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Japanese airlines say 787 batteries replaced up to 10 times

TOKYO — All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines said they replaced lithium-ion batteries in their Boeing 787 Dreamliners on multiple occasions before a battery overheating incident led to the worldwide grounding of the jets. ANA said Wednesday it replaced batteries on its 787 aircraft 10 times because they failed to charge properly or showed other problems and informed Boeing about the swaps. Japan Airlines said it had also replaced lithium-ion batteries on its 787 jets but couldn't immediately… ( More...

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euronorb 6
Just replace them with the Energizer bunny :)
Really hope Boeing gets this fixed quickly. The 787 is a great engineering feat, but their execution in putting together the total package has been marred by management miscalculations, possible engineering overreach, mixed with bad luck. Even with all the outsourcing, their engineering talent was stretched very thin.

I was involved in the B747 Large Cargo Freighter (DreamLifter) program from 2005-2008 and there was tremendous pressure to get that bird certified in order to start moving 787 components from worldwide suppliers to Everett, Charleston, Wichita.

The first fuselage sections moved from Nagoya to Charleston in January of 2007. Due management timeline pressures the sections were shipped incomplete and large teams of Japanese technicians were sent from NGO to CHS to complete the work (at considerable cost). They spent months finishing the 1st section and subsequent sections. This was my first inkling that something was not quite right.

It's been a long bumpy road and I hope they find the problem and a fix quickly.
It will be interesting to know the responses from Boeing to all complaints/feedback sent by various users . I wonder if Boeing too considered this problem of battery too insignificant and " not really aviation related " ? Again , professionalism goes abegging . Sad , very sad ! :-( :-(
preacher1 1
You know, you would have thought that with 787 development being under such close scrutiny and that termal runaway being a known haszard on those batteries(bring down 2 cargo planes) that they would have been looked at with a microscope. Maybe they were but something must have slipped by.
ben simmons 2
Hopefully they'll get this fixed. Airbus will most likely learn from this and tweak a few things on their A350. The last thing we need is fires on new airplanes
Boeing, after the 3 year delay, had to be under incredible pressure to start shipping the 787 and generate a revenue stream. Under the type of production pressure they faced quality problems or design problems were clearly going to surface. Wait till the problems with the carbon fibre airframe begin to surface! That will be a challenging fix.
Darren Woody 1
GM only had a fire issue related to the battery of the volt not being properly handled and discharged for over 3 weeks after a test crash.. There has been no volt fires or thermal runaway with the voltec battery packs.
For me is kind of clear that temp, pressure and vibration at that high can affect the phisic-chemical processes inside the batteries. Thats only "that" cruel detail. Altough the DreamLiner is that beautiful engineered piece, is normal to stabilize all processes envolved in its function with time and regular use.
ben simmons 1
I was right. Airbus is now getting rid of their lithium batteries that they had planned for the A350. I guess seeing that about 50 787's have been grounded because of this problem moved Airbus to do something
ahamed ali 1
It really is a pity that the reputation etc of such a good aeroplane can be tarnished by something that is not really aviation-related.
Ant Miraa 1
I don't get it. It seems that things were going fine since ANA's first delivery, but a year and a bit later things are going bad. I mean even the new deliveries to United has a problem and all these problems started acting up at the end of 2012. Why then? What about the non Asian operators like Ethiopian, did they have problems? Could it be that the battery makers cut corners? At least the problem is not as dramatic as uncontained engine failures.
If one of these fires ever happened on an aircraft in flight, I think it would be very "dramatic."
preacher1 1
You are quite correct about it happening in flight. What is peculiar is that there apparently has been previous trouble reported and it is just now coming to light. That said, some others like United are now jumping on the bandwagon and it seems to be spreading some. It will be interesting but as each day goes by, it appears that is just that much longer before we'll see the 787's back in the air.
honza nl 2
even more worrying: a new plane, new engines, new electronic architecture, new materials, new systems; all unproven; yet before the 1st flight JAL already got 330 minutes ETOPS !!! For Boeing and the FAA safety clearly was well behind profits and commercial interests....
Dolf Brouwers 1
It is scary to sit in an airplane relying on Li-ion batteries.....
Dream on!!!!!!!!
MimosaDrive 1
Problems with lithium-ion batteries are not new. It's probably why Toyota stuck with Ni-Cad batteries on the Prius even on the latest models. General Motors went with lithium-ion on the Chevy Volt and have had similar fire and overheating issues like the 787. There have also been incidents with phones, notebooks and other electronic devices using these batteries.
Apparently the battery makers have been cleared. It seems to be the charging and monitoring circuits that may be at fault.
preacher1 1
It is hard to believe with all the testing, that this did not show up before the launch. They will find the problem and it will probably be something relatively minor but the fix will probaly take eons to come, or at least the certification for it.
I have a suggestion for Boeing! If the problem turns out to be too much battery load then they need to be changed for a battery type that can take both a heavy load and heavy charge i.e. lead/acid batteries. I know they can be a bit heavy so the best place to put them would be in the nose instead of the tail thus improving the stall characteristics of the a/c. Two birds with one stone I think!!
Hope Boeing sort it soon ,as I am due to fly out of London to Chicago on the aircraft in question. What will it be replaced by? Bryan.
Peter Douglas 1
It really is a pity that the reputation etc of such a good aeroplane can be tarnished by something that is not really aviation-related.
Dear Friend , no offence , but if ANY THING on the aircraft IT IS AVIATION RELATED ! Including any thing or action that enables it move or fly. Even a hauling tractor on ground is aviation related . Size or cost or type of product or service does not matter .
chalet 2
Right on. Even aS silly as a clogged toilette or empty water supply on board an airplane is definitely an issue tHAT the airline and if necessary the airframe manufacturer has to be INVOLVED IN.
preacher1 3
It is hard to understand how anything got missed after so much testing but there is either a booger in the box or just a hellacious run of bad luck. I would have been leaning toward bad luck had not the Japanese folks came out with that multiple battery changeout today.
Ken McIntyre 1
The Dreamliners are going to grounded for a long, long time.
matt jensen 3
Or until a suitable, reliable battery is found. Oh gee, a NiCad might work doncha think?
Ken McIntyre 2
Might not be an easy swap. Remember, it has to be certified by the FAA. That is itself could be time consuming.
matt jensen 0
NiCad batteries are already in use - how would the Feds not certify?
preacher1 4
They would have to be certified for that particular operation in that airplane.
Before that could all happen, the certifier would have to get certified, but before that, a certifying program would have to be put in place and then be certified by a certifying agency that has yet to be certified. Now I'm getting confused...
Shadowstarz 2
Oh you lost me at getting
preacher1 1
The bottom line to all that is, if it is the battery or some part of that system, it ain't gonna be no quick
preacher1 1
By gab, I like to have met my match Tuesday. I got called early Tuesday morning for a quick hop down to DFW and back on that 67 right seat. Guy was sick. Front end of a squall line going down and had to come back up toward KLIT and turn left and literally dive like a fighter pilot to punch a hole in it and get down at the house. I was PF coming back and all I can tell you is that Boeing makes a darn good airplane. It came down in one piece with no breaks or tears but that wx was a first class B****. Scared the old man after it was over and I had a chance to think about it and then when I got to the house, had to watch and feel it come thru on the
It's not just the batteries though, they'd have to swap out the charging and monitoring systems too (and have it all certified).
The electric model R/C industry can teach you a lot about charging batteries - you don't need to be an aerospace engineer working at BA to know when something is wrong.

I know the German's and Korean's are laughing at us.

Hey BA, Graupner makes a great charger for Li-ion batteries here's a link:
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Japan airlines replaced 787 batteries many times

This lithium-ion battery thing just gets murkier and murkier . . .


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