>>The 787 uses Lithium-ion technology for its main and APU batteries. It is the first large commercial aircraft to use this battery technology in a large battery application.
>>Over a span of less than 2 weeks, 2 batteries in two separate 787s experienced thermal runaway events, causing a great deal of heat, smoke and, in the case of a JAL airplane on the ground in BOS, fire in the equipment bay.
>>After the first event, the NTSB opened an investigation and the FAA announced a full review of the 787 design and certification.
>>After the second event, ANA and JAL voluntarily grounded their 787 fleets, with the FAA issuing an AD to ground the US fleet the following day. All other regulators and airlines followed suit, with all 787s now grounded worldwide.
>>The FAA statement on the matter was, in part:
"As a result of an in-flight, Boeing 787 battery incident earlier today in Japan, the FAA will issue an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) to address a potential battery fire risk in the 787 and require operators to temporarily cease operations. Before further flight, operators of U.S.-registered, Boeing 787 aircraft must demonstrate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that the batteries are safe.
The FAA will work with the manufacturer and carriers to develop a corrective action plan to allow the U.S. 787 fleet to resume operations as quickly and safely as possible.
The in-flight Japanese battery incident followed an earlier 787 battery incident that occurred on the ground in Boston on January 7, 2013. The AD is prompted by this second incident involving a lithium ion battery. The battery failures resulted in release of flammable electrolytes, heat damage, and smoke on two Model 787 airplanes. The root cause of these failures is currently under investigation. These conditions, if not corrected, could result in damage to critical systems and structures, and the potential for fire in the electrical compartment.
Last Friday, the FAA announced a comprehensive review of the 787’s critical systems with the possibility of further action pending new data and information. In addition to the continuing review of the aircraft’s design, manufacture and assembly, the agency also will validate that 787 batteries and the battery system on the aircraft are in compliance with the special condition the agency issued as part of the aircraft’s certification."
>>There is a great deal of speculation about what the root cause of these events was and ways Boeing might address them in order to return the aircraft to service.
This thread is for the purpose of discussing the events, the FAA action, the technologies involved, and Boeing's effort to get the aircraft back into service. This thread is not for conspiracy theories, speculation about corruption in the certification process, or other issue not directly related to the events and the technologies involved. If you want to discuss those topics, please join the threads in Civ Av, where your comments will be quite welcomed.
[Edited 2013-01-24 04:48:33 by Wilco737]