Category Archives: 787
TUI Travel operating under Thomson Airways has officially taken delivery of its first 787. TUI Travel is the ninth carrier to operate the 787 and they have 12 more on order. The delivery flight to Manchester GB is expected to take place this afternoon. The aircraft is expected to eventually replace their 767s and will be used on flights to Orlando and Cancun.
Tags: TUI Travel
This post needs a little background. Before the whole battery issue Boeing was prepping 787s for delivery to China Southern and Hainan Airlines. Then all of the sudden Boeing moved the China airframes to long-term storage. Nothing came out from either Boeing or the airlines set to take delivery. Now, this was late last year. Fast forward to 2013 and the FAA and the JAA grounded the 787 fleet. The EU aviation authority quickly followed suit. As Boeing worked on the battery fix they also sorted out their issues with the Chinese aviation authority. Today, the Chinese issued a type certification for the 787 and I assume deliveries will begin shortly.
Boeing has forwarded its proposal for the lithium-ion battery fix to the FAA. The fix includes a shell around the battery, vent tubes, and better insulation between battery cells. An unconfirmed report has the Japan officials be rather unimpressed with the solution as the root cause of the fire is not yet understood. The USA Today is reporting the FAA will review the proposal and report its decision next week.
Airbus announced today that they were removing lithium-ion batteries from the A350. This is in direct response to the problems Boeing has been having with the 787 for the past couple of months. Recently LOT canceled its 787 schedule through October suggesting that the plane will be out of service for sometime. All other carriers seems to canceling service on a monthly basis with most flights canceled through the end of March. The A350 is Airbus’ composite aircraft and is set for its first flight in Q4 2012.
A short circuit in one of the battery cells caused the fire on-board the JAL 787 flight in Boston. The NTSB has ruled out mechanical failure as a cause of the short-circuit, and has turned to looking for manufacturing and design defects.
With mechanical failure eliminated as a cause of the fire, there is a either a failure in the design or a manufacturing defect. Obviously Boeing is hoping that it is a manufacturing defect so blame can be shifted to the manufacturer of the battery.
If the failure is determined to be a design defect, then Boeing will have to redesign the 787 battery and will be much longer before the 787 returns to service.
I will of course keep you updated.
Nothing new to report. They are going to start trying to replicate the faults next week with “soft short” tests. Future updates will be on an as needed basis.
In another turn in the melodrama that is the battery problems on the 787, ANA CFO Kiyoshi Tonomoto stated in an interview that ANA will be seeking compensation from Boeing for losses resulting from the 787 grounding. Again, no one knows when the 787 will be up in the air. The CFO stated that the delay is costing ANA around 3% of its revenue. The end amount that ANA and Boeing could be substantial. Anyways the NTSB is set to release another update tomorrow so we see if there are any time line changes.
Basically, the NTSB is conducting a microscopic inspection of the failed JAL battery. No clear suspect causes yet, a microscopic investigation suggests possibly a manufacturing defect or some sort of external damage. Next update is due on Feb. 1.
On January 27th the US NTSB released an update of the 787 battery investigation.
The update is about what you would expect, nothing to report. The NTSB has completed the disassembly of most the batteries and they have found nothing so far. The most interesting thing found so far was that there was damage to the battery monitoring circuits on the JAL 787 that caught fire; though as of right now they do not know were damage came from.
I’ll keep you updated as the NTSB keeps me updated.
Yesterday the FAA grounded all US registered 787s pending inspection of the battery system that has failed twice in Japan. Between last night’s post and today, the FAA released the full directive, FAA 787 AD. This AD does not govern non-US aircraft but the EU this morning has followed suit and also grounded the 787 and banned them from flying in EU airspace. That leaves I think Air India, Qatar, LAN, and Ethiopian Airlines as the only airlines able to operate the 787 at this time.
What is concerning to me is that there is no timeline on when the inspections and the potential changes should be completed. What is important to note, is that the part that failed is not manufactured by Boeing but by a sub-contractor. http://www.gsyuasa-lp.com/aviation-lithium-batteries. This company produces batteries for a variety of sources including Honda Hybrid cars. So it isn’t as if this is unproven technology, Lithium-ion batteries have been in use since the late 90’s and most laptops, cell-phones, and other portable electronics use them.
My point is, if you are worried about these batteries better throw away any portable electronic you have. Whatever the error is I am sure it will get sorted out quickly.