Quick Note: Boeing May Begin 787 Dreamliner Test Flights "Soon"
February 5, 2013 11:06 AM
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Charred 787 battery
The FAA is reviewing the request
Things are starting to look up for Boeing as its troubled 787 Dreamliner jet may soon be able to partake in test flights.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently reviewing a request from Boeing to conduct test flights with the 787 soon. Boeing has a couple of battery fixes in mind that it would like to try out.
One of the fixes looks to keep any internal
overheating of the battery
contained while making sure that ventilation releases hot liquid or gaseous products from the battery to the outside of the plane.
Another fix consists of making sure moisture doesn't get inside the battery, which is what Boeing suspects may have contributed to the recent fires.
Even if the FAA does allow Boeing to conduct test flights, that doesn't mean the 787 will no longer be grounded for passenger flights. In fact, the grounding of 787 passenger flights will likely last for weeks or even months. A recent report indicated that there
likely won't be a quick fix
The Seattle Times
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RE: Ditch the packs
2/6/2013 10:28:02 PM
The reason you have a battery is because you need electricity when there are no engines running. Having looked at the Yuasa brochure for this battery, it is confusing as to what the battery is capable of, except that each cell is rated at 65 Ampere-hours.
There are computer systems around which people don't want to turn off, and so, for those types of equipment, a battery is essential. As I said, as time goes by people will want to add electronic equipment to the plane, and some of that equipment will fall into the "please don't turn off unless you really really do have to" category, which will then place a demand on the battery at times when there are no engines running.
This will mean that in, say, 10 years time you will either have less "no engine" time than you do today, or you will have to install a battery with a bigger capacity (e.g. 100 Ampere hours) to get the same amount of "no engine" time as you do today; both of these scenarios are ones that airlines may not want.
By Boeing limiting themselves to such a rigidly small space for the battery, they are creating a set of problems they could easily have avoided.
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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