Tag Archives: Boeing
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.
March 1, 2013 Airline News of The Day, VS Domestic Routes, Sleeping gear, Boeing staffing, and Airline fees
With an Airlines 101 post, china post, and a FAA post I just don’t have time to publish about each piece of news that came out this morning. Where sometimes you famine, today you feast.
Boeing announced they are going to cut up to twenty percent of their staff at the Charleston SC 787 plant. While Boeing did not announce a specific number 20 percent would be 1200 jobs. Best of luck to all those affected by the cuts.
Virgin Atlantic published their domestic schedule to start in April. London-Aberdeen will be three daily, London-Manchester will be three daily moving to four daily, and London-Edinburgh will be three daily moving to six times daily.
Marketwatch.com published an article on Airline fees. I am not sure their math adds up, but I still find it funny that United Airlines maxes out at $666.00.
Finally, from the Travel Goods association in Las Vegas, we have a pillow blindfold combination that looks quite functional even though it looks like it came out of an alternative lifestyle store.
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.
Aviation Week, is reporting that Lufthansa is looking at acquire 6 777-300’s for subsidiary Swiss Air.
While the order if it happens would be small, six air frames, it would mark a shift from Airbus to Boeing. Currently the Lufthansa Group operates only 4 772ERS and they were acquired in a merger. Lufthansa has shown little interest in Boeing planes outside of a token order of 15 Boeing 747-8is. Between Swiss, Lufthansa, Austrian, and Brussels (all part of the the Lufthansa group) the current fleet plan after retirements is 42 Boeing aircraft, 19 747-400’s 15 747-8is, 4 767’s and 4 772ers. This number is really smaller at the 15 748’s will be replacing the 744s, so it is closer to 25 Boeing frames compared with a current fleet of around 480 frames. So less than 10% of the Lufthansa group’s fleet is made by Boeing.
Aviation week cites available slots as the reason for the Boeing order. That’s believable as the the A350, the closest Airbus equivalent to the 773 will not be online for several years. These 773s will replace Swiss’ A340 fleet. The A340-300 that Swiss currently operates has largely been replaced by the A330-300, basically a twin engine variant of the A340-300. The cost of moving to two engines resulted in shorter range. So, while Swiss was able to replace their Trans-Atlantic fleet with the A330s, they were not able to do so on their Asia flights. The quest for greater efficiency and lower operating costs has led Lufthansa to at least contemplate ordering 777-300s.
One added benefit for Lufthansa would be preferential pricing from Boeing. Boeing would love to book another order from a long time Airbus customer. Also Lufthansa might be able to leverage future Airbus orders.
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.
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.