Zee Media Bureau
Washington: Boeing’s 787 may return to the air again in about a week as it has started fixing batteries on some of its grounded Dreamliner fleet. The move comes after the US aircraft regulators, Federal Aviation Aministration (FAA) approved a new battery design on April 19, 2013.
All of the 50 Boeing’s 787 Dreamliners have been grounded for three months in mid-January after two of its aircraft (Japan Airlines 787 and All Nippon Airways 787) suffered from early in-service problems, notably fires on board related to its lithium-ion batteries.
The grounding has cost Boeing an estimated $600 million, halted deliveries and forced some airlines to lease alternative aircraft.
Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL), which are the two biggest operators of the 787 Dreamliner are among the first carriers that will get the revamped battery system.
“Our first priority is to get the existing fleet back into the air,” Larry Loftis, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, told reporters.
Boeing has dispatched ten teams of some 30 engineers each worldwide to install the stronger battery casing and other systems designed to prevent a repeat of the meltdowns that led to the first US fleet grounding in 34 years.
While, the carriers will have to wait for approval from various regulators before they can resume flying the planes commercially, the FAA will issue a final order on the Dreamliner this week. Other international regulators are likely to follow the suit.