Boeing Tries Battery Fix to Get Dreamliners Airborne
FAA allows one 787 to fly for one trip
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2013 9:28 AM CST
A line of Boeing 787 jets are parked nose-to-tail at Paine Field Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, in Everett, Wash.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

(Newser) – Boeing is hoping changes to its controversial lithium-ion batteries will get the FAA to lift the grounding order on the 787 Dreamliner, at least until it figures out a longer-term fix, reports the Wall Street Journal. American and Japanese regulators will have to accept Boeing's modifications—and the Journal notes it's not clear they would—which would include increasing spacing between battery cells, adding heat sensors, and stiffening the cells to prevent them from shifting. The FAA is also considering allowing Boeing to resume test flights so the company can better examine the battery problems.

As Boeing works on its 787 problems, the FAA gave its approval yesterday to allow one 787 to fly again—just to get it from a Fort Worth painting plant back to Boeing's Seattle plant, notes the New York Times. It's a one-time-only exception, and the plane will only fly a crew, no passengers.

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Showing 3 of 12 comments
boxcar
Feb 10, 2013 3:03 PM CST
Engr'g curriculum teaches a "Bathtub-Shaped Failure Rate Curve" for ANY mass-production process where after initial manufacture, a certain percentage of new products will experience a high failure rate- This is the reason for Warrenty periods after which there is a subsidence of failures and a fairly long life until wear & tear begins to take its toll. Much of engr'g labor is spent in reduction of minor design glitches to ensure NO failures Often subsystems from low bidders lead to minor failures because to be low bidder, you cut labor corners. Once at IR Ind. I was tasked with redesign of a cal-flag return spring which had to operate w/in torque capacity of a motor driver. Out of 1000 units 25 would fail. Only allocated 1day to do it, lost my job because it took 2 days to redesian it- but guess what- their cal flag problem disappeared, but so did my job- that's our USAway
Imhotep
Feb 10, 2013 9:00 AM CST
Put new batteries inside a refrigerated box , change the name to the 788 , and call it a day.
JoeQ
Feb 7, 2013 12:25 PM CST
Adding a heat sensor goes against the whole KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid), but hey. It'd be nicer if they got to the root cause of the failure ... vibration? ... mechanical shocks? ... manufacturing flaws? ... overcharging?