January 18, 2013
Boeing Co. says it will stop delivering new 787s to customers until its electrical system is fixed.
Boeing says production is not stopping. The plane is assembled in Everett, Wash., and North Charleston, S.C.
The Federal Aviation Administration has grounded the 787s until Boeing can prove the batteries are safe. A statement from Boeing says it will stop deliveries until the FAA approves a solution. It says it will also wait until the fix has been carried out.
A Japanese investigator says the burned insides of a battery from a Boeing 787 indicate it operated at a voltage above its design limit.
The lithium ion battery was located beneath the cockpit of an All Nippon Airways 787 that made an emergency landing Wednesday morning in western Japan after its pilots smelled something burning and received a cockpit warning of battery problems. Nearly all 50 of the 787s in use around the world have since been grounded.
Photos provided by the Japan Transport Safety Board show a blackened mass of wires and other components within a distorted blue casing.
A transport ministry investigator says the burned insides appear similar to the battery in a Japan Airlines 787 that caught fire while parked at Boston's Logan International Airport on Jan. 7. He says comparing data from the two batteries likely will reveal a common cause.
The 787 relies more than any other modern airliner on electrical signals to help power nearly everything the plane does. It's also the first Boeing plane to use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for its main electrical system. Such batteries are prone to overheating.