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Dreamliner problems

Discussion in 'Jet Aviation Discussion' started by aviator4512, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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    Japan Airlines (JAL) had to divert two Boeing 787 aircraft bound for Tokyo back to their departure airports on 9 October because of different technical issues encountered after take-off. The first aircraft, registration JA832J, had to return to Moscow's Domodedovo International airport when pilots discovered a failure in the aircraft's electrical system after take-off. The failure affected power to the aircraft's lavatories and galleys, says a JAL spokesman. The other jet, registration JA825J, turned back to San Diego when an alert indicating failure in the right engine's anti-ice system was activated.
  2. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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  3. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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  4. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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  5. gogglezon

    gogglezon Member

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    Seeing reports the aircraft is also not more fuel-efficient, per-seat per-sector, than existing comparable models, so what's the new 'efficiency' design and dodgy tech? The aircraft's been in service (partial) for a couple of years, but I don't see Boeing correcting the record. Dare they?

    The other point is, batteries get hot and suffer thermal runaway when they are excessively stressed, plus poorly cooled, between their draw and recharge cycles.

    Q: Why are batteries getting heat stressed?

    A: Too much draw due relying on batteries to buffer insufficient peak-power provision from the generators at peak load times.

    Q: Couldn't that be circumvented via higher generating capacity, to draw less buffer power from the batteries, at peak load times?

    A: Yes.

    Q: ... ?

    A: ... well ... higher generating capacity equates to higher fuel burn.



    Is it that simple?
  6. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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    Japan's ANA, which operates the world's biggest fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners, said it had to replace a main battery charger on one of the jets after maintenance crews detected a possible fault. The problem was discovered during routine maintenance of the aircraft on Saturday, with a replacement charger installed the next day, a company spokesman said. ANA, which operates 23 787s, sent the faulty charger to maker Thales in France.

    The 787 has two large lithium-ion batteries that provide backup power to aircraft systems. The meltdown of two of those batteries, one on an ANA flight in Japan and one on a Japan Airlines jet in Boston, prompted aviation authorities to ground the 787 fleet for more than three months. While minor faults are not uncommon with aircraft, aviation industry watchers nonetheless remain sensitive to any new problems with the 787, particularly any related to the batteries. After the earlier battery incidents, Boeing redesigned the power pack and charger system, adding insulation and a steel box to contain any further meltdowns and a vent to eject any smoke outside the aircraft. investigators in the United States and Japan have yet to discover the cause of the overheating.

    (Reuters)
  7. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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  8. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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  9. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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    An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 has made its first flight since suffering structural damage in a fire at London’s Heathrow Airport in July.

    Boeing test pilots took ET-AOP on a test flight from Heathrow on December 21, flying racetrack patterns over the North Sea at 39,000 ft. The aircraft was due to land at Manston Airport in the afternoon and then return to Heathrow later in the day. It is not clear whether more flights will be required, but Boeing is hopeful of returning the aircraft to passenger operations in the coming weeks.
  10. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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  11. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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    The US National Transportation Safety Board said on Wednesday that investigative work on a battery fire aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner in January 2013 would be completed by the end of March. The agency gave no indications about the cause of the fire and said its final report on the incident at Boston's Logan Airport would be presented at a public meeting in Washington later in the year. Members of the investigative team have been working for months in the United States, Japan, France, and Taiwan in their study of the 787 battery and charging system.

    Regulators grounded the global fleet of Boeing 787s for 3-1/2 months after the January 7, 2013, incident at the Boston airport and a second battery incident on an All Nippon Airways flight in Japan several days later that prompted an emergency landing and evacuation. The Boston fire was discovered by a mechanic who was performing a routine post-flight inspection and was the only person aboard at the time. Fire fighters responded and contained the blaze. Crew aboard the ANA flight reported smelling smoke, but the incident was never officially ruled a fire. The NTSB investigation only covers the Boston fire, though the US agency has assisted Japan's Transport Safety Board with its investigation.

    United Airlines and Qatar Airways both had electrical trouble on 787s before the Boston fire and another Japan Airlines Dreamliner experienced fuel leaks. The US Federal Aviation Administration launched a wide-ranging review of the 787's design, manufacturing and assembly after the Boston fire. Meanwhile, Boeing overhauled the battery system, adding a steel box to contain any future fires and a venting system to expel fumes outside the jet. In April, the FAA approved the revamped battery system and Boeing began making repairs to the 50 787s in service around the world. Since then, the global fleet has grown to 100, as Boeing has stepped up deliveries to customers.

    (Reuters)
  12. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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    Investigators in Japan are studying x-ray images of a lithium-ion battery from when it left the factory, hoping these may shed some light on why it appeared to overheat on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner earlier this week. They will be looking for possible anomalies in the battery, which was made by Japanese firm GS Yuasa, and hope this could also help them resolve two similar battery incidents on separate 787s a year ago.

    The battery damaged on a Japan Airlines 787 this week could provide more clues to investigators if it has survived in better condition than the ones scorched in incidents on a JAL 787 in Boston last year and an ANA 787 in Japan a few days later. GS Yuasa scans the eight-cell batteries with an x-ray-like system before they are shipped, and the images are checked for a list of potential problems to ensure the batteries are not flawed, said John Goglia, a former National Transportation Safety Board member. Those images will be used as a basis for looking for other problems that could have caused the batteries issues.

    "They'll now go back and examine those to see if there's anything they missed," Goglia said. GS Yuasa declined to comment on whether it was looking at x-rays of the battery cells. JAL took the 787, one of 13 in its fleet, out of service on Tuesday after workers preparing the plane for flight spotted white smoke outside the aircraft. Warning lights indicated a fault with the battery and its charger, which engineers later found had leaked liquid from one cell. No passengers were aboard, but the incident has reignited concerns over the 787's safety and reliability. Batteries are now housed in a redesigned metal containment box, with insulated separators and valves to vent hot gases directly outside the plane.

    INVESTIGATION

    The Japan Civil Aviation Bureau is leading the search for what went wrong with the power pack in this week's incident. GS Yuasa, Boeing and JAL are also involved, as are investigators from the NTSB in the United States and the Japan Transport Safety Board. Those two agencies have yet to work out the cause of last year's battery issues. The JTSB has no jurisdiction over Tuesday's battery incident, as it hasn't been logged as an accident, but the agency hopes to gather fresh data to help its investigation into last year's ANA incident, a JTSB official said. In the past year, the global fleet of 787s has more than doubled to 115 planes operated by 16 carriers. ANA is the world's biggest operator with 24 Dreamliners. Goglia said engineers, maintenance people and Boeing employees have told him the latest battery rupture appears so far to be a single event, rather than a problem that is likely to repeat itself. He noted Boeing has not issued a service bulletin to airlines recommending action.

    "If they find something in the review process that's a concern, they would issue a bulletin, but so far there's no indication of what the root cause of the failure was," he said. "If they don't know what's wrong, they don't know how to fix it."

    Investigators also are likely to look for a voltage spike or other abnormality in the data that is gathered by sensors in the battery system, said Michel Merluzeau, managing partner at G2 Solutions, an aerospace consulting firm in Kirkland, Washington. He and Goglia both noted the containment system had worked as planned, by stopping the problem from affecting other cells of the battery, and not damaging the plane. "I think it's a vindication of the fix," Merluzeau said.

    (Reuters)
  13. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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    Loss of transponders on Air India B788 near Berlin

    An Air India Boeing 787-8, with registration VT-ANE, performing flight AI116 from London Heathrow to Delhi, was enroute at FL370 about 30nm west of Berlin when all its transponders failed, causing the aircraft to become completely invisible to secondary radar. The aircraft then entered a hold while negotiations were made whether the aircraft could continue the flight without transponders, or would be it able to return to London or would having the need to divert.

    In lack of overflight permissions with the failed transponders, the aircraft was not permitted to continue to Delhi but was able to eventually return to London, where the aircraft landed safely. The aircraft is still on the ground in London about 36 hours later, with the transponder becoming visible again about 24 hours after the return but still appears still erratic.
  14. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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  15. Jet News

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    The reliability of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner is improving but is still not satisfactory, Mike Fleming, Boeing's vice president for 787 support and services said on Friday. The Dreamliner's reliability rate is now around 98 percent, meaning that two out of every 100 flights is delayed, above the 97 percent reported in October but still short of the firm's target, Fleming told a news conference in Oslo, where Norwegian Air Shuttle, one of his most affected customers, is based. "I'll tell you that's not where we want the airplane to be, we're not satisfied with that reliability level of the airplane," Fleming said. "The 777 today flies at 99.4 percent... and that's the benchmark that the 787 needs to attain.

    "We introduced the 777 in 1995 and it was in the 1999 timeframe that we saw sustained performance over 99 percent in that fleet... to get the fleet above 99 percent you have to keep working every day, so my guess is that it will be similar to what we had with the 777," he added. Norwegian Air Shuttle, the only European budget carrier to fly long haul, has been plagued by problems with its first three 787s with a series of breakdowns leaving passengers stranded. The 787 was supposed to be a game-changer for the aviation industry as its lighter body and sophisticated engines cut fuel consumption by 20 percent. But it has been beset by problems including a battery fire that grounded all 787s in service for three months last year and forced Boeing to re-design the lithium-ion battery and enclose it in a stainless steel containment box capable of withstanding an explosion.

    It also equipped the battery with a metal exhaust tube to vent fumes and gases outside the aircraft if the battery were to overheat. Although the batteries have worked reliably since then, this month a Japan Airlines' maintenance crew noticed white smoke coming from the main battery of a 787, with a cell found to be showing signs of melting just two hours before the plane was due to fly. "We recently had a single-cell failure in a battery on another customer's airplane and we didn't get propagation of that to other cells, other cells continued to function," Fleming said. "The containment box worked as supposed to and the vapour vented overboard as supposed to."

    But Fleming said the battery has not suffered an in-flight failure since the redesign and Boeing could still change the battery's design based on the conclusions of the investigation into the latest incident. "We didn't assume we would never have another cell failure. We always assume we're going to have a failure and we design the airplane with a redundancy," Fleming said. Other issues on the 787 still facing Boeing include the reliability of flight controls, particularly for the wing spoilers, brakes and electrical power components. Fleming said any compensation issue with Norwegian Air would be discussed privately but the plane maker takes responsibility for the technical faults. "When our airplane breaks and our service doesn't deliver on what it's supposed to, we take responsibility," he said.

    (Reuters)
  16. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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    Japanese investigators probing a lithium-ion battery meltdown on a Boeing 787 a year ago are looking at a battery that overheated on a Dreamliner in Tokyo this month to help unlock the cause of the earlier fire, an official from the Japan Transport Safety Board said.

    The incident on board an ANA 787 a year ago left the battery charred and deformed, destroying evidence that could have pointed to a cause. The latest event on a parked Japan Airlines in a redesigned battery packed with insulation destroyed only one of eight cells.

    "The remaining seven cells are untouched, and I think that is where the investigation will focus," Masahiro Kudo, the lead investigator on the ANA battery said during a press briefing.

    That overheating and one a few days earlier on a 787 parked at Boston's Logan airport prompted aviation regulators in the US, Japan and elsewhere to ground the global fleet of Dreamliners for more than three months.

    Authorities, without discovering the root cause of the meltdown, allowed Boeing to get the 787 back into the air after it redesigned the battery with insulation, a vent to eject any hot gases out of the aircraft, and encased it in a steel box to contain any fire. Finding the reason for the overheating could spur further design changes.

    The US National Transportation Safety Board, which is looking at the incident in Boston, has sent accident investigator Mike Bauer to join the latest probe. The JAL 787's battery emitted smoke at Tokyo's Narita Airport just before take off. Japan's Civil Aviation Bureau is in charge of that investigation.

    (Reuters)
  17. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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    Failure of Flight Management Computers on Air India 787

    An Air India Boeing 787-8, with registration VT-ANJ, performing flight AI301 from Melbourne to Delhi with 215 people on board, was enroute at FL380 about 20nm north of Kuala Lumpur when all three flight management computer system failed simultaneously. The crew diverted to Kuala Lumpur for a safe landing on runway 32L about 65 minutes later.

    The airline reported a software malfunction caused the simultaneous malfunction of the FMCs. The passengers were taken to hotels. A replacement aircraft is expected to depart Kuala Lumpur on Feb 6th and is estimated to reach Delhi with a delay of 24 hours.
  18. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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    A 787 that rolled out of Boeing's factory in Everett, Washington, in January was hailed as an important milestone: the first Dreamliner built at a rate of 10 a month, the fastest for a twin-aisle jet. But some employees who work on the aircraft are calling into question Boeing's ability to sustain that pace. They say the two factories that assemble the 787 are struggling to cope with a ramp-up in production that started late last year, and a huge backlog of unfinished work threatens to slow output.

    Boeing's plant in North Charleston, South Carolina, cannot finish thousands of work orders and is sending pieces to the larger plant in Everett to be completed so that the company can maintain its 10-a-month rate, according to four employees who spoke on condition of anonymity. A work order can be as simple as attaching a part or as complex as installing a duct system. A senior employee in Everett said the problem is particularly acute with the jet's complex wiring: fuselage sections were arriving from North Charleston with large bundles of wires that were not connected properly. The South Carolina workers have the skills to produce the plane correctly "but there are not enough of them to match the rate increase," the senior employee said. "They can't keep up."

    Boeing said it is aware of the bottlenecks and is working to fix the problems. The company has hired hundreds of contract workers in South Carolina, and created special teams in Everett to inspect the planes and tackle the extra tasks, known as "travelled work" because it was moved from South Carolina to Everett. "While we try to minimise it, travelled work is something we deal with in all production programmes," said Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel. "The 787 programme remains on track to meet its delivery commitments in 2014 and we are producing 787s at a rate of 10 per month as planned."

    The backlog comes as the US Federal Aviation Administration has launched an audit of Boeing's factories this month. The FAA said the audit was scheduled and declined to comment further. Boeing said the audit was routine, performed about every two years at multiple facilities, and required for Boeing to maintain its FAA certification to produce all of its aircraft. It was not focused on the South Carolina plant, Boeing said.
  19. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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    General Electric said on Monday a problem reported with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Air India did not involve its engines, refuting an earlier report. The report in the Times of India on Monday quoted an Air India official as saying there was a "problem with the engine and some of its blades have broken." A spokesman for GE said later that the problem was not with the GEnx Engine on the plane, but with the ram air turbine, an auxiliary generator used to provide electrical power in emergency situations.

    Boeing declined to comment, referring questions to Air India. Air India did not respond to a request for comment.Rolls-Royce also makes 787 engines, but the Air India fleet uses GE engines. As of the end of 2013, Air India had 12 787s, the third-largest airline fleet of 787s after All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines with 24 and 13, respectively.

    (Reuters)
  20. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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    Seems that the JAL 787-800 Dreamliner that had an emergency landing in Hawaii had an engine oil pressure problem in one of its engines. The emergency landing would have been just precautionary. No one was injured. Interestingly this is the same aircraft that had the Battery fire in Boston Logan that was the start of a series of other problems with Dreamliners of other operators and thus prompted FAA grounding for some 3 months.

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