Boeing Proposes Full Battery Fix To FAA [Report]

Boeing is proposing a full battery fix to the Federal Aviation Administration that would put the 787 Dreamliner back in service, according to reports.

The news comes despite investigators not yet knowing what caused the batteries in two planes to overheat last month.

The proposal includes specific measures that would prevent the batteries from short circuiting, reports Yahoo! News. A 787 in Boston saw a battery catch fire while parked because of a short circuit.

A person familiar with Boeing’s efforts to put the Dreamliner back in service stated:

“I have talked to a number of people who are working directly on these batteries. No one is one the Plan-B team.”

The proposal to the FAA is apparently not a temporary fix, but is designed to fix the plane for the long-haul — hopefully permanently. The batteries would see insulation between the batteries’ cells and a stronger box with a venting tube placed around the battery. The box, made of stainless steel, would contain a fire and expel fumes outside the plan if the battery catches fire again.

Mercury News notes that testing and recertification of Boeing’s star jet will take time, though engineers estimate that the process will be complete in April.

Boeing, the FAA, and the National Transportation Safety Board are still working to identify the root cause of the fire on an All Nippon Airlines flight. The fire affected the battery and broke out mid-flight, requiring the plane to make an emergency landing.

United Airlines announced on Friday that it had cut the Boeing 787 out of its flight schedule until at least June, though there is a tentative launch schedule for a new Denver-to-Japan route set for May. The airline is the only carrier in the United States to operate the Dreamliner aircraft.

It is unclear if the FAA will accept Boeing’s proposal for a complete battery fix for the 787.

[Image by MilborneOne (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons]