Boeing proposing long-term fix for 787 batteries
WASHINGTON – Boeing is proposing a long-term fix for the 787 Dreamliner's troubled batteries that will keep them grounded until April at the earliest, congressional officials said Friday.
A Boeing Commercial Airplanes team led by CEO Ray Conner was scheduled to present the plan in a meeting Friday with Michael Huerta, head of the Federal Aviation Administration. The airliners, Boeing's newest and most technologically advanced, have not been allowed to fly since mid-January following a battery fire in one plane and a smoking battery in another.
The plan calls for revamping the aircraft's two kinds of lithium ion batteries to ensure that any short-circuiting that could lead to a fire won't spread from one battery cell to the others, officials said. That would be achieved by placing more robust ceramic insulation between each of the battery's eight cells. The aim is to contain not only the short-circuiting, but any thermal runaway, a chemical reaction that leads to progressively hotter temperatures.
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