[QODLink]
Americas

New battery design for Boeing Dreamliner

Company gets approval from US airline regulator to start testing redesigned battery for 787 Dreamliner planes.
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2013 04:55
The Dreamliner has been grounded worldwide since January after two battery failures [Reuters]

The US airline regulator has approved a plan by aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, to redesign the fire-plagued lithium-ion batteries for the 787 Dreamliner, but it has to pass a series of tests before the airliner can return to service.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the plan on Tuesday, which included changes to the internal battery components to avoid overheating.

Boeing's new battery - which it presented to the FAA in February - is designed to minimise the chances of a short
circuit, insulates the cells within the battery better and adds a new containment and venting system to prevent damage even if the battery catches fire.

Flight tests of only two 787s with new battery prototypes have been approved so far by the FAA.

"This comprehensive series of tests will show us whether the proposed battery improvements will work as designed," Ray LaHood, the US transportation secretary, said.

"We won't allow the plane to return to service unless we're satisfied that the new design ensures the safety of the aircraft and its passengers."

'Welcome milestone'

The agency also said that the plan is an outline for a recertification of the plane's batteries, which has two identical lithium-ion batteries.

Boeing welcomed the decision.

"Today's approval from the FAA is a critical and welcome milestone toward getting the fleet flying again and continuing to deliver on the promise of the 787," Jim McNerney, Boeing chief executive, said in a statement.

The 787 fleet worldwide has been grounded by the FAA and civil aviation authorities in other countries since January 16, after two battery failures in Boston, US, and Japan.

The 787 is Boeing's newest and most technologically advanced plane. Its grounding marked the first time since 1979 that FAA had ordered every plane of a particular type to stay out of the air for safety reasons.

302

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Indonesia's digerati could be crucial to success in the country's upcoming presidential election.
How Brazil's football legend turned every Corinthians' match into a political meeting for democracy.
As the Pakistani army battles Taliban forces, civilians in North Waziristan face an arduous escape for relative safety.
Nepalese trade in a libido-boosting fungus is booming but experts warn over-exploitation could destroy ecosystem.
Featured
Palestinian families fear Israel's night-time air strikes, as the civilian death toll soars in the Gaza Strip.
China still uses labour camps to silence democracy activists and others it considers malcontents.
Myanmar's Karen veterans of WWII, despite being abandoned by the British, recall their service with fondness.
Sri Lanka refugees stranded on a boat near Australia's shoreline are in legal limbo and fear torture if sent home.
The death of Hamed Shehab on Wednesday in an Israeli air strike has triggered fear and anger among journalists in Gaza.
join our mailing list