EVERETT, Wash., March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) announced today that a comprehensive set of improvements that will add several layers of additional safety features to the lithium-ion batteries on 787 commercial jetliners are in production and could be ready for initial installation within the next few weeks. New enclosures for 787 batteries also are being built and will be installed in airplanes in the weeks ahead.
These improvements, which continue to undergo extensive certification testing, will allow operators to resume commercial flights with their 787s as soon as testing is complete and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other international regulators grant their final approval.
The improvements include enhanced production and operating processes, improved battery design features and a new battery enclosure.
"As soon as our testing is complete and we obtain regulatory approvals, we will be positioned to help our customers implement these changes and begin the process of getting their 787s back in the air," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. "Passengers can be assured that we have completed a thorough review of the battery system and made numerous improvements that we believe will make it a safer, more reliable battery system." Battery system changes include changes to the battery itself, the battery charging unit and the battery installation.Earlier this week the FAA approved Boeing's certification plan, which lays out the discrete testing to be done to demonstrate that the battery improvements address the conditions laid out in the Airworthiness Directive that has suspended 787 commercial operations. Development Team Created Solution The enhancements to the battery system address causal factors identified by the Boeing technical team as possible causes of battery failure. The technical team's findings also were verified by an independent group of lithium-ion battery experts from a number of industries, universities and national laboratories.