Boeing Puts 787 Through Tests It Once Avoided

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  1. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    || Boeing Puts 787 Through Tests It Once Avoided ||

    As this saga continues, new details emerge.
     
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  2. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Call me nuts here, but it would seem a good idea to test the hell out of anything that can ignite a fire.
    The fact it is used on an aircraft makes this even more reason to employ the most stringent testing. :confused:
     
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  3. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    It's indeed sad to read about this failures, also of note that Boeing wasn't interested nor the FAA. It was a disaster waiting to happen.
     
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  4. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Allegedly the new modifications are about to be approved with only one formal flight test. I read it only in another BB, so that can hardly be considered authoritative. If true, I will be distressed. The history of this aircraft to date has seriously undermined my confidence in Boeing as it is today. Earlier problems with new types were unfortunate but those took place in a less stringent environment than did the 787. Anyway, they quickly fixed the problems in earlier cases (except for the B777 RR engine icing problem that was elusive to identify. That was RR rather than Boeing anyway).

    The hubris of not performing extensive testing of a new technology is inconceivable to me, including all the verifications that dedicated engineer skeptics think responsible. I hope we will not discover other flaws in the "more electric" systems. I hope nothing else will endanger safety of flight, despite Mr Sennett and Mr Conner assuring us that there never was an issue with safety of flight.
     
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  5. bez7
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    bez7 Gold Member

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    Doesn't the testing of the L-ION batteries seem to mirror how Nickle Cadmium testing was done? Trial and error seems to rule the roost. Or am I very mistaken here?
     
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  6. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    There must be some better way instead of "trial and error", at least I thought so, it's all about safety. Let's hope they don't gamble with human lives and find solutions which let the bird flying. I would think that as an experienced plane maker who has a history of successful and safe planes, they would know what they do and how to do it in a safe manner.
     
  7. bez7
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    bez7 Gold Member

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    I agree, we seem to have moved past the daredevil age of flying. Interesting short report from NPR 3/5/13 talked older batteries, at least today there wasn't a long-term one incident per month history.

    From http://m.npr.org/news/Business/173559204

    AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

    As we heard in that report, lithium ion batteries help power Boeing's fleet of 787 Dreamliners, which have been grounded. Now, this technologically sophisticated aircraft was tested for thousands of hours before airlines took it to the skies. That's why the recent overheating and fires in its batteries came as a surprise to many. But to some in the aviation industry those battery problems are déjà vu. Flashback to the early 1970s.

    STEPHEN TRIMBLE: And that was the last time there was a transition from one kind of battery technology to a newer kind. That was the nickel-cadmium battery.

    CORNISH: Steven Trimble writes for Flight International magazine. He says that for decades, airplanes used the same type of battery as cars: the lead acid battery. But eventually some planes with new sophisticated electronics needed a lighter, better power source.

    TRIMBLE: And nickel-cadmium is to its previous generation what lithium ion is today to nickel-cadmium. It gives you more power for the amount of weight that you have to use.

    CORNISH: Forty years ago, that new battery was promising as it became more widely used in small, private aircraft. Then the nickel-cadmium growing pains began.

    TRIMBLE: What they saw was a whole series of battery failures across several different types of aircraft - batteries overheating and fires. And our magazine was covering it at the time. And there were quotes from that era of people saying that they're sitting on a ticking time bomb because of these batteries.

    CORNISH: The National Transportation Safety Board documented nearly one battery incident every month in 1972. None caused a crash or fatality in the U.S. but they were serious. Just ask aircraft mechanic Lee Coffman. He remembers when a Learjet had to land in Amarillo, Texas in the 1970s because of one of its nickel-cadmium batteries.

    Coffman, dressed in protective gear, rushed out to the plane as soon as it parked. He says the battery was so hot that he had to extract it wearing asbestos gloves.

    LEE COFFMAN: The temperature was such that the paint on the stainless steel case was already changing colors.

    CORNISH: Coffman left it smoldering on the tarmac that afternoon. The next day, it was still too hot to touch.

    COFFMAN: The inside of the battery had just burned and melted in on itself. It looked like you had taken a torch in there and just melted the core of the battery down to a pile in the bottom of the battery box.

    CORNISH: Engineers eventually redesigned the nickel-cadmium battery and it became the industry standard for airliners.

    In the future, will the standard be lithium ion batteries? Boeing wants it to be, at least for its Dreamliner. Boeing hopes the FAA will soon approve the company's proposed solution for overheating and fires.
     
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  8. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Good example, Learjet. 23 out of 104 crashed during the first two years killing many people. Comparing early nicad problems to the current episode is not apt. In the 1960's people accepted that designers guessed and people lived or died based on the luck of the draw. That no longer works. Thus, the situations are in no way analogous. Today we expect proper testing to precede deployment of new technology.

    BTW: I am typed in LRJET, I have owned a model 25D and flown several variants of the original, including 23, 24, 25, 28, 35, 36. I admit to loving them as a pilot. However, controls were placed at random with almost no two airplanes being similar. Some models, like the 35, had spoilers instead of ailerons, demanding a totally different way of handling approach and landing.

    In short: Ridiculous analogy for 2013. Good one if it were 1965.
     
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