787s and the customers counting on deliveries in said year-plus? The costs of any such 'programme' would be simply colossal?

Quoting cmf (Reply 20):
Quoting NAV20 (Reply 10):
My guess is therefore that the proposal will be made - and, further, that the FAA will eventually approve it.

It is a very serious accusation you make with nothing more than prejudice to support it.

For the life of me I can't see how that sentence is in any way an 'accusation'? I'm just saying that Boeing will make the sensible suggestion that they install better 'containments' and then develop and certify more 'foolproof' batteries ASAP. And that the FAA, after full consideration, will agree to that strategy and lift the grounding 'on terms'?

How is that 'accusing' either party of anything?

[Edited 2013-02-18 04:15:49]
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gulfstream650
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:45 pm

I have a few questions:

1. Fire aside we can all agree that the battery system is faulty. If indeed there is another failure, where will the power come from to power the systems? I understand that the new systems require a quick-charge power source vs. conventional methods.

2. Even if the FAA approves the temporary fix, what will the implications be to the current ETOPS certifications?

Thanks
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BestWestern
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:54 pm

Quoting gulfstream650 (Reply 24):
we can all agree that the battery system is faulty.

But what caused the fault is as yet, unknown.

Quoting LJ (Reply 21):
This will be very important for some airlines. Airlines like Norwegian have big plans with the 787 for S13, and missing the Summer peak means missing the most profitable time of the year (and no NYC and BKK for DY this Summer).

Hitting the summer peak is critical for all airlines. The whole Norwegian long haul business model is in deep trouble. Their marketing budget is invested, and probably their staffing plans are totally askew. The worst part is the not knowing when the aircraft will be available.
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s5daw
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:59 pm

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 12):
The Yuasa LVP65 spec sheet, which has been linked several times in these threads, tells that energy density is 101 Wh/kg. Those 150 Wh/kg indicated by MIT is more like dreaming, or hopefully a typo.

Could it be a difference between stored useful energy and total energy?
I know that LiPo cells must not drop below certain voltage or they go into thermal runaway - indicating there is still energy in them, but we can't use it.
 
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Revelation
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:30 pm

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 4):
This is nothing more than a rumor of a possible solution to an unknown problem.

I agree with what you are saying but would not describe this as an 'unknown' problem. There's lots known about the problem, unfortunately falling short of the exact reason why it occurred. As above the root cause might not ever be known due to the state the batteries are in, which means you have no better option than to work with the possible root causes, and hope you don't miss any.

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 4):
Boeing have said nothing publicly of the concept.

They, of course, are floating a trial balloon. They leak enough info to someone like Jon who then runs a story, and if it gets shot down they know not to go that way. In this case, the story did have another unnamed regulator say that at this point it's not going to fly, but I suspect with time as other approaches prove to be unfeasible it will gain some traction.

Boeing's got itself between a rock and a hard place.

If they end up going with containment (and presuming FAA lets them) they will need to have a solid public relations campaign ready to go. They'll need some sort of demo showing to the average person that the system will work. How you do that without showing all kinds of nasty things going out the outflow system is beyond me, but a simulation won't be convincing enough, IMHO.

If they don't go with containment, it's clear they have a very long down time facing them, because changing the battery means changing the charging system and a lot more re-certification to do.
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cmf
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:50 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 23):
Misunderstanding, I think (hope?), cmf?

I've reread your comments multiple times and I don't see a way they can be read different from how I read them the first.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 23):
I don't see any prospect of the 787 being scrapped - do you?

It will be scrapped on day but due to obsolescence caused by newer products. But it is a long time away. As I said I don't see how it will be scrapped over the battery issue.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 23):
I'm talking about the possibility of the authorities refusing to allow any further use of these batteries, thus forcing Boeing to spend a year or more developing, installing, and certifying new batteries straight away. And that, during that 'year-plus,' Boeing would have to close down the whole 787 production line, suspend deliveries, and compensate both the airlines already flying 787s and the customers counting on deliveries in said year-plus? The costs of any such 'programme' would be simply colossal?

And I was talking about your conclusions from the effects of a one year grounding which stated as:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 10):
I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that the 'spiralling costs' of that sort of scenario might result in the whole of Boeing having to close down?

I do not see how a one year grounding would cause Boeing to close down. I don't see how a complete scrapping of the 787 program would shut down Boeing.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 23):
For the life of me I can't see how that sentence is in any way an 'accusation'? I'm just saying that Boeing will make the sensible suggestion that they install better 'containments' and then develop and certify more 'foolproof' batteries ASAP. And that the FAA, after full consideration, will agree to that strategy and lift the grounding 'on terms'?

How is that 'accusing' either party of anything?

What you suggested, maybe not what you intended to suggest, is that FAA would approve the solution because the costs of having it grounded for a year would be too high. Not because the solution is good enough to make the risks acceptable.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
BestWestern
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:53 pm

Oh, my blood boils. From the hype before the Qantas purchase, through roll-out through all the delays to the 'dreamliner' the PR team have had far too much influence on the project. If Boeing really believe in their solution- they should come out and say it - and really believe in it..... hiding behind proxies demonstrates a lack of belief in what they are proposing.

The same was the case on the day they rolled out a shell held together with fasteners from Home Depot because of a lucky date - If Boeing were not ready, they should have said it.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 27):
They leak enough info to someone like Jon who then runs a story, and if it gets shot down they know not to go that way

Should we expect the usual 'independent consultants' and the 'independent journalists' to gently massage the FAA/NTSB into submission over the next few months?

Quoting Revelation (Reply 27):
In this case, the story did have another unnamed regulator say that at this point it's not going to fly, but I suspect with time as other approaches prove to be unfeasible it will gain some traction.

Ah, the un-named response to the question that was never asked.....

Boeing needs to put the media handlers back into the containment box and let the engineers get to work in peace.
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NAV20
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:38 pm

Thanks, cmf - guess that more or less clears our disagreement up.

Quoting cmf (Reply 28):
I do not see how a one year grounding would cause Boeing to close down. I don't see how a complete scrapping of the 787 program would shut down Boeing.

I guess it would come down to 'cash flow,' cmf. On the face of it, and 'stating the extreme case,' Boeing having to compensate lots of airlines for having bought fifty-odd aeroplanes that they aren't allowed to fly any more, for the foreseeable future - and also having to scrap many aeroplanes that have already been built, but can't be delivered and flown - would almost inevitably result in Boeing 'going broke.' But I don't think that will happen - and, moreover, even if it DID happen, 'Boeing' would immediately be replaced by a company called 'Boeing 2013' or something, and life would go on.....  
Quoting cmf (Reply 28):
What you suggested, maybe not what you intended to suggest, is that FAA would approve the solution because the costs of having it grounded for a year would be too high. Not because the solution is good enough to make the risks acceptable.


I see why you could feel that way. But you're quite right that that's not what I intended to suggest. I spent a lot of my working life in the construction field - dealing with all kinds of accidents, on 'both sides' of the argument, firstly in government, later at the 'sharp end.' To put it shortly, Boeing will be arguing that two 'non-fatal' incidents (only one with passengers at any risk) do not justify a complete grounding; and the FAA will be 'considering their position.'

We'll all just have to 'wait and see' where the controversy goes from here........just hope that we're not disagreeing any more. I expect that both of us are just hoping that a 'solution' is found - sooner rather than later.  
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packsonflight
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:43 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 7):
Just guessing here, but I would expect that once Boeing has proven they have a containment system robust enough to survive a battery fire that consumes the entire battery (so it burns the maximum time), such a fix will be considered sufficient to allow the 787 to return to service

I think that it is impossible for the regulators to accept any soulution that does not fully comply with the special conditions set for the Li batteries, and the containment is only part of that. The other part is the instability or failiure rate of the battery. That must be addressed too.
 
AngMoh
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:32 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 5):
More information here:-

"Boeing is set to propose a short-term fix for batteries on its grounded 787 Dreamliner passenger jets, according to a report by the Seattle Times.

"The Seattle Times reports Boeing will propose building fireproof titanium or steel containment boxes around lithium ion battery cells that, in the event of a fire, would vent gases outside of the plane. The newspaper reports Boeing could submit the proposal to the Federal Aviation Administration as early as this week in an effort to get 787s flying again by May.

This was Cessna's solution. It is not certified yet, but the expected time for recertification is 18 months. How can Boeing achieve the same in 3 months? 12 Months I can accept if Cessna's lessons learned are take into account, but 3 months not.
 
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Revelation
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:44 pm

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 29):
Oh, my blood boils. From the hype before the Qantas purchase, through roll-out through all the delays to the 'dreamliner' the PR team have had far too much influence on the project.

It's hard to argue that, on the basis of the 7/8/07 roll-out alone. On the other hand, there's more than enough reason to include engineering and manufacturing on the wall of shame. Sadly the misdeeds seem to swamp out the good deeds when one considers how far off the mark the program has been and continues to be.

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 29):
If Boeing really believe in their solution- they should come out and say it - and really believe in it..... hiding behind proxies demonstrates a lack of belief in what they are proposing.

I don't know about that. Dealing with public opinion is very difficult. If they would come out strongly in favor of a given plan only to see it not be acceptable then they would have limited their options needlessly.

I do see a movement to have a containment solution pass muster, BUT:

Quoting packsonflight (Reply 31):

I think that it is impossible for the regulators to accept any soulution that does not fully comply with the special conditions set for the Li batteries, and the containment is only part of that. The other part is the instability or failiure rate of the battery. That must be addressed too.

Indeed various figures on the regulatory side have said as much. The real question is the "addressing" part. They can find all kinds of ways to claim to address it. It'll be interesting to see how they proceed.
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dtw2hyd
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:50 pm

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 25):
But what caused the fault is as yet, unknown.

Layman's guess would be Electonic Window Tinting + Sophisticated AVOD with Big LCD + Color Shifting LED lighting.

Software fix for the battery system in combination wtih Sleep Masks + Printed Material should do the trick to get these birds flying again in no time.
 
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Stitch
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:51 pm



Quoting Rara (Reply 18):
Let's face it, Boeing is going to need a permanent solution.

And Boeing has at least 90 engineers in Japan working on it.


Quoting gulfstream650 (Reply 24):
If indeed there is another failure, where will the power come from to power the systems?

The batteries are the last and final power source for aircraft systems. The primary power source are the generators in the engine. The secondary power source are the generators in the APU. And the tertiary power source is the RAT. Only if both engines shut down, the APU shuts down and the RAT fails to deploy would the systems be using the batteries.



Quoting gulfstream650 (Reply 24):
Even if the FAA approves the temporary fix, what will the implications be to the current ETOPS certifications?

It depends. If Boeing takes up a 787, sets fire to a battery and flies in circles for 330 minutes and the plane operates normally...



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 30):
I guess it would come down to 'cash flow,' cmf. On the face of it, and 'stating the extreme case,' Boeing having to compensate lots of airlines for having bought fifty-odd aeroplanes that they aren't allowed to fly any more, for the foreseeable future - and also having to scrap many aeroplanes that have already been built, but can't be delivered and flown - would almost inevitably result in Boeing 'going broke.'

Such a scenario would require the 787 to be the only source of cash for The Boeing Company which you know is not the case.

Boeing is delivering 35 737s a month at a 20% profit margin per some sources. They're also delivering 8 777s a month at likely an even higher profit margin. The two 747s Boeing are delivering each month may or may not be profitable, but the two 767s they are delivering each month definitely are. And then there are all the ancillaries Boeing Commercial is selling at significant profit margins and all the product being delivered by IDS and other Boeing units, all evidently at a profit per Boeing's quarterly statements.

For 2012, Boeing's Operating Cash Flow was over $7.5 billion, an 87% increase over 2011. And when you consider those 47 787s that Boeing delivered lost them anywhere from scores to hundreds of millions of dollars each (in terms of sales price versus delivery cost), the rest of the company must really be cranking out cash.

As such, I cannot even remotely believe that if Boeing does not deliver a single 787 in 2013 and increases their undelivered inventory backlog by scores of frames that this will mean the company will become insolvent and have to file for Chapter 13 reorganization or Chapter 7 liquidation.

  



Quoting packsonflight (Reply 31):
I think that it is impossible for the regulators to accept any soulution that does not fully comply with the special conditions set for the Li batteries, and the containment is only part of that. The other part is the instability or failiure rate of the battery. That must be addressed too.

And I have offered the opinion that it will be addressed through switching to a more stable cathode type. But that can be addressed later, once a sufficiently robust containment system is developed and installed to insure that if the battery enters thermal runaway and catches fire it will not endanger the aircraft or it's systems.

[Edited 2013-02-18 07:55:14]
 
cmf
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:36 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 30):
I guess it would come down to 'cash flow,' cmf.

It is always down to cash flow so, sure. But Boeing's financials are strong. They have a lot of cash flow from other programs. The programs that have kept the company going while pumping fortunes in to the 787 program. They have some 13 BUSD in cash for immediate expenses.

R&D and most WIP is already paid for so that will not have much negative impact on cash flow. What will cost is return of deposits and penalty charges to customers and probably to suppliers. However, as noted above they have plenty of cash and much more importantly solid positive cash flow from other programs.

In the end they would be required to take a gigantic write off but that is mostly paper and will only affect the year it is taken.

I fail to find support for your concern.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 30):
I see why you could feel that way. But you're quite right that that's not what I intended to suggest. I spent a lot of my working life in the construction field - dealing with all kinds of accidents, on 'both sides' of the argument, firstly in government, later at the 'sharp end.' To put it shortly, Boeing will be arguing that two 'non-fatal' incidents (only one with passengers at any risk) do not justify a complete grounding; and the FAA will be 'considering their position.'

I can't see FAA willing to take the risk of there being another incident unless they have solid foundation to believe it will be contained.

As much as Boeing want to get the plane in the air I can't see them taking that risk either. That could actually force them to shut down as people would start questioning the safety of other models.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 30):
I expect that both of us are just hoping that a 'solution' is found - sooner rather than later.

I have no doubt they will find a solution. Even if it means going back to old technology. It will take the time it takes. Everything else is too risky.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 35):

I wish I had read your argument before I typed in mine  
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:40 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 35):
And I have offered the opinion that it will be addressed through switching to a more stable cathode type. But that can be addressed later, once a sufficiently robust containment system is developed and installed to insure that if the battery enters thermal runaway and catches fire it will not endanger the aircraft or it's systems.

You seem to be implying that the FAA will suspend the failure rate part of the special condition until "later", even though the NTSB and others have stated that it is a concern?
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justloveplanes
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:00 pm

Quoting AndyEastMids (Reply 19):
That's all well and good, but the first time a 787 with the new containment system rocks up at some airport with streaks of smoke/electrolite down the side ejected by the improved venting system, and lots of engineer-type folks start peering into lower compartments, and it's dragged off to some hangar and the next flight is cancelled...

I think Boeing is on the right track. To restate some previous comments, containment design can be very straightforward... Explosion proof containers for sensitive electronics, motors and other gear are off the shelf items in the off shore oil industry to protect against fire on oil rigs. The requirements for containment in these situations is protection against sparks in a continuously explosive hydrocarbon environment - which exceeds significantly what is necessary for a burning airplane battery emitting electrolyte in a non flammable EE bay.

The problem with these solutions is that they are (naturally) very heavy, and so are only a temporary solution as they are massive overkill from a design prospective. But say the solution is 200 lbs (about the weight of a passenger, it could be more) and saves months of downtime, it seems to me Boeing should have proposed this earlier.

This solution as a practical manner eliminates the thermal hazard at a reasonable operating cost, even if a container needs to be custom machined vice off the shelf (the design parameters for such a vessel are commonly in use in the industry). Make it big enough, with surfaced electrical connections and one might not even need the vent. The component becomes a self contained battery unit that upon failure is opened up, battery replaced, leads reattached and off you go.

Bulky, expensive and clumsy, but intrinsically fail-safe by design and industry practice and will buy time for a proper fix. I can't see how the NTSB would object to 100% isolation of combustion from the fuselage environment. One still needs to deal with the released heat, which seems to be fine as is.
 
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Stitch
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:32 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 37):
You seem to be implying that the FAA will suspend the failure rate part of the special condition until "later", even though the NTSB and others have stated that it is a concern?

As I read it, the immediate need is for Boeing to develop, test, and confirm to the FAA's satisfaction that they have a containment system that will successfully withstand the most catastrophic battery failure - something along the lines of the battery catching fire and completely burning all available fuel - without that failure impacting flight-criticial systems or the structural integrity of the airplane. At that point, the failure rate is no longer a primary safety concern because if you have a failure, it will not result in damage to the airframe or a hull loss and the aircraft can successfully and safely make a landing at an alternate field within whatever time limits the FAA allows (and the FAA may very well be very conservative in this matter as it applies to ExTended OPerationS).

However, a high failure rate will be a cost-concern to the airlines because if the FAA (or their local regulatory authority) is very conservative about how far away they can operate from a diversion point and/or they have to routinely divert airplanes and/or replace batteries and containment systems because the incident rate remains high, they're not going to accept that for very long.

As such, a "foolproof" containment system should be sufficient to return the 787 to service, it will not be, IMO, an acceptable resolution in and of itself. The failure rate will need to be reduced, as well.

Boeing and their subs will subsequently have to develop a lithium-ion battery that is sufficiently damage-tolerant and stable that it has a failure rate similar to NiCad batteries. If they cannot develop such a battery, then they will most likely be forced to change the system to NiCads to restore dispatch reliability to a level the airlines will accept.
 
RickNRoll
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:58 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 35):
And Boeing has at least 90 engineers in Japan working on it.

Don't forget the "Mythical Man Month". This is going to take time, no matter how many engineers you put on the job. I do agree that Boeing is doing all it can to get the 787 in the air ASAP, it's not going to be worried about how much it has to spend to do so.
 
glbltrvlr
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:08 pm

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 14):
see that "Aircraft Type:787-8 Dreamliner" some people are going to get nervous.

Most people have no clue what type of aircraft they are flying on, even if it is printed on the itinerary. But if the airlines see it as a problem, it's easily overcome. Recall Super 80?
 
rheinwaldner
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:11 pm

Quoting s5daw (Reply 26):
Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 12):
The Yuasa LVP65 spec sheet, which has been linked several times in these threads, tells that energy density is 101 Wh/kg. Those 150 Wh/kg indicated by MIT is more like dreaming, or hopefully a typo.

Could it be a difference between stored useful energy and total energy?

No, the stated energy densities does only consider energy that can be unloaded. You are correct, that a small rest will always stay in the battery. Like some fuel stays in the tank, even when the engine already have stopped running...

Quoting justloveplanes (Reply 38):
Bulky, expensive and clumsy, but intrinsically fail-safe by design and industry practice and will buy time for a proper fix. I can't see how the NTSB would object to 100% isolation of combustion from the fuselage environment. One still needs to deal with the released heat, which seems to be fine as is.

And with the volume expansion. Otherwise you'd have a spectacular bomb. So it never will be 100% isolated from the outside.....

Quoting Stitch (Reply 39):
As I read it, the immediate need is for Boeing to develop, test, and confirm to the FAA's satisfaction that they have a containment system that will successfully withstand the most catastrophic battery failure - something along the lines of the battery catching fire and completely burning all available fuel - without that failure impacting flight-criticial systems or the structural integrity of the airplane

Others have judged this approach as unsufficient, as the FAA would have to clear a solution that still violates elementary requirements issued by themselves. They got a bloody nose the first time, when they certified the current design, and I can't imagine, that they will say: "We certified burning batteries in error the first time, when we did not know, and now we should recertify the same batteries for public flight while we know that they don't pass our initial criteria???" Very optimistic and not very likely to turn out that way IMO.

Beside that how would you test that? A single flight with the burning battery would be a nice idea, but not enough IMO. E.g. structural integrity has to be tested beyond to be expected loads. How can you simulate a battery that burns more than to be expected?

A wild proposal would be, to conduct multiple tests, each with batteries, that have 150% of the actual batteries capacity....
 
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:16 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 39):
As I read it

I don't know what you are reading, but it would seem to be quite inconsistent with the well known "special conditions". I guess time will tell if such an alternate construction would be allowed.
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kanban
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:43 pm

Quoting justloveplanes (Reply 38):
The component becomes a self contained battery unit that upon failure is opened up, battery replaced, leads reattached and off you go.

the battery in the containment box is a line replaceable unit (LRU) with external plugs. the unit would never be opened in the plane but sent to a certified repair station (which may or may not be the airline). Looking at the spaces occupied by the battery boxes, I would venture the new one will be slightly larger for and aft and side to side. However there is room to make it taller.. so maybe they raise the battery so dripping electrolyte goes to a pan below.
 
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Stitch
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:48 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 43):
I don't know what you are reading, but it would seem to be quite inconsistent with the well known "special conditions".


Special Condition 1 appears to be met with the current design based on reports the charging system passed inspection, however investigators continue to look into the charging system so I will withhold final judgment at this time.

Special Condition 2 appears to have been violated in terms of a self-sustaining increase in temperature, but newer cathode chemistries have been designed to address that so changing the cathode chemistry to one of those new formulas should bring the battery back into compliance with this condition.

Special Condition 3 was met in both incidents.

Special Condition 4 was met with the current design.

Special Condition 5 was met in both events, however the FAA is concerned this may not be the case in a future event. Therefore, a more robust containment system needs to be developed to ensure it is met in the severest of cases (including those considered "extremely remote").

Special Condition 6 was definitely met in the case of JA804A and appears to have been met in the case of JA829J.

Special Condition 7 was met with the current design.

Special Condition 8 was met with the current design.

Special Condition 9 was met with the current design.




Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 42):
Beside that how would you test that? A single flight with the burning battery would be a nice idea, but not enough IMO. E.g. structural integrity has to be tested beyond to be expected loads. How can you simulate a battery that burns more than to be expected?

The battery has a finite element of consumable fuel so once that level is reached, combustion can no longer continue.



Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 42):
A wild proposal would be, to conduct multiple tests, each with batteries, that have 150% of the actual batteries capacity....

That would show how well the material can withstanding heat and pressure, even if the containment vessel was not representative of the one that would be installed in the 787's bay (as it would be 150% the size).
 
Kaiarahi
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:12 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 27):
They, of course, are floating a trial balloon. They leak enough info to someone like Jon who then runs a story, and if it gets shot down they know not to go that way.

Why would Boeing bother communicating with the FAA through the press when they're working directly with them (and the NTSB) every day?

Quoting cmf (Reply 36):
I can't see FAA willing to take the risk of there being another incident unless they have solid foundation to believe it will be contained.
Quoting Stitch (Reply 39):
As such, a "foolproof" containment system should be sufficient to return the 787 to service, it will not be, IMO, an acceptable resolution in and of itself
Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 42):
Others have judged this approach as unsufficient, as the FAA would have to clear a solution that still violates elementary requirements issued by themselves. They got a bloody nose the first time, when they certified the current design, and I can't imagine, that they will say: "We certified burning batteries in error the first time, when we did not know, and now we should recertify the same batteries for public flight while we know that they don't pass our initial criteria???"

Lest everybody forget, the initial FAA "fix" after TWA800 was simply a minimum fuel requirement for the centre wing tank, despite widespread concern over aspects of the design and certification of the 741/2/3 (heat transfer from air conditioning packs located beneath the tank). The 744s continued to fly despite the design/certification issue and pax did not apparently avoid them. As the NTSB investigation advanced (it took 5+ years), further ADs were issued for inspection and replacement of specific electrical devices and wiring that could potentially be a source of ignition.
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7BOEING7
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:31 pm

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 46):
Lest everybody forget, the initial FAA "fix" after TWA800 was simply a minimum fuel requirement for the centre wing tank, despite widespread concern over aspects of the design and certification of the 741/2/3 (heat transfer from air conditioning packs located beneath the tank). The 744s continued to fly despite the design/certification issue and pax did not apparently avoid them. As the NTSB investigation advanced (it took 5+ years), further ADs were issued for inspection and replacement of specific electrical devices and wiring that could potentially be a source of ignition.

That's true, however considering the extremely small number of events ( 1-747, 2-737 ??) compared to the number of flights the odds of another event were very small. The center wing fuel requirement made the odds even smaller and now every airplane off the line has the tanks inerted. I don't think the 787 will get away that easily.
 
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RayChuang
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:43 pm

My guess (personally!) is that Boeing's ultimate solution is to switch to a dry electrode lithium-ion battery--a newer-style battery design not so prone to battery fires. I wouldn't be surprised that Boeing is funding this research--especially since it will allow the size of lithium-ion battery pack to be smaller, providing even more fuel savings or longer range.
 
gulfstream650
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RE: FAA Grounds 787, Part 10

Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:48 pm

I really don't see how an organization such as the FAA would allow this tempory fix to suffice in order for revenue flights to proceed.

It just simply isn't an acceptable solution in this day and age and you can bet that if there is indeed another incident takes place you can be sure that the media will have a field day and Boeing will suffer.

I understand aviation and the risks but I don't think that I would be comfortable to fly on a 787 until this issue if PROPERLY FIXED. The proposed temporary fix if nothing other than glorified bush mechanics.

If the plane is allowed to fly as Boeing proposes, it will be nothing other than the result of a good 'ol USA back room political play.

Not acceptable.
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