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By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ ___

Boeing proposing long-term fix for 787 batteries

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Boeing attempted a major step Friday toward getting its 787 Dreamliners flying again, proposing a fix for the plane's troubled batteries that could allow the flights to resume as early as April, congressional officials said.

The next question is whether the Federal Aviation Administration will agree to let the planes fly even though the root cause of a battery fire in one plane and a smoking battery in another is still unknown. The airliners, Boeing's newest and most technologically advanced, have not been allowed to fly since mid-January following a battery fire in one plane and a smoking battery in another.

The plan â¿¿ a long-term solution, rather than a temporary fix â¿¿ calls for revamping the aircraft's two lithium ion batteries to ensure that any short-circuiting that could lead to a fire won't spread from one battery cell to the others, officials said. That would be achieved by placing more robust ceramic insulation around each of the battery's eight cells. The aim is to contain not only the short-circuiting, but any thermal runaway, a chemical reaction that leads to progressively hotter temperatures.

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Japan identifies some Boeing 787 problems

TOKYO (AP) â¿¿ Japanese authorities have identified the causes of fuel leaks and other problems with Boeing's 787 but are still investigating the more serious battery problem that forced an emergency landing in January and the worldwide grounding of the jets.

An oil leak was caused by an improper paint job that led to a switch not working properly, while inadequate taping led to cracks in cockpit glass, and a faulty part led to braking problems, according to the Transport Ministry's investigation released Friday into problems that occurred with the 787 Dreamliner in January.

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