Boeing has halted all deliveries of the 787 Dreamliner until the plane’s electrical system and battery problems can be fixed.
The Seattle, Washington-based company stated that they will not stop production of the aircraft, which is assembled at its plants in Everett and North Charleston, South Carolina.
The Federal Aviation Administration grounded all Boeing 787s until the airplane manufacturer can prove that the plane’s batteries are safe, according to Yahoo! News.
The FAA issued the emergency airworthiness directive on Wednesday evening, the same day as a 787 operated by All Nippon Airlines reported a battery failure and smoke in the cockpit shortly after take off. The plane was able to make an emergency landing and no one on board was hurt.
The directive added that the 787’s battery system will need to be modified or “other actions” taken under a method that the administration approves of.
Boeing’s move to halt deliveries of the Dreamliner is not surprising. Many experts expected that airlines would not accept deliveries of the aircraft until the FAA directive is carried out and the problems are fixed.
Reuters reports that top US transportation official Ray LaHood stated the Boeing 787 would not fly again until regulators are “1,000 percent sure” it is safe. The comment was a big change from last week when LaHood stated he wouldn’t hesitate to fly on a 787 Dreamliner.
Boeing’s newest aircraft is the first to use a lithium-ion battery. The battery is lighter than conventional aircraft ones. It also packs more energy and has a faster charge, but it is potentially flammable. A Japanese safety official at Takamatsu airport, where the ANA plane made an emergency landing, believes that excessive electricity caused the battery to overheat. Liquid then spilled out of it.
Investigators released photos of the battery’s remains. Those photos show a burnt-out blue metal box with signs of liquid seepage.
It is not yet clear when deliveries of Boeing’s heralded 787 Dreamliner will continue.