Skip to comments.Boeing making 787 test flight
Posted on 04/05/2013 1:31:32 PM PDT by oxcart
Boeing said its flight of a 787 on Friday should wrap up the testing for its fix of the battery problems that have kept the plane grounded.
Boeing called the flight "the final certification test for the new battery system." The next step will be for the Federal Aviation Administration to decide whether Boeing's battery fix is good enough for airlines to safely fly it again.
Friday's flight took off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., according to flight-tracking service FlightAware. It returned one hour and 49 minutes later.
The test was "to demonstrate that the new system performs as intended during normal and non-normal flight conditions," Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel said.
The 787 Dreamliner has been grounded since mid-January because of smoldering batteries, including a fire on the ground in Boston. Boeing has designed what it says is a fix, including more heat insulation and a battery box designed so that any meltdown of the lithium-ion battery will vent the hot gases outside of the plane.
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No root-cause fix? Sounds like a patch to me.
LOL fixed or not I’m not goin down with 290 other pps on board!
The payload to me seems unreal! Lets save fuel! and pack some more cattle on board!
Just saw it returning to Everett a while ago. Was wondering what it was doing up north - we don’t see airliners larger than 737s up here very often. (Naval airspace here.)
In other words, there will still be battery meltdown. They haven't fixed the problem yet, but hope the plane is not damaged when it occurs.
The primary fix is to vent the smoke to the outside rather than into the cabin when it catches on fire. Keeps the passengers from getting worried. A few sensors so the pilot will know that it has caught on fire. Some minor hardware adjustments.
If the FAA approves this isolation box fix, that would give Boeing the time to work out a better fix.
By the way, Boeing fan boys who gloated over the Airbus 380 problems a few years ago. My wife just enjoyed a long flight on the 380; only complaints were some barking dogs.
The battery plates are spaced a little bit further apart but a true root-cause fix would be a change in battery chemistry. All they did here was make the probability of a battery fire a little less and try to contain it if there is one.
This reminds me of the thermal runaway issues with NiCad batteries. Everybody went back to lead acid.