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ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:46 am

Hello All,

The previous thread has gotten quite large so Part 4 is being created in order to further the conversation.

Part 3 can be found here ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3 (by moderators Jul 12 2013 in Civil Aviation)

Please remember the Airliners.net forum rules when posting. Posts found in violation of the rules will be removed.

Regards,

The Moderator Crew
Please use moderators@airliners.net to contact us.
 
tortugamon
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:05 am

Spacecadet, If the air conditioning unit was sparking and ET did not do anything about it then maybe fault will be shared between multiple parties. All I am saying is that I am withholding judgement until the info comes in.

tortugamon
 
Emission
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:19 am

I don't know if it means anything, but United just changed the equipment on tonight's Flight #135 (IAH-LAX) from a 787 to a 777... without explanation.

- Mike
 
skipness1E
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:25 am

Has ET-AOP been moved into the old BMI hangar with BA? It's not on the 590s anymore and that was the only hangar that was suspiciously closed on the hottest day of the year!
 
BestWestern
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:07 am

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 1):
Spacecadet, If the air conditioning unit was sparking and ET did not do anything about it then maybe fault will be shared between multiple parties. All I am saying is that I am withholding judgement until the info comes in.

Lets get real here. You see sparks on an aircraft, and you call the fire service. Someone did...

Quoting Emission (Reply 2):
United just changed the equipment on tonight's Flight #135 (IAH-LAX) from a 787 to a 777... without explanation.

Probably an unscheduled aircraft mx issue.
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
CX747
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:28 am

Seems that Ethiopian is not grounding any of their other 787s and will continue to operate scheduled services with their Dreamliners.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23298349
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
PHX787
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:37 am

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 4):
Lets get real here. You see sparks on an aircraft, and you call the fire service. Someone did...

Ok let me repeat myself too- the issue I see is that a fire happened, so any reporting on this frame happened too late. Or the reports fell on deaf ears, which I hardly believe, since anything related to the 787 would probably get immediate attention.
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Curiousflyer
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:40 am

Is it a hull loss?

First 787 hull los?
 
CO953
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:45 am

As a "noob" who is trying to ask intelligent questions but doesn't have a lot of specific knowledge of CFRP, there's something I hope some of you vets could discuss for me:

I have seen discussion of repair vs. write-off.

I am an expert auto mechanic specializing in restoring vintage cars, including inventing fixes for all sorts of failure modes. So I am trying to contribute some "outside" perspective to airliners.net from someone who doesn't know airplane specifics but likes to solve mechanicalproblems.

My reaction is that the location of the burn, near the empennage, means that any repair would have to be done so as to have no question whatsoever about the strength of the fuselage in that area.

I know that metal can weaken and de-temper from heat. Can anyone here tell me the rubric for replacing the carbon-fiber sections? Is there a specific temperature that cannot be exceeded before it loses its strength or ductility?

The combination of having to replace complicated wiring, etc., and splice in new CFRP, would make me so leery of getting on the particular frame for the rest of its service life, depending on how well developed Boeing's repair plans were.

I said it two threads back, and I'll say it again (though as a "noob") - maybe Boeing should buy this frame back and use it as a test bed for CFRP repairs? Fix it - fly the heck out of it- then burn another section - fix it, fly the heck out of it, etc.

The only reason I say this is that I think it's easy to forget how revolutionary the use of the CFRP is. Boeing really does need to have a great handle on it. If the repair of a cracked rear bulkhead on a 747 can be botched at some point in the history of the 747... at some point, won't it be possible to botch a 787 CFRP repair? Shouldn't a gold-standard repair procedure be nailed down now?

Discretion is the better part of valor and though I'm ignorant of the inner workings of aviation manufacturers, as a "noob" Boeing boss I'd forget the PR and either buy this one back or take one of the spares and burn it up, repair it, and do a bunch of test flights to try to discover any performance problems at the repair area - specifically due to the heat damage to the CFRP and leaving aside whatever caused it. Confidence needs to be built in many areas.

Just one person's opinion, and I am trying to add to the discussion, so my intentions are good.

[Edited 2013-07-13 19:48:53]

[Edited 2013-07-13 19:51:26]

[Edited 2013-07-13 19:55:12]
 
spacecadet
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:30 am

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 1):
Spacecadet, If the air conditioning unit was sparking and ET did not do anything about it then maybe fault will be shared between multiple parties.

My point is that wouldn't be a maintenance issue, that would be a defect with the aircraft. The only part of an A/C system that should need to be changed after six months would possibly be the filters.

If ET saw sparks and did nothing, then yes, that would be negligence on their part, but I would not call it "poor maintenance". Failure to take action on a known and visible defect that could affect flight safety is arguably even worse than failing to properly maintain an aircraft, but it's not the same thing.

At a bare minimum, the distinction would explain why their other 787's are still flying. Poor maintenance is never only constrained to one airframe. But also, I would argue (and you seem to agree) that failure to take action on a defect would mean shared blame, whereas poor maintenance would be *all* ET's fault.
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woodsboy
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:41 am

ET does not have a history of poor mx, quite the opposite. This particular plane is more or less (more) brand new.
 
PITingres
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:42 am

Quoting CO953 (Reply 8):
maybe Boeing should buy this frame back and use it as a test bed for CFRP repairs?

You can be assured that Boeing (and Airbus) is well aware of how to perform CFRP repairs.

CRFP is nothing new, nor particularly revolutionary. Large chunks of airframes have been made from CFRP before and repair is hardly a mystery. It's not like a bunch of engineers woke up one day and said "CFRP sounds like a cool thing, let's use it." The 787 has more of it, but the repair principles remain the same as always.
Fly, you fools! Fly!
 
WingedMigrator
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:54 am

Quoting curiousflyer (Reply 7):
Is it a hull loss?

Most likely yes. For the skin to burn through in some places, a far larger area inside the crown will have suffered thermal stress, something that doesn't do any favors to the 'P' in CFRP.
 
n471wn
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:13 am

Quoting WingedMigrator (Reply 12):
Most likely yes. For the skin to burn through in some places, a far larger area inside the crown will have suffered thermal stress, something that doesn't do any favors to the 'P' in CFRP.

I say most likely "no' for all the reasons I have already cited
 
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zeke
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:57 am

Quoting WingedMigrator (Reply 12):
Most likely yes. For the skin to burn through in some places, a far larger area inside the crown will have suffered thermal stress, something that doesn't do any favors to the 'P' in CFRP.

Even if they cannot replace the barrel section that was damaged, it would not be a hull loss as it was not during service.

Events like this that happen while on the ground, during maintenance, during non revenue operations like flight testing etc do not count as hull losses.
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
RedChili
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:30 am

Just to add some concrete information to the discussion: The following image is the seat map which is posted on the wall inside the airplane with the emergency equipments layout:



This is a detail showing the area in question:



I don't know how much it ads to the discussion but:

1. It basically confirms that the SeatGuru seat map shared earlier is correct (sometimes the SeatGuru maps can be way off).

2. There's no mention of a crew rest anywhere, implying that the information about no crew rest on the ET 788 is correct.
Top 10 airplanes: B737, T154, B747, IL96, T134, IL62, A320, MD80, B757, DC10
 
RedChili
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:41 am

And here's a picture of the starboard side of the plane, from row 36.



It basically shows that row 35 is missing a window in the general area where the fire seems to have occured judging by visible damage on the fuselage. I don't know what's in that area where the missing window is, or whether this has anything to do with the fire at all.
Top 10 airplanes: B737, T154, B747, IL96, T134, IL62, A320, MD80, B757, DC10
 
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seahawk
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:17 am

There are 3 questions at the moment.

Where did the fire start?
What did cause the fire?
Why was it able to spread?

All 3 need to be answered.

Most interesting thing will be to see if the hull can be repaired. Considering that Carbon FRP already loses 20% of its strength when being heated to over 200-205°C, they might need to replace the whole rear fuselage.

http://archive.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/ibp/irc/ctus/ctus-n74.html (for info on the temp. effects on CFRP)

[Edited 2013-07-14 00:58:09]
 
JRenavitz
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:32 am

Quoting seahawk (Reply 17):
There are 3 questions at the moment.

Where did the fire start?
What did the fire cause?
Why was it able to spread?

All 3 need to be answered.

Why did it start as a 4th question?
 
slinky09
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:43 am

Quoting zeke (Reply 14):
Even if they cannot replace the barrel section that was damaged, it would not be a hull loss as it was not during service.

If it is not a hull loss, what would it be?
 
PlanesNTrains
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:59 am

Quoting slinky09 (Reply 19):
If it is not a hull loss, what would it be?

A write off?

-Dave
-Dave
 
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zeke
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:01 am

Quoting slinky09 (Reply 19):
If it is not a hull loss, what would it be?

As the aircraft was not involved in passenger operations at the time, information to date suggests it was sitting empty for almost 8 hours at a remote stand. The insurance terms of substantial damage or total loss would come into play.

For such an event to count towards the aircraft safety record, it would need to have been involved in private or commercial activity. Maintenance, test flights, hijackings, stowaways, acts of war etc are not covered by the aircraft accident statistics.
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
sankaps
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:06 am

It is interesting that some a.netters are willing to cast aspersions on ET's maintenance practices as a possible cause of the fire (never mind that the rest of their fleet does not appear to suffer from mystery fires that burn through the fuselage roof), while at the same time castigating others for "speculating".

I guess it is okay to speculate on anything other than the 787 possibly having more unknown electrical problems then?
 
PlanesNTrains
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:27 am

Quoting sankaps (Reply 22):
I guess it is okay to speculate on anything other than the 787 possibly having more unknown electrical problems then?

I guess what's good for the goose is good for the gander.   Personally, I anxiously await more official information. Coffee pots, crack pots, crock pots, burning pot - all interesting diversions, but the reality is that the 787 program made it's' bed and now it has to lay in it. It's frustrating reading the extreme posts on both sides of the equation, but regardless of what we might want to be the outcome here, it will be what it will be.

Let's just hope that we find out soon.

-Dave
-Dave
 
lhrnue
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:29 am

Quoting seahawk (Reply 17):
There are 3 questions at the moment.

Where did the fire start?
What did cause the fire?
Why was it able to spread?

All 3 need to be answered.

Much less important, but I would like to know in addition:
Who or what detected the fire, within an empty parked aircraft.
Was the 787 parked with all doors open for ventilation, or did the firecrew open all doors.
 
ComeAndGo
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:30 am

Quoting sankaps (Reply 22):
It is interesting that some a.netters are willing to cast aspersions on ET's maintenance practices as a possible cause of the fire

In the first electrical fire it was the Italian partner Alenia that was castigated by A.netters for supposedly leaving behind a "Hammer" in the electronics bay and causing the FOD. How come not Boeing tools?
 
hotplane
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:34 am

Quoting lhrnue (Reply 24):
Was the 787 parked with all doors open for ventilation, or did the firecrew open all doors.

Doors are usually left shut, even during the summer.
?
 
sankaps
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:37 am

Quoting hotplane (Reply 26):

Hotplane, I really got a chuckle (given your username) out of the fact you broke the news of this aircraft fire on a.net!  
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:56 am

If the fire damage is aft of the join between the fuselage and the tail section which it may well be, is it feasible to replace the entire tail section ?
 
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PW100
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:56 am

Quoting zeke (Reply 21):
As the aircraft was not involved in passenger operations at the time, information to date suggests it was sitting empty for almost 8 hours at a remote stand. The insurance terms of substantial damage or total loss would come into play.

For such an event to count towards the aircraft safety record, it would need to have been involved in private or commercial activity. Maintenance, test flights, hijackings, stowaways, acts of war etc are not covered by the aircraft accident statistics

While I understand where you are coming from, sites like Aviation Safety.net do list ALL hull losses, including terrorist events, hangar fires etc. Now, by no means I'm suggesting that these are authoritive sources, and obviously they don't always observe international standards and definitions, but it is what it is, and most laymen, or even semi-professionals recognize them. And I think this is what the poster may have meant.

Also, if an electrical short or whatever happened, the event may very well be charged towards the plane itself, rather than an outside event (like sabotage). After all, it would not be very far fetched that an modern airplane should be designed in such a way that it will not automatically catch fire when parked, and endanger the lives of passengers boarding an airplane at an adjacently gate (not saying it was).

PW100
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BestWestern
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:44 am

Quoting sankaps (Reply 22):

It is interesting that some a.netters are willing to cast aspersions on ET's maintenance practices as a possible cause of the fire

It is an attempt to deflect blame from Boeing by some. Even down to claiming to have seen official emails from boeing...etc. As i said earlier, these are more comical as the other side, as their reasons are purely farcial.

The only non PR statement comes from the airline country manager....
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
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Finn350
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:49 am

Here is a quick summary of the few available facts thus far:

1. ET700 12 July 2013 from Addis Abada Bole Int'l (ADD), scheduled departure 03:30 AM EAT to London Heathrow (LHR), scheduled arrival 08:26 AM BST (source: FlightAware. For some reason, FlightAware does not show actual departure and arrival times for July 12)

3. ET-AOP landed at Heathrow on 12 July 2013 after normal flight from ADD to LON. Passengers were disembarked in the morning and aircraft was cleaned. It was towed to a remote parking area as usual and parked properly with all internal and external powers switched off. After more than 8 hours smoke was detected. The incident is still under investigation. (source: Ethiopian Airlines Facebook posting)

4. At approximately 1550 hrs UTC (16:50 BST) on 12 July 2013 a Boeing 787-8 of Ethiopian Airlines, registration ET-AOP, suffered an event at London Heathrow whilst the aircraft was parked on stand, with no persons on board. The initial witness and physical evidence shows that this event resulted in smoke throughout the fuselage and extensive heat damage in the upper portion of the rear fuselage. The aircraft is currently located in a hangar at London Heathrow. There has been extensive heat damage in the upper portion of the rear fuselage, a complex part of the aircraft, and the initial investigation is likely to take several days. However, it is clear that this heat damage is remote from the area in which the aircraft main and APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) batteries are located, and, at this stage, there is no evidence of a direct causal relationship. (source: AAIB press release)

5. Ethiopian 787 was on FEGP (Fixed Electrical Ground Power). Aft 787 ceiling: Remote Data Concentrators (RDCs) & Remote Power Distribution Units (RPDUs). Galley nearby.Boeing reviewing systems in that area of 787 that remain powered by GPU. (source: Jon Ostrower Twitter postings)

ET says that "all internal and external power switched off" were as Jon Ostrower says that the aircraft was connected to ground power. This is the only discrepancy among the facts above.

AAIB says that there were no persons on board. This would imply that the fire was detected externally.
 
CaptainKramer
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:19 am

RedChili, originally I believe a window was meant to be where the missing window is, in that Boeing had placed a window specifically where the fuselage join between the mid and rear tail section is made, (edit : just checked photo and I think it was mean't to be two windows are removed either side of the join) but it was decided to remove the windows, presumably to remove any potential weak point, such placement of a window would present. Happy to be corrected if this explanation is wrong.

Also if Boeing, Ethiopion and the Insurers decide a repair is viable (but a hugely expensive option) and the splicing or layering of a new composite crown section is not viable then the section depicted in your photo, will be where the old tail section will be removed and the new tail section will be bolted on.

Question for those in the know, if a new tail section could be instaled and given that all barrels are now pre-stuffed including the electrical wiring and pipes etc, then pesumably the job isn't as daunting as it sounds apart from the jigs not being in place, which Airbus has shown with the repair of the Qantas A380 in Singapore can be flown in to carry out the repair.

Thanks in advance.

[Edited 2013-07-14 03:26:17]

[Edited 2013-07-14 03:34:20]

[Edited 2013-07-14 03:47:07]
 
hotplane
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:28 am

Quoting sankaps (Reply 27):
Hotplane, I really got a chuckle (given your username) out of the fact you broke the news of this aircraft fire on a.net!

Realized that myself yesterday! Quite like the flames coming from the little thread logo as well !
?
 
goosebayguy
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:42 am

I think any claim about poor maintenance by ET is complete twaddle. When RY buy their planes they have a 5 year complete maintenance programme by Boeing. I'm certain ET will have the same or similar. I doubt very much it has needed a first service even!
 
na
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:43 am

The one thing I hope for is that the fire is not aircraft type related.

Quoting RedChili (Reply 16):
It basically shows that row 35 is missing a window in the general area where the fire seems to have occured judging by visible damage on the fuselage.

I have always wondered why the 787 doenst have a window there. Its a very odd position for a strenghtening bar or similar. All other planes only have that above the wings where its somewhat logical.
 
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Stitch
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:14 pm

Quoting na (Reply 35):
I have always wondered why the 787 doenst have a window there.

I believe that is the join between Sections 47 and 48.
 
BoeingVista
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:16 pm

Quoting na (Reply 35):
I have always wondered why the 787 doenst have a window there. Its a very odd position for a strenghtening bar or similar. All other planes only have that above the wings where its somewhat logical.

Barrel join..
BV
 
dougbr2006
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:50 pm

Quoting RedChili (Reply 16):
It basically shows that row 35 is missing a window in the general area where the fire seems to have occured judging by visible damage on the fuselage. I don't know what's in that area where the missing window is, or whether this has anything to do with the fire at all.
Quoting Stitch (Reply 36):
I believe that is the join between Sections 47 and 48.

The rear section of the 787 is made up of three parts the tail cone section, then section 47 & 48 which are joined in front of where the window is missing. Therefore it is safe to assume that Stitch is right with his post.
 
mcdu
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:15 pm

Quoting sankaps (Reply 22):
I guess it is okay to speculate on anything other than the 787 possibly having more unknown electrical problems then?

Well said. There is a great amount of denial regarding potential issues with the plane itself.
 
RickNRoll
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:21 pm

Given the little information that has come out so far, Boeing knows what happened, but they aren't saying, the plane is still flying, so the airlines and authorities know what happened but aren't saying much that is public, which leaves the cause as something that is going to embaress the owners of the plane. Boeing isn't going to out them, that wouldn't be good PR for a customer.
 
sankaps
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:34 pm

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 40):
so the airlines and authorities know what happened but aren't saying much that is public, which leaves the cause as something that is going to embaress the owners of the plane

Not necessary. They may still be trying to figure out what caused it. Groundings are not announced lightly for what might be a one-off. There were three incidents within 9 days prior to the Jan 16 grounding.

[Edited 2013-07-14 06:35:06]
 
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par13del
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:41 pm

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 40):
Given the little information that has come out so far, Boeing knows what happened, but they aren't saying, the plane is still flying, so the airlines and authorities know what happened but aren't saying much that is public, which leaves the cause as something that is going to embaress the owners of the plane.

You do realize the massive implications if a grounding is recommended by the authorities, they have to ensure that all their ducks are lined up in a row.
I say give it until Monday or mid-week for additional information, it is good that no leaks have yet been seen or heard.
 
glbltrvlr
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:49 pm

Quoting sankaps (Reply 41):
They may still be trying to figure out what caused it.

I suspect AAIB and Boeing knew what caused the problem within hours of the event. The thing that takes a long time is following the causal chain back to why it happened and how it can be prevented in the future. There's no point in releasing what happened if you can't answer the followup questions.
 
glbltrvlr
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:13 pm

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 40):
the plane is still flying, so the airlines and authorities know what happened but aren't saying

Exactly. Although I would qualify it slightly. The people who actually know what happened at this point is a very small group. It would be safe to assume that if there was a systemic problem with the aircraft, all the 787 operators would have received a flash notice from Boeing and it would have leaked out.
 
mcdu
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:15 pm

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 40):
which leaves the cause as something that is going to embaress the owners of the plane. Boeing isn't going to out them, that wouldn't be good PR for a customer.

It would be worse for Boeing to have no announcement as to the cause than to "out" an airline or someone. They are already have a an unknown cause for the battery fires. All they did was develop a containment box for the next event. There are too many question marks looming over this airplane for Boeing to not divulge the reason for the fire. They need something positive to spin from a melting 787. That is much more important to them at this point. Also, you seem to imply the AAIB will be covering up the cause if it ISN'T the airplanes fault. I don't think they would ever consider doing such a thing.
 
packsonflight
Posts: 324
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:55 pm

RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:18 pm

Quoting sankaps (Reply 41):
Not necessary. They may still be trying to figure out what caused it. Groundings are not announced lightly for what might be a one-off. There were three incidents within 9 days prior to the Jan 16 grounding.

We can assume that if some foreign object like laptop or cellphone caused the fire we would have heard about that in the press release yesterday, so the fault must be the aircraft systems.

The 787 has three kind of electrical power. Conventional 28V DC and 400Hz 115V AC. The third kind is the system that compensates the conventional bleed system, the variable frequency AC.
If the aircraft is only powered by ground power, I guess that the variable freq AC system is not powered. On the other hand, if the APU was running that system would must likely be powered, any thoughts? I am only bringing this up because of number of reports about problem with this system.
 
airmad
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 5:58 pm

RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:19 pm

Regarding circuit breaker protection of cabling and the assumption that breakers should clear the fault (overload or short circuit).

There are some items on land which have cables not fully protected. For example sprinkler pumps have no overloads in the circuit to ensure that the pump continues to run even to destruction. Pure speculation on my part as I know next to nothing about aircraft electrical design, but the DC bus being the power of last resort on the aircraft would appear to me to be a ripe candidate for such a circuit. If so all energy source connections to the DC bus would not be protected, APU generator, batteries, RAT, maybe even the engine generators.

Did an electrical fault occur on a circuit that featured no overload/short circuit protection? Hence the DC bus continued to feed the fault causing a fire.

This speculative scenario would not be unique to the 787.

Does anybody on here have any actual details of the DC bus electrical architecture?
 
sunrisevalley
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Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:26 am

RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:24 pm

Quoting packsonflight (Reply 46):
The 787 has three kind of electrical power. Conventional 28V DC and 400Hz 115V AC. The third kind is the system that compensates the conventional bleed system, the variable frequency AC.
If the aircraft is only powered by ground power, I guess that the variable freq AC system is not powered. On the other hand, if the APU was running that system would must likely be powered, any thoughts

Did I misunderstand that all electric power was shut off... period. Or is this simply not possible since some power is needed at all times ??
 
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sassiciai
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Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:26 pm

RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 4

Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:41 pm

I would be very surprised if an aircraft shut down by its crew had its APU powered on! Who would leave an aircraft (or even your own car) parked like that? I would be amazed to learn that the APU was on (it had been parked for at least 8 hours)

Batteries - we are surrounded by 20th century products stuffed with batteries. My own camera has a battery pack of 4 AA batteries that I need to keep charged. But underneath the battery housing, there is a 5th battery (of a different type to the other 4) that powers that function of the camera that remembers the date and time, even when the 4 AAs are out. or the camera is off! Ditto computers! Ditto cars. Ditto ............!

Something on the 787 is still powered by battery even when "everything" is switched off! So there are charged batteries on-board that are active all the time
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