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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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  2. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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    The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, grounded for months last year after battery overheating problems, is soundly designed and safe to fly, a joint review by the plane maker and the Federal Aviation Administration said on Wednesday. The review, which was initiated by the FAA after a battery fire aboard a 787 in Boston in January 2013, encompassed the entire plane, not specifically the battery issue. "They found that the 787 met its intended level of safety. The plane's fundamentally sound design and the processes the FAA and Boeing had in place to detect and correct issues that emerged were the underpinnings for that conclusion," FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said.

    He said the review team did find some problems with Boeing's manufacturing process and the way the FAA oversees it. He said the agency was "moving quickly to address those problems." The recommendations called for the FAA to improve its oversight of Boeing's parts suppliers, including those outside the United States, and urged the company "to ensure suppliers are fully aware of their responsibilities." Boeing commercial planes chief executive Ray Conner welcomed the review and said the company had already taken significant steps to implement the recommendations.

    "The findings validate our confidence in both the design of the airplane and the disciplined process used to identify and correct in-service issues as they arise," Conner said in a statement. Richard Aboulafia, analyst with the Teal Group, said he remained concerned that Boeing's drive to extract cost savings from suppliers on its new 777-X aircraft would add risk to it, much as its work on the 787 was initially delayed by its over-reliance on development work by suppliers. By threatening to put suppliers on a "no fly" list if they did not agree to significant cost reductions, he said, Boeing was restricting its ability to choose among proven suppliers.

    "Their drive to keep costs down on the 787 led them to spread risk to suppliers, and here the drive to keep costs down on the 777-X is leading them to make short-sighted sourcing decisions," he said.

    The Boston fire on the 787 and another battery incident in Japan several days later prompted regulators to ground the 787 for 3-1/2 months last year. The plane has also suffered a series of mishaps with fuel line, brakes, electrical panels, hydraulics, and other systems. Boeing redesigned the lithium-ion battery, charger and containment system to ensure battery fires would not put the plane at risk, and the 787 returned to service. Two months ago, however, a battery aboard a Japan Airlines 787 emitted white smoke and showed signs of melting in an incident in Tokyo.

    The battery issues are still being investigated by the US National Transportation Safety Board.

    The latest problem emerged two weeks ago when Boeing said "hairline cracks" had been found in the wings of about 40 787 Dreamliners being built. Wing-maker Mitsubishi Heavy Industries notified Boeing in February of the problem. A total of 115 787s are in service at 16 carriers.

    (Reuters)
  3. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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    A fire that scorched the top of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner at London Heathrow airport last summer was likely caused by faulty wiring in an emergency rescue beacon that led to "an uncontrolled discharge" from a lithium-ion battery, the UK aviation safety agency said on Wednesday. The agency also recommended five steps the US Federal Aviation Administration could take to ensure greater safety with lithium batteries on aircraft, echoing comments the US National Transportation Safety Board made last month.

    The battery likely discharged unevenly, causing one of its cells to deplete more than the other four, then reverse polarity and absorb energy from the others, the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said in a special report. "Several tests demonstrated that when a cell failed in this manner, the heat released caused the failure to cascade to the remaining four cells," the AAIB said. Honeywell said it appreciated the AAIB's thoroughness and noted it had worked with the FAA and Transport Canada on an airworthiness directive requiring "that all applicable ELT units are inspected to verify that the error is not present." It added, "Honeywell is committed to ensuring the safety of all its products and has implemented a redesign and amended assembly/installation guidelines for this product."

    The July 12, 2013, fire in the emergency locator transmitter (ELT), made by Honeywell, burned the top of the fuselage of the Ethiopian Airlines jet, taking it out of service for an extended period and renewing concern about use of lithium-based batteries on aircraft. No one was injured in the incident and the jet was parked at the time. Separately, the global fleet of 787s was grounded for three months last year after two other lithium-ion batteries, not related to the ELT, burned in incidents in Japan and the United States.

    No one was injured in those incidents, but out of concern for safety, regulators halted flights while Boeing redesigned the batteries and the charging system, and created a steel box to contain a fire. The AAIB said the FAA should develop better requirements to certify use of lithium-metal batteries on planes that take account of current knowledge about how they operate and fail. It also recommended that the FAA require certification tests for lithium-metal batteries be carried out with batteries installed in surrounding equipment, to account for any problems that could arise from integration.

    (Reuters)
  4. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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    Cold winter temperatures were a factor in the meltdown of a lithium ion battery that caused a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to make an emergency landing in Japan last year, the Asahi newspaper said, citing the conclusions of local investigators. The battery meltdown on the ANA plane prompted authorities to ground the global fleet of 787s for more than three months.

    It followed an incident less than two weeks earlier at Boston Airport when a battery on a parked Japan Airlines 787 overheated and emitted white gases. Low temperatures can cause a lithium ion battery to deteriorate, resulting in the risk of a short circuit, Kyodo News reported separately. The battery is located in an unpressurised, unheated part of the plane.

    The Japan Transport Safety Board plans to release a final report on its findings as early as September, the Asahi said, without citing sources. A spokeswoman for accident investigators declined to comment on the report. Boeing won approval for 787 flights to resume after it redesigned the battery compartment to isolate thermal events and vent hot gases outside the aircraft.

    (Reuters)
  5. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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  6. Jet News

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  7. Jet News

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    General Electric Co. engines powering as many as 150 Boeing Co. 787 jets world-wide are susceptible to sudden in-flight shutdowns due to internal ice accumulation, prompting U.S. regulators to order swift fixes to eliminate the danger. A Federal Aviation Administration safety directive released this week indicates that certain upgraded models of General Electric’s most advanced engine pose an unacceptable safety risk because internal ice buildup—detected in one recent incident at an unexpectedly low altitude—could result in both engines of a 787 shutting down simultaneously. According to the agency, the possibility that engines couldn’t be restarted “is an urgent safety issue.” There haven’t been any accidents stemming from the problem, but red flags were raised when one engine on a Boeing 787 shut down on its own and couldn’t be restarted while flying at roughly 20,000 feet. The other engine on the plane, flown by an unidentified airline, was an older design and continued to operate, according to the FAA. (via Wall Street Journal)

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  8. Jet News

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    All Nippon Airways (ANA) says it has grounded some of its Boeing 787 Dream)liner aircraft for engine inspections. It is said that there is concern over the aircraft's Rolls Royce Trent 1000 fan blades as it relates to corrosion. “We have learned of a possible issue with a component in the Rolls-Royce engines on a limited number of Boeing 787 aircraft,” ANA said. “Safety is our top priority, so we are communicating closely with Rolls-Royce and Boeing and performing inspections and maintenance on the aircraft involved.” Several domestic flights were cancelled and the airline issued apologies to the traveling public for the inconvenience. Bare in mind that ANA was the launch customer of the Boeing 787 back in September 2011.

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