This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Boeing and FAA: What We Learned From 787 Problems

Stocks in this article: BA

WASHINGTON ( TheStreet) -- Boeing (BA) and the Federal Aviation Administration said they have learned from their mistakes regarding certification of the 787 Dreamliner.

The mistakes led the FAA to ground the much-heralded new aircraft for three months, ended May 20, after two January incidents involving overheated batteries on 787s operated by Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways.

Since then, "We advanced the state of the art for testing lithium ion batteries," Mike Sinnett, Boeing's chief engineer for the 787 program, said Wednesday at a hearing of the aviation subcommittee of the House Transportation Committee. The hearing was titled "Lessons Learned from the Boeing 787 Incidents."

"We pushed the state of the art so we could cause a battery to fail in a similar way to the way it failed on the airplane," Sinnett said. The JAL and ANA incidents both occurred, he said, because of short circuits inside the airplanes' batteries. The batteries include a "burst disk" that acts as a safety vent.

In response to the incidents, Boeing needed to devise a method to create excessive energy in the battery cell without overcharging it, which would have led to a different type of failure. Boeing was able to heat a battery cell by wrapping it with a heating element, releasing enough heat to cause other cells in the same battery to vent as well. "Now we can replicate a cell failure with sufficient energy to cause that venting," Sinnett said.

While Boeing has been able to protect against battery fires by wrapping the batteries in a steel case, it has not yet determined the root cause of the fires in the Japanese airlines' two aircraft. A study by the National Transportation Safety Board is ongoing.

As for the FAA, "We now have a much more robust process for testing lithium ion batteries if they're used in aviation," Peggy Gilligan, FAA associate administrator for aviation safety, told the subcommittee. "That's a very important lesson and that's already in place." One improvement is that the FAA expects more accountability by contractors in the supply chain, she said.

Additionally, Gilligan said, other industries had developed expertise in lithium batteries and now the FAA is predisposed to consult such experts. "Some of these new technologies are not just used in aviation," she said. "Boeing brought together a number of experts on lithium batteries and we learned a great deal from them. So if there is a community of experts outside of aviation, (we will make sure) we know how to reach them."

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs