Does this Feel Hot to You?

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner tale has it all: mystery, suspense, and now controversy. On the same day, Japan’s Transport Ministry closed its investigation of Kyoto, Japan-based battery manufacturer GS Yuasa, and U.S. safety officials asked Boeing for its operating history of lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery use on 787 aircraft.

The Transport Ministry, part of the Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB), found no evidence of problems, whereas U.S. investigators learned a disturbing fact.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in the U.S. continues to investigate the GS Yuasa-provided battery that caused a fire on a Japan Airlines (JAL) 787 airliner parked in Boston. Safety officials also issued a request for historical battery information from Boeing in response to new information gleaned from All Nippon Airways (ANA) maintenance personnel, who revealed having replaced the 787’s batteries prior to the overheating problems being discovered.

An ANA spokesperson revealed that the company had replaced 10 Li-ion batteries on its 787 aircraft in 2012 due. What’s worse, these events—including a failure of the main battery to start, replaced chargers, an error reading on a battery, and failure of the battery responsible for starting the auxiliary power unit (APU)—occurred in just eight months, from May to December 2012. It was also reported today that Japan Airlines (JAL) had replaced batteries on its Boeing 787 fleet.

Japan’s Ministry officials are now turning their attentions away from battery maker GS Yuasa and toward Kanto Aircraft Instrument Co., manufacturer and system integrator of innovative electrical equipment in Kanagawa, Japan. Kanto’s contribution to the 787 includes an avionics system designed to monitor the voltage, charge status, and temperature of the airliner’s lithium-ion batteries.

This geek will keep you informed as further news develops in this troubling case of fried batteries.

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Posted January 31st, 2013, by

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About J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

J. VanDomelen holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and myriad certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTia in varying facets of computer software, hardware, and network design and implementation. He has worked in the electronics industry for more than 12 years in varied fields, including advanced systems design of highly technical military and aerospace computer systems, semiconductor manufacturing, open source software development, hardware design, and rapid prototyping. J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

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2 comments on this post | ↓ Add Your Own

Commented on February 27, 2013 at 10:21 am
By Burn Baby Burn « J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

[...] news (no pun intended) has been and continues to be related to the grounding of the entire fleet of Boeing Dreamliner 787 commercial [...]

Commented on February 28, 2013 at 10:29 am
By Innovation Speed Bumps « J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

[...] for accepting considerable government funding in the design, development, and manufacture of the Dreamliner, which it coined “the seven-AID-seven.” This time, however, Airbus has been noticeably [...]

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