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Boeing 787 Dreamliner Again Questioned on Safety

May 28, 2014 | About:
Quick Pen

Quick Pen

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Boeing (BA) launched the 787 Dreamliner back in 2004, which is one of the company’s biggest aircraft manufacturing programs in recent times. The American aerospace giant built the 787 plane right from scratch with huge expectations instead of re-engineering an existing plane. But the 787 Dreamliner witnessed a series of setbacks due to some technical hitches. In fact, the aircraft was grounded for almost three and a half month last year after facing the lithium ion batteries problems.

Assessing the Safety

Presently there are around 140 787 Dreamliners flying across the globe. The aircraft has received high appreciation from passengers who enjoy the ambience, and bigger cabin space with comfortable seats. After the technical snags, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) initiated a review of the plane to ascertain if it was safe to fly.

The administration looked satisfied with the assessment and said that the jet was safely designed. The FAA made seven recommendations to tighten and streamline the process to overcome such oversight. The slips were primarily on account of Boeing’s lack of co-ordination and communication gap with the extended supply chains and overseas suppliers. But after the review, the regulator concluded on the Dreamliner issue saying that the jet complies with the “intended level of design safety.”

Difference of Opinion

However, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has a different take altogether. It doesn’t agree with the FAA and believes further investigation is required. The agency has expressed concerns with respect to the way the safety level of the lithium batteries is tested, and suggests stricter testing.

The board did not have the slightest of hesitation in saying that the entire process of resolving the battery problem, jointly done by the FAA and Boeing, lacks transparency. Testing an entirely new technology on an aircraft warrants rigorous measures and tightened control to ensure highest level of safety. In simple words, NTSB is not satisfied or convinced with the way FAA conducted the investigation concerning the battery overheating issue. It recommends additional testing.

Compressing the Concern

There were two lithium batteries overheating problem that plagued the 787 project last year in January. Although testing was done for thousands of hours to identify the glitch that caused the battery mishap, nothing concrete was discovered to find what caused the battery fire. It’s said that the entire battery incident routed through a short circuit that spread to the entire unit, thereby damaging the battery. But the question, what caused the short circuit, remains unanswered.

After the plane got grounded due to the battery malfunction, Boeing fixed the problem by covering the battery in a protective shield. This was done to ensure that there’s no oxygen supply in the armored box, so that chances of fire are minimized. However, the basic issue of why the short circuit happened is unresolved.

The safety officials made five recommendations for the FAA after assessing the latter’s review. In one of the recommendations, the Board suggested to employ independent experts who could throw some light on the reason of the short circuit and the issue with the new technology. In reply to the recommendation, the FAA said that it already had independent technical specialists and had closely worked with them on this matter.

Departing Thoughts

Both the NTSB and the FAA are closely considering the matter and are studying hard to understand what went wrong. The NTSB has provided the FAA a time period of 90 days to respond to the five recommendations made by the former. The agency expects to present the final report with the findings in the fall. The 787 Dreamliner is one of Boeing’s dream projects. There’s no doubt that building an all-new plane, such as the 787 Dreamliner, absorbs more investment and invites greater complication compared with re-engineered jets. But Boeing is holding hopes high on its dream with confidence to make money out of this project.

About the author:

Quick Pen
A seasonal writer with a Management Degree in Finance and interests in automotive, technology, telecommunication and aerospace sectors.

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Comments

thomas85225
Thomas85225 - 2 months ago

May 22, 2014,

NTSB calls for improved battery testing, certification in wake of Boeing 787 issues

Deborah Hersman, then-chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, speaks during a news conference in Washington, D.C., in February 2013. The top U.S. transportation safety investigator questioned the adequacy of tests that prompted U.S. regulators to allow Boeing Co. to use lithium-ion batteries on the 787 Dreamliner, which was grounded in early 2013.

Advertisement AdvertisementThe National Transportation Safety Boardon Thursday released a set of recommendations it has handed off to theFederal Aviation Administration that call for an improved process to test and certify lithium-ion battery systems on aircraft — a process it says was “inadequate” when those batteries were originally certified for use on the Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner.

The recommendations include developing better testing measures that would be required as part of the certification of future aircraft designs, the re-evaluation of the potential for short circuits on planes already in service, and the inclusion of an independent panel of experts in the certification process for all new technologies being installed on aircraft.

The recommendations stem from the board’s investigation into the lithium-ion battery malfunction that sparked a fire in early 2013 on a 787 that was parked at Boston’s Logan Airport, an incident that was among those that led to the aircraft’s global grounding.

The board is expected to complete its full report on that incident later this year.

The NTSB’s full statement on its safety recommendations to the FAA can be foundon the board’s

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Special Conditions: Boeing Model 787–8 Airplane - ...

www.ntsb.gov/investigations/.../FAA_Special_Conditions_LIB.pdf - Similarto Special Conditions: Boeing Model 787–8 Airplane - ...

Nov 13, 2007 ... Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final special conditions. SUMMARY: These special conditions are issued for the Boeing Model 787–8.

===================================================================

Boeing redesigns 787-8 battery but the battery continues to have problems,

July 2013 saw several 787 where still having problems in many systems

Dreamliner a timeline of problems

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/10207415/Boeing-787-Dreamliner-a-timeline-of-problems.html

This design battery design does not have any coolant air for the battery or any type of sensors on the battery that could alert the flight crew of any type of problems

The 787-8 aircraft electrical circuit breakers are not tripping that are design to prevent electrical system from overloading.

The cost of the 787 battery is $1600.00 and the weighs is 68 pounds

Placing lithium-ion batteries in a box is not a fix since there is NO Fire Extinguisher that can put out a Lithium-ion batteries fire on board an aircraft! See the crash of UPS flight 6 a 747-400F that was carrying ion battery

======================================================================

Lithium-ion battery

The cell's energy is equal to the voltage times the charge. Each gram of lithium represents Faraday's constant/6.941 or 13,901 coulombs. At 3 V, this gives 41.7 kJ per gram of lithium, or 11.6 kWh per kg. This is a bit more than the heat of combustion of gasoline, but does not consider the other materials that go into a lithium battery and that make lithium batteries many times heavier per unit of energy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery

Where is all the instrumentation on the batteries at !

and placing the batteries s inside a box is not

==========================================

Boeing Faulted by Norwegian Air on 787 Short Circuit

Boeing Co. (BA) engineers lacked the expertise needed to diagnose a fault on a 787 Dreamliner, causing them to short-circuit the marquee plane and leave its passengers stranded, operator Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS) ASA said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-16/boeing-faulted-by-norwegian-air-on-787-short-circuit.html

thomas85225
Thomas85225 - 2 months ago

May 22, 2014,

NTSB calls for improved battery testing, certification in wake of Boeing 787 issues

Deborah Hersman, then-chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, speaks during a news conference in Washington, D.C., in February 2013. The top U.S. transportation safety investigator questioned the adequacy of tests that prompted U.S. regulators to allow Boeing Co. to use lithium-ion batteries on the 787 Dreamliner, which was grounded in early 2013.

Advertisement AdvertisementThe National Transportation Safety Boardon Thursday released a set of recommendations it has handed off to theFederal Aviation Administration that call for an improved process to test and certify lithium-ion battery systems on aircraft — a process it says was “inadequate” when those batteries were originally certified for use on the Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner.

The recommendations include developing better testing measures that would be required as part of the certification of future aircraft designs, the re-evaluation of the potential for short circuits on planes already in service, and the inclusion of an independent panel of experts in the certification process for all new technologies being installed on aircraft.

The recommendations stem from the board’s investigation into the lithium-ion battery malfunction that sparked a fire in early 2013 on a 787 that was parked at Boston’s Logan Airport, an incident that was among those that led to the aircraft’s global grounding.

The board is expected to complete its full report on that incident later this year.

The NTSB’s full statement on its safety recommendations to the FAA can be foundon the board’s

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Special Conditions: Boeing Model 787–8 Airplane - ...

www.ntsb.gov/investigations/.../FAA_Special_Conditions_LIB.pdf - Similarto Special Conditions: Boeing Model 787–8 Airplane - ...

Nov 13, 2007 ... Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final special conditions. SUMMARY: These special conditions are issued for the Boeing Model 787–8.

===================================================================

Boeing redesigns 787-8 battery but the battery continues to have problems,

July 2013 saw several 787 where still having problems in many systems

Dreamliner a timeline of problems

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/10207415/Boeing-787-Dreamliner-a-timeline-of-problems.html

This design battery design does not have any coolant air for the battery or any type of sensors on the battery that could alert the flight crew of any type of problems

The 787-8 aircraft electrical circuit breakers are not tripping that are design to prevent electrical system from overloading.

The cost of the 787 battery is $1600.00 and the weighs is 68 pounds

Placing lithium-ion batteries in a box is not a fix since there is NO Fire Extinguisher that can put out a Lithium-ion batteries fire on board an aircraft! See the crash of UPS flight 6 a 747-400F that was carrying ion battery

======================================================================

Lithium-ion battery

The cell's energy is equal to the voltage times the charge. Each gram of lithium represents Faraday's constant/6.941 or 13,901 coulombs. At 3 V, this gives 41.7 kJ per gram of lithium, or 11.6 kWh per kg. This is a bit more than the heat of combustion of gasoline, but does not consider the other materials that go into a lithium battery and that make lithium batteries many times heavier per unit of energy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery

Where is all the instrumentation on the batteries at !

and placing the batteries s inside a box is not

==========================================

Boeing Faulted by Norwegian Air on 787 Short Circuit

Boeing Co. (BA) engineers lacked the expertise needed to diagnose a fault on a 787 Dreamliner, causing them to short-circuit the marquee plane and leave its passengers stranded, operator Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS) ASA said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-16/boeing-faulted-by-norwegian-air-on-787-short-circuit.html

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