Boeing To Move On 787 Battery Fixes
FAA officials and Boeing executives will meet in Washington, D.C., Friday to discuss a proposal that includes short- and long-term solutions to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner's apparent lithium ion battery problem, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. The Journal's unnamed sources say proposed fixes for the grounded 787 fleet include things like enhanced checklists, the installation of fireproof containers around the batteries and a battery redesign. The FAA has declined comment. Other reports Wednesday stated Japanese investigators found wiring problems related to the lithium battery that caught fire aboard an ANA 787, but that U.S. investigators found no similar problems with a JAL 787 that also had a battery fire.
Boeing has halted deliveries of the airliner while seeking an approved fix to resolve problems that caused two battery fires on the jets -- one on a JAL 787 parked at Boston's Logan airport and another that took place on an airborne ANA 787 on Jan. 16. Production of the Dreamliner is continuing. The ANA incident was soon followed by actions that grounded the entire fleet of 50 Dreamliners operated by eight carriers, worldwide. United Airlines, which operates six of the jets, says it expects its 787 fleet to remain on the ground at least through March. Carriers that had planned to rely on the jets are now being forced to seek alternatives. Meanwhile, Airbus, which had considered using lithium-ion batteries on its upcoming A350, has stated that it will incorporate heavier conventional batteries into its design. That aircraft is due for launch next year.