The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) will propose a long-term solution for the problematic batteries of the Boeing 787 Dreamliners, which kept the airplanes grounded worldwide since January over safety issues.
According to a report from The Seattle Times, Ray Conner, CEO of The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) will lead the company commercial airplanes team in presenting its plan to fix the batteries of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner during a meeting with Michael Huerta, head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Friday.
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The report indicated that the aircraft manufacturer’s proposal included an overhaul of the two types of lithium-ion batteries used in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to ensure that the occurrence of short-circuiting that could lead to fire will be contained and prevent the fire from spreading from one battery cell to the other.
According to the company, the plan is achievable by putting robust ceramic insulation between each of the eight battery cells of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The plan also aims to prevent the occurrence of any thermal runway, a chemical reaction that leads to the progressive increase of hot temperature.
According to Boeing officials, the proposed long-term fix requires a bigger battery box to hold the eight cells because the additional spacers will enlarge the battery. The new battery box needs to be stronger with greater insulation along its side to prevent any fire from escaping.
The officials said its plan to fix the lithium-ion batteries of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner requires testing and safety recertification from the FAA, which will take time. If the FAA approves the plan, testing and recertification will take time. Engineers estimate that it will be completed sometime in April.
The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA)’s proposal to fix the lithium-ion batteries of the Boeing 787 did not surprise FAA officials because the company maintained close coordination with regulators about the issue.
Early in this month, the National Transportation Safety Board said it would soon release the results of its Boeing 787 investigation. The agency also announced that the aircraft manufacturer submitted an application for a test flight with the FAA to determine the performance of the lithium-ion battery under normal operating conditions.