Washington: Boeing has assured that the changes to the lithium-ion battery of the 787 Dreamliner are fully sufficient to ensure the aircraft''s safety, although the company has been unable to find the cause of the original battery failures earlier this year that led to groundings of the plane worldwide since mid-January.
According to Boeing Co.''s chief engineer for the 787 Dreamliner Michael Sinnett, the new battery system is designed to prevent a fire and to control one should it occur with an ''enclosure'', a casing around the battery to prevent heat from being released in the aircraft, Fox News reports.
Admitting that the root cause of the problems are yet to be identified, Sinnet, however, said that the enclosure keeps the airplane safe by eliminating the possibility of fire, heat and smoke, although he added that Boeing has identified over 80 potential causal factors and addressed all of them in the new design.
Sinnett further said that it takes five days to completely retrofit one airplane, adding that the repairs to nine jets are almost complete, with new batteries being shipped from Japanese battery maker GS Yuasa to the airlines. According to the report, the 50 Dreamliner jets in service worldwide were grounded in mid-January after incidents with smoldering batteries occurred aboard two different planes, leading to hundreds of cancelled flights and revenue losses.
Japan''s two biggest carriers have the most 787s, with All Nippon Airways owning 17 of the jets, while Japan Airlines has seven, the report added.
First Published: Sunday, April 28, 2013, 18:44