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Japan Transportation Technology

Dreamliner: Boeing 787 Aircraft Battery "Not Faulty" 184

Posted by samzenpus
from the everything-checks-out dept.
SternisheFan writes "Airline safety inspectors have found no faults with the battery used on Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, Japan's transport ministry has said. The battery was initially considered the likely source of problems on 787s owned by two Japanese airlines. The world's entire fleet of 50 787s has been grounded while inspections are carried out. Attention has now shifted to the electrical system that monitors battery voltage, charging and temperature. Transport ministry official Shigeru Takano said 'we have found no major quality or technical problem' with the lithium-ion batteries. Shares in GS Yuasa, which makes the batteries, jumped 5% on the news. 'We are looking into affiliated parts makers,' he said. 'We are looking into possibilities.'"
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Dreamliner: Boeing 787 Aircraft Battery "Not Faulty"

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  • by peter303 (12292) on Monday January 28, 2013 @01:35PM (#42716893)
    Japanese government agency defending a Japanese company. I wait for a more objective report which I believe is in the pipeline.
    • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Monday January 28, 2013 @01:43PM (#42717003) Homepage Journal
      All they are really saying is that the chemistry and packaging on the batteries was within spec. Like most lithium battery problems though, the problem is in the control hardware. So really this press release is just telling us something that we already figured out: That the charging circuit for the battery is defective.
      • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Monday January 28, 2013 @01:54PM (#42717135) Homepage

        This [mpoweruk.com] is a nice quick review of Lithium nastiness....

      • If the battery itself is not defective in its construction, then I would posit that the charging circuitry was just badly designed. If you charge the battery too quickly, It overheats, and smokes.
      • Most likely the problem is NOT in the charging circuit. Most probably the batteries are wearing out more quickly then spec and becoming more sensitive to charging within (but near the edge of) spec. There may not be enough battery monitoring going on to look for anomalies that could be detected and stop the use of the batteries as they degrade. In the end they are really going to regret using lithium ion batteries. The extra containment they need when they fail is going to make up for the weight saving
        • One of the planes was about a year old, the other a couple weeks. The older plane had seen its Li-Ion batteries replaced in more recent times, and the two suspect batteries were within 30 serial numbers of each other. If they're wearing out *that* quickly I'd be worried.

          • by jandrese (485)
            Would it be weird that they're within 30 serial numbers of each other when there are only 50 of these aircraft in service? I don't think this particular battery is a COTS product.
            • How many batteries are there in each aircraft? just one?

              • by jandrese (485)
                All of the comments I've read about this battery refer to it as "the APU battery". While I'm sure the aircraft has scores of other batteries, none of them will be like this one. It is a specialized piece of equipment.
              • Of this type? Two. The APU and the main battery. They are identical and thus interchangeable such that if the main battery is not charged or otherwise not functioning before a flight, you can swap the APU battery in its place. There are, IIRC, other batteries scattered throughout the plane. Unsure if they're Li-Ion or not.

        • Why do these planes even have chemical batteries? Surely they could fit an alternator and some ultracapacitors in there somewhere...
        • by FirstOne (193462)

          I'm really surprised those 787's haven't been falling out of the skies by now.. As usual, (this goes for most electronic products built in the last 25 years or so.) someone along the line ignored some critical thermal management details..

          Recharging Eight(8) 60+amp/hr LiCoO2 cathode based batteries packed neatly in rectangle configuration configuration at nearly 0.8C. (75 minutes.) is a receipt for inevitable failure. Yeah.. the battery is spec'd for 0.8C. charge rate.. But, not packed side by side oth

          • Batteries will fail, usually in some sort of spectacular manner. Their specific chemistry doesn't matter. In fact this is so well known, and the possibility of a fire was so well anticipated that Boeing did indeed design a containment cage for these batteries. Take a look at the pictures from the Boston incident. The heat damage was pretty well contained (the containment vessel was damaged quite significantly, but the rest of the nearby electronics remained intact). What *wasn't* contained, and what li

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@@@world3...net> on Monday January 28, 2013 @01:55PM (#42717153) Homepage

      As opposed to the American company that is heavily supported by the American government telling us the fault must lie with the Japanese batteries it bought. I see where you are coming from.

    • by gweihir (88907)

      Unlikely. The main battery faults of the past in this type of battery are metal shavings (Sony, e.g.) and problems with the insulation. Both are easy to identify once you know what you are looking for. The battery controller is a different matter: Highly complex software, possibly outsourced to some 2nd world country where they did not really understand what they are doing. I predict this is another instance of sub-standard software engineering practices that are so common in the industry today.

  • by Shoten (260439) on Monday January 28, 2013 @01:36PM (#42716903)

    The 787 is a revolutionary aircraft on many levels, from features to construction technology to production methods. I would expect there to be unforseen issues resulting from interaction between different systems. What I'm curious about is whether Boeing will get them all sorted out quickly enough...in which case they will be superbly positioned to compete, having mastered the many challenges around making the 787 what it is. If they don't, then they will be in terrible trouble. I feel like I'm watching aeronautical history playing out before my eyes.

    I hope they get it all fixed in time, personally. The 787 is a hell of a plane. Check it out here: http://www.newairplane.com/787/ [newairplane.com]

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Joce640k (829181)

      Do you work for Boeing or something...?

    • by hawguy (1600213) on Monday January 28, 2013 @01:42PM (#42716999)

      The 787 is a revolutionary aircraft on many levels, from features to construction technology to production methods. I would expect there to be unforseen issues resulting from interaction between different systems. What I'm curious about is whether Boeing will get them all sorted out quickly enough...in which case they will be superbly positioned to compete, having mastered the many challenges around making the 787 what it is. If they don't, then they will be in terrible trouble. I feel like I'm watching aeronautical history playing out before my eyes.

      I hope they get it all fixed in time, personally. The 787 is a hell of a plane. Check it out here: http://www.newairplane.com/787/ [newairplane.com]

      I'm not surprised by unforseen issues from the new technology and design (like the fuel leaks that have been reported), I'm quite surprised to see battery problems since they must have already run the batteries and charging system through many thousands of simulated takeoff/landing cycles both in bench tests and while installed in a test airframe.

      • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Monday January 28, 2013 @01:59PM (#42717197) Homepage

        I'm not surprised by unforseen issues from the new technology and design (like the fuel leaks that have been reported), I'm quite surprised to see battery problems since they must have already run the batteries and charging system through many thousands of simulated takeoff/landing cycles both in bench tests and while installed in a test airframe.

        This. They knew the batteries were problematic. The Boeing engineers and subcontractors aren't idiots. Even if the snarky NYT opinion piece which suggests that Japanese firms were preferentially picked for financial rather than technical reasons is true - those said Japanese firms aren't exactly slouches (GL-Yeasu (sp?) makes Lithium ion batteries for spacecraft.

        Sounds like a production issue. But these things are complicated. Look at the F22. That's why it's called the bleeding edge.

        • Bleeding edge is for military aircraft, not commercial airliners that carry hundreds of people at a time with as little downtime as possible.

          • by hawguy (1600213)

            Bleeding edge is for military aircraft, not commercial airliners that carry hundreds of people at a time with as little downtime as possible.

            Some aircraft needs to make the leap to new technology or airliners would still be using unsealed lead-acid batteries.

      • by mpe (36238)
        I'm quite surprised to see battery problems since they must have already run the batteries and charging system through many thousands of simulated takeoff/landing cycles both in bench tests and while installed in a test airframe.

        Wouldn't be the first time that testing has failed to represent actual use though. Even Boeing's flight testing may no be representative of how an actual airline operates the plane.
    • by sycodon (149926)

      " Attention has now shifted..."

      You would think that given the importance of finding the problem here, they would have teams working in parallel looking at all the possible causes. They probably do, but the reporters just don't understand.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by steelfood (895457)

      I was more excited about the A380 myself, but I realize that there's a very small market for such large planes.

      The 787 is using a lot of unproven tech. "Revolutionary" is good when it's built on sound fundamentals. I'm not sure the 787 was built this way. Rather, I suspect it was built on barely-good-enough and laboratory-tested, which are not encouraging signs.

      There's a reason why a lot of civilian technology comes out of military research. Using it in the military will test the technology in the real worl

      • by timeOday (582209)
        Prior to this battery issue, the most noted aspect of the 787 was the composite construction, which was certainly pioneered in military aircraft.

        Maybe lithium-ion batteries have been, too; I don't know. But IMHO considering how many millions of lithium-ion batteries are in service around the world, and in how many different applications, this can't be such a fundamental flaw. I think more likely a bug.

      • And the military can compensate for greater risk of partial or full failure, both by the operators' prior training and greater built in redundancy as a result of a higher price tag that only the military would pay.

        And by a tolerance for (or apathy towards, po-tah-to) loss of life in regards to compensatory damages.

        In recent years, though, families have begun to sue manufacturers of military craft (e.g. Sikorsky) for wrongful death, so maybe this dynamic will change.

      • by Kittenman (971447)

        I was more excited about the A380 myself, but I realize that there's a very small market for such large planes.

        Forgive me, but is that true? I live in NZ and most planes to/from here are 747s of some colour. Those planes have been the backbone of international fleets for decades (the sixties?). I would say that there's a huge market for long-haul big planes - world population is going up, countries aren't getting any closer. The world's fleet of 747s will eventually need replacing with more 747s, or 380s, or ... something of that size. But now the long-haul runs need to be fuel-efficient and cheap.

        And safe

        • by JanneM (7445)

          I hope the Dreamliner comes right - but I'm looking forward to a flight in a 380 more than a 787.

          +1. The 787 is technically nice of course, but it's not really exciting the same way that a plane half again as big as the next smaller one.

        • by mr_exit (216086)

          Another NZer here.

          The difference in approach is that Airbus bet the farm on big planes travelling between hubs, then small (A320 sized) planes taking people to their final destination.

          Boeing has bet the farm on smaller long range planes taking people exactly where they want to go.

          It's going to be interesting if one of them has hit the winning formula, or if there's enough competition and different habits to support both approaches.

      • by drjzzz (150299)

        I was more excited about the A380 myself, but I realize that there's a very small market for such large planes.

        Excited? About something slightly bigger than the 4-decade-old 747? The most interesting thing about that plane is the prospects for sales to recoup even a significant fraction of the tens of billions the European companies, err, countries , paid to build it. Forget about bailing out Greece, Portugal, et al., some of those Euros are going straight into subsidies to the companies assembling it. Financially interesting, technically not so much.

        • As opposed to american companies that getting subsidised by overpriced military contracts...
          • by drjzzz (150299)

            "I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post." Memorably delivered by Jack Nicholson as Col. Jessup in "A Few Good Men" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104257/quotes)

        • An A380 can fit 800 people. The newest, extra long 747-8 can't even hold 500.

          • by drjzzz (150299)

            Wow, that's over 50% bigger! I'm just saying it's (obviously) not as technically interesting as employing an entirely new building material and process. And the 380's size is wonderful, until you are waiting for your bags or for customs with another 300 fellow passengers. Boeing decided that more efficient was better than bigger. And without governments to write-off the initial investment, a bigger plane would never pay off. It still might not be truly profitable, ever, anyway. Governments are also inv

    • by MACC (21597)

      What I'm curious about is whether Boeing will get them all sorted out quickly enough...in which case they will be superbly positioned to compete, having mastered the many challenges around making the 787 what it is.

      You will find that Murphy has a big bucket of bugs to keep dishing out from for the Dreamliner and Boeing.
      IMHO This is a product jinxed by management hubris.

      I hope they get it all fixed in time, personally. The 787 is a hell of a plane. Check it out here: http://www.newairplane.com/787/ [newairplane.com]

      PR drivel, the only vector of exellence for Boeing these days.

    • by nadaou (535365)

      I feel like I'm watching aeronautical history playing out before my eyes.

      You are.

  • by peter303 (12292) on Monday January 28, 2013 @01:38PM (#42716933)
    Even though every pound saved cuts thousands of pounds of fuel and carbon emissions over the plane's lifetime, this extra is small compared to the total plane mass, passengers and luggage. Not to mention having and expensive plane out of service for possibly months.
    • by sjames (1099)

      At this point, since it;'s not the batteries themselves, it's most likely the charging system that's faulty. Li-Ion batteries have a more extreme reaction to overcharging, but it's not like lead-acid batteries wouldn't have problems.

      • by Chuckstar (799005)

        They actually had similar problems with NiCad when they first put them in planes. The failure modes for NiCad are not as bad. NiCad doesn't create a self-sustaining fire the way Li-ion can, but overheated NiCads can (and have) caused nearby objects to melt and/or catch on fire.

        If it is the electronics, then it's possible that even if they'd gone with NiCad, they could still be having problems with the battery subsystem. The only difference in that case would be that you wouldn't have the "why did those i

    • Even though every pound saved cuts thousands of pounds of fuel and carbon emissions over the plane's lifetime, this extra is small compared to the total plane mass, passengers and luggage.

      *sigh* We've been through this before - yes, the total saved is small per flight. But multiply it out across the decades the plane will be in service and it adds up to a very substantial sum. To folks who have to actually pay the bills, this matters. Hell, to anyone with a basic understanding of accounting (rather than

  • by Silentknyght (1042778) on Monday January 28, 2013 @01:45PM (#42717047)

    Driving into work this morning, I heard this same quote on NPR:

    "Airline safety inspectors have found no faults with the battery used on Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, Japan's transport ministry has said."

    Worded as such, I think most people would get the wrong impression. They're defining the battery as if it's sitting in someone's pocket, detached from any relevant system & unable to charge or discharge; I didn't think of it that way, and I'd suspect most others didn't either. Most news outlets could use the clarity (albeit, only eventually) provided by the BBC article. The battery *itself* is not the culprit, but investigators essentially *do* still suspect the battery *system,* including the batteries themselves.

    • by Solandri (704621)
      It's just the way these investigations happen and the press/public is reading too much into it. Aircraft accident inspectors are very systematic. They'll examine the easy/most likely suspects first and cross them off the list, before moving on to more difficult suspects. So they'll examine the battery. Then the charging/loading system. Then the plane's electrical system. Then if none of those turn out to have independently caused the fire, they'll go looking for interactions between these systems.

      U
    • by Chuckstar (799005)

      I disagree. I think most people think of the battery as only the lump of chemicals that stores the charge. Most people would not think of all the electronics as being part of the battery.

  • by vlm (69642) on Monday January 28, 2013 @01:52PM (#42717119)

    Not entirely surprising, its usually the charger and/or the discharge protection ckts. Ask the RC electric airplane people who have at least a decade or so experience with lithium batteries in airplanes and burning them up. I was into RC planes back when everyone used NiCad but I've kept up with recent events. The batteries themselves rarely burst into flame, they burst into flame when you connect them to something that does something very naughty well outside the limits of the datasheet.

    I think this will probably, in the long run, turn into a "EE ethics and morals class" debate. So discharging 15 amps out of a 10 amp pack results in a 0.001% chance (actually pretty high) of blowing the pack up per the data sheet. However not supplying 15 amps to the engine control system during an alternator malfunction (or whatever) means the engine shuts down and 500 people have a near 100% chance of death. "just follow that datasheet" stuff could kill lots of people, then again "ignore the datasheet" could kill lots of people too. So if you must use lithium batteries (why?), then you can find a local minimum death rate which will not be zero... of course finding that might have to be done via experiment on unwilling crash victims, whole nother ethical issue. Basically, we're trading human life for slightly improved gas mileage, which certainly makes me want to fly on a carrier using airbus products instead of boeing products, which has other ethical issues, etc. Is the ethical/moral failure the managers for doing it despite advice against, the engineers fault for not committing career and economic suicide by refusing to design a lithium aircraft pack, the supplier for making batteries for an unsuitable purpose, the arabs fault for making jet fuel so expensive so we have to kill people with lightweight batteries, ...

    The simplest thing is a battery drop tank arrangement or a rather stout thick wall steel case, making the works heavier than using old fashioned lead acid.

    • by cellocgw (617879)

      So discharging 15 amps out of a 10 amp pack results in a 0.001% chance (actually pretty high) of blowing the pack up per the data sheet. However not supplying 15 amps to the engine control system during an alternator malfunction (or whatever) means the engine shuts down and 500 people have a near 100% chance of death.

      So what you're really saying is "Take the number of [batteries] in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one. "

      • by vakuona (788200)

        That’s what the bean counters call a simple actuarial analysis.

        • by vlm (69642)

          There's also some net present value calcs of taking to profit today vs paying the settlements years later, but yeah.

      • Nuanced response (Score:5, Informative)

        by Okian Warrior (537106) on Monday January 28, 2013 @03:14PM (#42718255) Homepage Journal

        So what you're really saying is "Take the number of [batteries] in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one. "

        The actual answer is more nuanced.

        FAA regulations define 5 levels of critical for safety systems: levels A through E.

        Level A is for things that can knock a plane out of the sky when they fail; for example the stall speed alarm.
        Level C is for things that can cause injury or at most a single death; for example, the cabin pressurization system
        Level E is for things that don't affect flight safety; such as, in-flight entertainment or the microwave in the galley

        For reference, I wrote the software for cabin pressurization systems. It's level C (hardware == B), which means that failure in pressurization is an emergency situation, but isn't expected to kill everyone on board. The masks drop and the pilot immediately dives to under 10,000 feet to restore breathable air.

        If the cabin fills with smoke, it's not life-threatening per se. The pilot can override the pressurization system and "dump" the cabin atmosphere, and it clears pretty quick. (The captain also dives to under 10,000 feet if necessary.)

        The battery catching fire isn't a problem SO LONG AS the fire itself won't cripple the aircraft. The battery underpowering the plane when the alternator dies MAY BE a problem which would kill people.

        The people who design these things take these levels into consideration, and the general rule is "fail safe". If you can't "fail safe", then "fail in the least dangerous way". In my experience, the engineer must make many choices when designing an aircraft unit. The answer is always "do it *this* way, because if *that* happens it will be less dangerous.

        Let's wait and see what the investigation uncovers. Here are some Cliff notes:

        1) Li-Ion batteries might behave differently at altitude (cabin pressure is reduced while flying)
        2) The battery may be performing to spec, while trying to compensate for a more dangerous problem
        3) Smoke in the cabin is not as dangerous as you might think
        4) Things that burn are designed to not damage things when burning
        5) People who design aircraft are pretty smart, and have a generally high moral standard.
        6) People who investigate aircraft incidents are really, really thorough, and have a good track record.

        (Note: Glossing over some details to make an easier read.)

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          The battery catching fire isn't a problem SO LONG AS the fire itself won't cripple the aircraft. The battery underpowering the plane when the alternator dies MAY BE a problem which would kill people.

          The former is critical, the latter isn't an issue.

          The fire can be contained, but it's the lithium that's a problem because it accellerates oxidation of aluminum. It's why there are regulations in place on transport of lithium in aircraft because a tiny bit of lithium can easily eat through critical aircraft stru

          • by drjzzz (150299)

            The fire can be contained, but it's the lithium that's a problem because it accellerates oxidation of aluminum. It's why there are regulations in place on transport of lithium in aircraft because a tiny bit of lithium can easily eat through critical aircraft structure and cause them to fail..

            There's a lot less aluminum in the largely carbon fiber 787. Doesn't this change the risk analysis?

        • by cellocgw (617879)

          he said, "The actual answer is more nuanced. [gigantic detailed examples of possible outcomes].."

          Sheesh. Doesn't *anyone* get the cultural reference I was quoting?

          Screw it; I'm off to make some soap from human fat.

          • FWIW, I did get the reference (and I own the movie).

            I was addressing the intent of the reference in its original context. There's lots of reason to despair the heartless actuarial calculations of corporations, but only where warranted.

            Note that I didn't snark your post (an urge that I find difficult to control). Don't be disheartened - your post wasn't modded "Funny", even though it's a valid attempt. I was just trying to supply some background.

    • by Kagato (116051)

      Each engine and the APU in the tail have two generators attached, plus there is the RAT for emergencies. By all accounts the batteries are more or less there for consistency between power phases. The APU is supposed to be running during ETOPS segments, so one has to wonder what the power drain on the packs was to begin with. You would think the likely time for an accident would be on the taxiway while stuck for a long departure wait. I could see some engine stop and starts happening that might create the

    • Basically, we're trading human life for slightly improved gas mileage, which certainly makes me want to fly on a carrier using airbus products instead of boeing products

      If you think Airbus isn't doing the same thing, you're deluding yourself. Minimizing the fixed weight load is the name of the game in aircraft design, and has been for a very long time. (Ford, Mercedes-Benz, General Foods, and pretty much every other company too... You want cheap flights, cheap cars, and cheap breakfast cereal, you're go

  • So, this comes to me as no surprise. What's really (guesstimation here) happening is probably that the electrical relay that's responsible for charging the batteries off of the engines generators isn't detecting the voltage properly, resulting in overcharging the batteries which results in them catching fire. The APU generator has enough juice to power some minor systems, avionics, air cond., and flight controls. The engine generators (which are usually kicked on after pushback and startup procedures hav
    • by bobbied (2522392)

      Seems likely that you could be on the right track. I wonder if this has less to do with in flight conditions and more to do with APU and Ground power transitions because all the noted events took place close to either takeoff or landing and not in the middle of a long flight. I wonder about ambient temperature changes might be a factor too.

      I can see where the transition to/from in flight and ground operations could be a lot more problematic for batteries and charging circuits due to momentary interruptions

    • The 787 is vastly more complicated than that. It does NOT float the batteries across a 28 volt bus like a car or small/medium sized aircraft. (well 14 volts for most cars..........) The generators on the engines and APU are about 230 volts AC IIRC and the batteries charge with a literal battery charger driven by the AC buses.
  • It's supposed to smoke and catch fire?
  • we have found no major quality or technical problem' with the lithium-ion batteries

    How about several (many?) minor issues that, when taken together, add up to "the problem"? Also, since at least, one of the batteries was fried almost beyond recognition (from a photo I saw), how do you know there was no problem?

  • by Animats (122034) on Monday January 28, 2013 @02:36PM (#42717771) Homepage

    The battery charging voltages and currents are logged, the logs go to the flight recorder, and they don't indicate overcharging. [aero-news.net] There are monitoring circuit boards in the battery case, separate from the charger, which report this data. Either the charger failed in some way that caused an overcharge without the voltage sensing detecting this, or the battery itself failed.

    The NTSB says they haven't found anything defective yet. The burned battery is enough of a mess that it's hard to extract much info, but they're using spectroscopy to check that the composition of the components was correct.

    The grounding is necessary. The JAL aircraft at Logan only had 22 takeoff/landing cycles on it, and this has now happened twice, so the odds of further trouble are high. Over the next few days and weeks, batteries and chargers will probably be pulled from other aircraft and cycled through pressure chambers, shake tables, and hot/cold cycles in attempts to induce the failure.

    Meanwhile, I suspect that there are frantic efforts at Boeing to design a replacement that doesn't use lithium-ion batteries.

  • Brakes and wiring (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ogive17 (691899) on Monday January 28, 2013 @02:55PM (#42718035)
    I know a guy who works for the company that does the braking system. One of the 787s apparently had some issues with the brakes. He said that all the issues currently happening can be traced back to the wiring.

    You can take it for what it's worth but the wide array of problems plaguing this plane right now, the wire harness does make sense. Though bad design or bad manufactoring is yet to be seen.
  • http://www.electronicsweekly.com/blogs/engineering-design-problems/rohs/ [electronicsweekly.com] The replacement of leaded solder with tin-silver solder was bad for the environment (while the leaded solder was "toxic", the process to remove tin and silver - the replacements - is far more toxic, so the pollution was diverted from western controlled landfills of the future to coral mining islands of the present). But if it turns out to cause planes to drop from the sky (see concerns over "tin whiskers"), it will prove worse. I d
  • With all this talk of the 787 lately, I wanted to find out more about the aircraft. From Wikipedia's 787 page I found this bit rather interesting I think slashdotters would to:

    "The airplane's control, navigation, and communication systems are networked with the passenger cabin's in-flight internet systems.[199] In January 2008, FAA concerns were reported regarding possible intentional or unintentional passenger access to the 787's computer networks. In response, Boeing stated various airplane protective
    • Seems we have a BIG problem with some corporate fucks running Boeing company. They knowingly pushed flawed airplane design through FAA, influencing and bribing whoever stands their way. In order to get bonuses whey chose to ignore safety concerns overall. Human lives seem to be less valuable to than their profits and bonuses. Given that their "latest and greatest" aircraft turns out to be a flying coffin, should start avoiding Boeing crap ??
      • by drjzzz (150299)

        oh definitely, let's all boycott planes made by "corporate fucks" and commit to flying only on planes made by little, friendly, ma-and-pa type ventures.

  • It was never the battery that was the problem. Now, maybe the charging system of the battery, that's a different story. But the batteries themselves were not really though to be problematic. Most lithium ion batteries will become damaged if overcharged and overheat, even much later than the original overcharging. That is technically not a problem with the battery anymore than holding a lit match to a piece of paper is a problem with the paper (unless of course the design spec says it's not supposed to happe

    • by countach (534280)

      Exactly. The battery might be fine, but if other things in the system can make it catch fire, its not much consolation that the fault wasn't in the battery. It still might be a bad idea to put Li-ion batteries on aeroplanes.

  • If it were IBM, the problem report would be closed with "bursting into flames is working as designed" for this particular product, and that if that is not a desired feature of the product, please submit a design-change request, the form for which can be found in the attic, in the file cabinet with the sign "beware of leopard" on it. There is an actual leopard down there. And the lights are burned out. They have been, since the last janitor met his demise finding out about the leopard.

Put no trust in cryptic comments.

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