It seems Boeing has completed its testing with the 787 with a second flight to prove the battery fix the airframer has designed as it’s “final certification for (return to) flight”.
The test flight was conducted with a LOT Polish Airlines 787 with a 2 hour sortie.
“The crew reported that the certification demonstration plan was straightforward and the flight was uneventful”
“Boeing will now gather and analyze the data and submit the required materials to the FAA. We expect to deliver all of the materials to the FAA in the coming days. Once we deliver the materials we stand ready to reply to additional requests and continue in dialog with the FAA to ensure we have met all of their expectations.”
The fix to the 787 involves three new layers of over-lapping protections to prevent short-circuits and fires.
- An improved the monitoring system for the batteries and strengthened the separation of flammable chemicals within and between each of the eight battery cells.
- The battery into an airtight steel box to prevent a short-circuit from causing a fire.
- The box is vented directly to the outside of the aircraft in order to remove any fumes or smoke in the event that the battery malfunctions.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been grounded since 16th January after two incidents with a Japan Airlines 787 and an All Nippon Airlines 787 have lithium ion failures and overheating either on the ground or in the air.
For Boeing, there is a lot riding on this as they aim to get the 787 in the air and prove it is a creditable aircraft to its customers and the travelling public – hopefully the battery changes are enough to prove it will be a safe aircraft.
Certainly, a lot of pressure will be on Boeing to see how the first failures happen and how the systems hold up in the real world.
For the FAA, whilst there will be huge pressure to re-certificate the aircraft, they will have to apply major care in doing so – the discussed ETOPS restriction could be a very managed was to do it as the 787 will have to prove itself all over again.
As for Boeing’s customers… they will be happy to get the aircraft or get them in the air – but you can bet a lot of them are seriously annoyed with the grounding – and will probably be asking for major discounts or some cash out of the airframer for the major disruption caused….