Dreamliner back in the air within ‘weeks’

15th Mar 2013
Dreamliner back in the air within ‘weeks’

Boeing has a comprehensive set of improvements that will add several layers of additional safety features to the lithium-ion batteries on 787 commercial jetliners are in production and could be ready for initial installation within the next few weeks.

New enclosures for 787 batteries also are being built and will be installed in airplanes in the weeks ahead.

These improvements, which continue to undergo extensive certification testing, will allow operators to resume commercial flights with their 787s as soon as testing is complete and the US Federal Aviation Administration and other international regulators grant their final approval.

The improvements include enhanced production and operating processes, improved battery design features and a new battery enclosure. 

“As soon as our testing is complete and we obtain regulatory approvals, we will be positioned to help our customers implement these changes and begin the process of getting their 787s back in the air,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president Ray Conner.

“Passengers can be assured that we have completed a thorough review of the battery system and made numerous improvements that we believe will make it a safer, more reliable battery system.”

Battery system changes include changes to the battery itself, the battery charging unit and the battery installation.

Earlier this week the FAA approved Boeing’s certification plan, which lays out the discrete testing to be done to demonstrate that the battery improvements address the conditions laid out in the Airworthiness Directive that has suspended 787 commercial operations.

“We are following all of the necessary protocols to get our new design fully approved and properly installed so that we can help our customers start flying as soon as possible.

“We are simultaneously moving out on an effort to resume deliveries but completing our certification work and
getting the delivered fleet flying again is our first priority,” said Conner.

“Our customers and their passengers have been incredibly patient as we have worked through this process and we thank them very sincerely for their continued support and confidence in the 787.

“The more-electric architecture of the 787 brings real value not just to the airlines but to our industry.

“By reducing fuel use, we are reducing our environmental footprint.

“This battery technology is an important part of the more-electric architecture, which is helping us to cut fuel use by more than ten billion gallons of fuel over the life of this program.”


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