FAA May Limit Boeing 787 Extended Range

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by uggboy, Mar 28, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    || FAA May Limit Boeing 787 Extended Range ||

    This could spell a new blow / challenge ahead for Boeing and the 787 Dreamliner. How will airlines react, how will passengers react?
     
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  2. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    So much for replacing the 747. :(
     
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  3. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Indeed, it seems to be more complicated than first thought. It's always difficult to bring out a new product these days and do it right and fast, pleasing costumers / airlines and passengers alike, plus the authorities, seems nearly impossible now. It's a sign of our times, with outsourcing and loosing control of the end product, it's no wonder that we see a growing number of such problems arise, from aviation to food and even Apple, remember their mapping problems they faced.
     
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  4. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    I just hate to see a plane of this capacity that was intended for long distance travel being used on much shorter routes. The airlines that purchased them would be really screwed, depending on the limit and how long it lasts. Lots of wasted dollars.
     
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  5. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    The potential is there for this beautiful plane, at least on paper, we will see how it all develops and plays out for Boeing, the airlines and of course the passengers alike. Will passengers have fate into this plane, especially with all the negative news surrounding this beautiful bird today. Getting the plane ready is one thing, now they must the authorities and getting the passengers on board too for the long-run that is. Let's only hope the existing problems can be overcome and that there will be NO new problems on the horizons and everything should be OK as time goes by and positive news / experiences filtering into our daily lives. It's not only about routes or money, in the end it's all about hearts and minds too.
     
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  6. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    I agree, new airplanes end up being beta-tested in actual service. In this case, it worked as problems that escaped the original test aircraft were found without serious injury.
    Going forward, if the aircraft is problem free for a significant period, then it should be allowed to extend its routes. This may be for a few months or maybe a year but it is likely that by the summer of '14 there will be few if any restrictions if the fix works over that time.
     
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  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Taking 2 aspirins for a headache works perfectly, taking 10 aspirins at once for a headache can kill you. That is what the FAA is doing here. The 787 was designed to do long range travel and if the fix for the battery is certified, it should be allowed to do what it was designed to do. To now order that this plane not do long distance flights because of the battery problem is an over-reaction or over-medication that can do more harm than good to the industry.
     
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  8. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    The B787 is aimed at the B767 replacement market, as well as A330, but not the B747. The B77W has already conquered the B747 market, and the B777X's and A350's will put final nails on the coffins.
     
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  9. bez7
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    bez7 Gold Member

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    Boeing's got enough invested in the plane that they'll figure out how to resolve the long range issues, even if it means shorter ranges for now. They won't just accept anything as a final decision and give up on their investment.
     
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  10. cova

    cova Gold Member

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    Boeing has a short term solution, and then needs to come up with a long term solution. Hence, the short flights during the beta testing. But, nevertheless, there will need to be a more major redesign.
     
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  11. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    This is like after the space shuttle Challenger disaster, NASA ordering that all subsequent shuttle flights be limited to transcontinental travel...:eek:
     
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  12. Andycat

    Andycat Silver Member

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    Move along... nothing to see here...

    This is old <cough> news </cough>. Limiting the range for the 787 will have very little practical effect. The Wandering Aramean has a detailed write-up here
     
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  13. zphelj

    zphelj Gold Member

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    It's. Just. Speculation.
     
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  14. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    As I recall, Apple's mapping problems occurred when they stopped outsourcing and did the map app in-house.

    As I understand it, in Boeing's case, the problems happened not from using outside suppliers per se, but from handing over major design and integration responsibilities to those outside suppliers.
     
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  15. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    Indeed. The 787 has significantly less passenger and cargo capacity than a 747. It's a small twin-aisle plane (but the -9 will be longer and hence hold more). The A380 was designed to steal the 747's market -- high-capacity long-haul routes between major hubs (but the 77W comes awful close -- it even has five doors). I'm sure Boeing would like the 747-8i to be the replacement, and I'd love to fly on one of those -- I love the 747-400 upper deck.
     
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  16. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    What makes you so sure the fix is short-term? We armchair airplane designers may assume that Boeing has a longer-term plan to get back the weight (and size) advantages they are giving up with the fix, but who's to say they don't intend to fly with the current fix for a couple of years or longer?
     
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  17. cova

    cova Gold Member

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    Within the past year - I have flown the LH 747-8i in F and the QF A380 in F. The 748 is the quietest of the two in F. LH F on the 748 is in the nose. With the LH headphones - there is no noise at all.
     
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  18. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    The impact of limited ETOPs range will be significant. While it's possible that some over-the-water routes can be flown, they cannot necessarily be flown on the most efficient routing, which harms the cost-effectiveness of the plane if it has to take more lengthy routes, burning more fuel and increasing pay. If the duration of limited ETOPs restrictions is not too long, then perhaps airlines can use the time to retrain their people and gain some flight hours to be sure that problems don't recur.

    Nevertheless, since neither Boeing nor the suppliers have been able to reproduce the problem or determine it's cause, there is some reason for caution. There is some reason to question the design of the 787 electrical and charging system as it's likely that something in that system caused the battery cells to ignite. Boeing's fixes reduce the impact of cell ignition, but don't address what caused the cell ignition.

    In other news, it's being reported in Japan that two GS Yuasa batteries caught fire in Mitsubishi vehicles recently. It's not the same battery design, and these use lithium manganese oxide instead of the lithium cobalt oxide used in the 787 batteries. Nevertheless it's another negative event for lithium ion batteries, and it's impossible to know what the regulators are going to do. Reference http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-...s-as-mitsubishi-car-battery-catches-fire.html
     
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  19. Seacarl
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    I don't think the weight issue is the key issue. It may be that if Boeing finds what caused the cell ignition and corrects that cause, that they can then take some weight back out, but I think until Boeing can identify and correct what has allowed the cell ignitiion to occur, that there is not a long term solution, but a mitigation of the problem.
     
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  20. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Please reconcile this conjecture:

    with this latest news on different Li batteries for automotive applications but from the same manufacturer:

    What is the likelihood that two batteries made for different purposes by the same manufacturer would lead to identical results in different implementations? The only constants here are the same company and Li-Ion batteries differently designed but are fundamentally just a variation on the company's design that they probably even patented. The logical culprit may be emerging...and it is not the systems (B787, Mitsubishi hybrid cars) in which the batteries are used.
     
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  21. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    It was reported upstream that Boeing's original testing caused the batteries to catch fire so they stopped using real batteries. Assuming the reports are accurate, that would presumably provide an avenue to reproduce the current problem.

    Boeing's reported fix includes limits on charging, on the assumption that charging too rapidly or past battery capacity is the cause of the fires.
     
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  22. Seacarl
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    It's generally accepted that what causes Lithium ion batteries to ignite is being overcharged. I don't think undercharging causes them to ignite but it does damage the battery. So something over-charged the batteries. There has been conjecture that the electrical system may still be putting a charge onto the batteries even when the charging system is supposed to stop charging them.

    I think everyone can reproduce igniting cells. The question is to reproduce the condition where the electrical system is charging the battery system when that isn't supposed to be happening.
     
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  23. Seacarl
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    I'm not sure what to make of your argument, nor what there is to reconcile. Lithium ion batteries are known to be susceptible to ignition when overcharged. They can also ignite if there are metal fragments or short circuites. That's true whether they magnesium oxide or cobalt oxide. The automobile case just happened and they haven't investigated it enough to understand its cause.

    Given that they have been investigating the 787 batteries for 10 weeks now, and that there were 50 aircraft with 100 batteries and likely more than 200 or more that had been delivered or as spares, we can reasonably assume a statistically valid sample of 787 batteries have been X-rayed and MRI'd to find battery flaws, and none have been reported, so in the aircraft case the likely cause is an overcharge, whether due to the charging system or some other aspect of the electrical system. The is speculation in PPRUNE that the electrical system has circuitry that may put a voltage on the battery even when the charging system isn't supposed to be charging.

    There's no evidence so far that the fact that the same company made the batteries played any role, though I would expect that's something else to investigate. It is known that the ignition risk with Lithium ion batteries exists among many manufacturers, hence the restrictions on these batteries in passenger luggage and cargo shipments.
     
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  24. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    This is really quite simple. Even if what you surmise happens to be the case, the likely culprit remains this company's battery design. It is a simple process of elimination. Boeing's and Mitsubishi's electrical systems are just fine. It is the design of the batteries that seems to have shortcomings... That is where I would concentrate the effort to find the cause of the fires...
     
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  25. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Automotive NewsWire:
    BATTERIES: Solution of Boeing Dreamliner Problem Could Come from Auto Li-ion Batteries
    Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
    From Tokyo this morning comes word from Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp. that two accidents involving lithium-ion batteries that were manufactured by its joint venture with GS Yuasa Corp. were used in Boeing Co.'s 787 Dreamliner. Moreover, the automaker reported that last week during testing, a lithium-ion battery pack caught fire while being charged. The battery pack being tested is used in Mitsubishi's i-MIEV model EV (electric vehicle).
    In a separate incident that occurred last week, Mitsubishi reported that a charged lithium-ion battery installed in its Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid EV) overheated, melting the cell and part of the battery pack. According to The Wall Street Journal, the incident occurred as the vehicle was being prepared for shipment to one of its domestic sales companies.

    Mitsubishi said there were no injuries as a result of either incident.

    But the incidents have caught the attention of engineers at Boeing. Again, according to the WSJ, the batteries were manufactured by Lithium Energy Japan, a j-v established in 2007 between GS Yuasa, Mitsubishi Motors and Mitsubishi Corp. GS Yuasa is a supplier of lithium-ion batteries for Boeing's 787 DreamLiner that was grounded in January because of suspected battery problems.

    The incidents are said to be the first such accidents since the j-v began production but the company also noted that there was a change in specification at its production lines that could be tied to the problems. The cause of the latest two incidents is being investigated by Mitsubishi.

    Since the production line modifications were made, Mitsubishi said it has shipped 68 I-MIEVs with the batteries along with sufficient spare batteries for use in 45 vehicles. Additionally, some 4,000 Outlander PHEVs fitted with the same battery have been shipped.
     
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