Boeing Plans to Redesign Dreamliner's Battery
But regulators likely to be wary this time
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Feb 22, 2013 10:34 AM CST
A Boeing 787 sits on the tarmac at Haneda airport in Tokyo.   (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)

(Newser) – Boeing executives will head to Washington today to try to convince the FAA that it has figured out how to make its 787 Dreamliner safe to fly again. The planes have been grounded ever since a fire and other incidents that are believed to have been caused by overheating lithium-ion batteries. So Boeing is proposing a redesign of the batteries that will insulate their cells, CNBC reports. It would also put each battery in a fire-proof, ventilated compartment so that if a fire did start, it wouldn't spread.

Even if the FAA goes along with the plan, expect it to require more rigorous testing than it did the first time around, experts tell NPR. The fires have already put the agency under scrutiny. "It does sort of put Boeing and the FAA in a tight corner," one aviation consultant says. "They have to be very conservative, but be realistic, in that new technologies often have issues that aren't anticipated." April is likely the earliest the planes could possibly be returned to the skies.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Boeing Plans to Redesign Dreamliner's Battery is...
9%
66%
3%
3%
3%
16%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 11 comments
RidersOnTheStorm
Feb 22, 2013 1:30 PM CST
Since Boeing are proposing to have contained fires on planes, they should go all out and be done with it ..........................put in a fuckin' fireplace and a chimney and improve the ambience for travellers.
RidersOnTheStorm
Feb 22, 2013 1:12 PM CST
the Boston fire was started by a short circuit in a single battery cell but nobody knows the root cause of what caused that short. Boeing have the thick neck to say it's a 'permanent fix' to put in place a containment box for a fire in the battery area of a commercial passenger jet. Good luck with that ....................... FFS it beggars belief. In the absence of understanding why the fires occurred and determining how to eliminate them, this is nothing but a quick and dirty band-aid being applied without knowing how deep the wound really is, nor any attempt to prevent the infection of unknown origin from spreading. The only way that this could be called a "fix" is in the same vernacular as a boxing match when it is noted "The fix is in!"
wei2szu
Feb 22, 2013 10:58 AM CST
"It does sort of put Boeing and the FAA in a tight corner," one aviation consultant says. "They have to be very conservative, but be realistic, in that new technologies often have issues that aren't anticipated." What? They have thousands of engineers, and they can't fix a battery problem? Boeing must be outsourcing to France, and their 3 hour workday. I really can't believe with all the brainpower that they have, they can't figure out a simple battery issue. Unbelievable. I think there is a lot more to this story, like maybe that battery issue is frying their computer systems.