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787 battery blew up in ’06 test, burned down building

In 2006, a devastating lab fire in Arizona showed just how volatile Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner lithium-ion battery can be if its energy is not adequately contained. By Dominic Gates, Seattle Times aerospace reporter ( More...

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Bill Harris 12
The headline is a little shrill for the content of the article. This is perhaps the most sensible quote I've seen to date in the coverage of the 787's operational problems:

'“If I’ve got an unexplained source of smoke or smell and messages indicating an overheat or a fire has been detected, frankly, I’m not going to pull out the book,” said veteran airline captain and aviation expert John Nance. “I’m just going to get the ship on the ground.”'
linbb 2
Had a friend who was charging his RC battery in his garage almost lost the garage.
mrippe 4
"Securaplane's main buildings were burned to the ground when a battery test went wrong"
what they don't say here is that "an investigation into that fire determined the cause was the set-up of the test, not the design of the battery or the charger."
looks like headline hunters strike again.
JetMech24 2
So, they are using batteries that they don't even know how to test properly?
tim mitchell 2
it's so amazing how companies continue to push products through even though they have not been fully field tested and there are known problems with the product....I mean I am all for advancements in technology but whenever you pass any product along knowing that they have potentially fatal flaws it's just wrong....I have no doubt that the 787 is going to be a fine plane but I just think they should refit all of the delivered and soon to be finished planes with batteries that have already proven themselves to be reliable and safe.
Tomasz Fiszer 1
The thing is that most users of such batteries don't care much about attached specs, which outline in a fine detail, how to charge it, what current, for how long, pulse, constant current, all curves of capacity loss and gain, etc. Too many times, I've seen people charging their AA NiMH with NiCD chargers, cause it's all just AA, isn't it?
Peter Bucksey 2
I flew a Falcon 900ex with nicad batteries. I flying Orlando to UK. We had just joined the tracks east of Canada when we had a thermal runaway on one of the two batteries. Even after the battery was disconnected the temperature continued to rise. We diverted into St Johns. Three hours after landing the battery was still too hot to hold. It was bulging and distorted. If we had been further along the tracks I dont know what we would have done. Its alright having 3 engines but if you only have 2 batteries and one of those is a potential timebomb sat out of reach 60 feet behind you you are in queer street. The next aircraft we had was an exEasy with lead acid batteries. Felt much safer. Peter.
Only a thorough investigation into this new type of battery should determine the cause of the problem. Headline hunting news reporters should wait until this investigation has been completed and a report published before jumping to erroneous conclusions based on nothing more than their own uninformed conclusions. Scaring the public with wild speculation does a disservice to a respected aircraft manufacturer and those that are investigating the cause of these recent problems.
Stephen Yee 3
If you read the story, it is not the same battery that went into the 787. It was a claim by a "whistle blower" that had his claim of being fired because of the battery dismissed in court. At this time there to many stories with misleading headline.
In English this time. THIS IS NOT GOOD. I hope they get it solved quickly.
James Driskell 1
In any event, Boeing senior management needs to accept responsibility for this fiasco and some heads need to roll.
Marcus Pradel 1
It's terribly hard to get a new component approved for installation into an existing airframe.

But the FAA & Boeing are playing around with this?!?
jack paillard 1
this battery issue reminds me of the new elt batteries (lithium) that came out in the eighties, the Feds came out with new ELT's and made us change all ELT's for the new ones equipped with lithium batteries. These batteries overheated, exploded, or caught fire in flight. One year later they came out with new ELT's equipped with normal batteries!!Seems that when they mention Lithium, there is a problem associated....Don't they make tests to make sure that they are safe and trouble free??I have changed all my Nicads for Lead acid.
tim mitchell 1
history always repeats itself....go figure
Edward Moad 1
So with the test in 06, why in the hell is Boeing using the battery, knowing that it would burn up. Seems kinda STUPID, not safe for a airplane, in my view.
So what are the other planes using. Ah, Pink Bunny...
Andy Tyler 1
read the actual article and you'll see the fire wasn't caused by a faulty-designed battery. Why on earth would Boeing risk the company's well being on a battery if it can fail THAT easily?
tim mitchell 0
because they were probably free or really cheap....The company I work for gets free or reduced batteries and tires all of time....they just call them test tires or test batteries.
matt jensen 1
So burning question is - is this supplier involved in making batteries for other Boeing jets, or just for the 787?
linbb 3
YUSA makes all kinds of batterys I have one in my motorcycle which is a lead acid type so they might be but not the type that blew up or burned or whatever happened to it. By the way if you go on facebook and look at that type for model aircraft use there are vidios of the blowing up on the ground and in the air.
matt-- good pun.
matt jensen 1
Thanks. Still the question exists as to why Boeing would do this?
Andy Tyler 0
why would boeing do what? Li-ion batteries have been used for many years. And if you read the actual article, the fire wasn't caused by a faulty designed battery.
Trying to get honest answers about the batteries is like trying to get answers from Hillary Clinton . Lol
linbb 3
Same type of batterys have blown up in RC model aircraft long before that happened. Those people keep them in special bags called safes or metal containers. If you think I am kidding ask anyone who flys electric RC aircraft about them. Thats why I dont understand why Boeing is using them and why the big supprise that they failed.
Torsten Hoff 2
I don't think it is exactly the same battery technology. The RC batteries that are prone to blowing up are LiPo (Lithium Polymer) batteries.
linbb 1
LiIon batteries were at the bottom of the Sony computer flap a few years ago. They wer catching fire in laptops while charging.
Also, Chevy Volt has a problem with this battery type.
Maybe Boeing should get their batteries from Toyota?? Prius' seem to be OK.
Andy Tyler 1
Prius uses Ni-MH batteries
Watched the interview today with NTSB. Sounded like Hillary . No answers but there on on it. Cme out and say there is a huge problem with no answer yet. Quit the dance, so we don't confuse you with politicians.
Overheat and resulting explosion of an A/C Battery, irrespective of Type or OEM, can also be caused by ay an installed Battery Charging Current Limiter as installed (BCCL) on some EADS Aircrafts or by an Aircraft Battery Charger (ABC) as intalled on other Manufacturers Planes. If the Battery is not adeqately protected against a Malfunctionaing of either BCCL/ABC, the installed Battery could cause considerable damabe. The Problem as I understand, was already detected but taken for serious enaugh. Hope, that the Aircraft Manufacturer involved will take proper action to avoid damage to the Aircrafts and the Passengers as well as our operating crew.
Andrew Taylor -1
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

What's wrong with the Dreamliner?

The grounding of Boeing Dreamliners entered its second week with the company and investigators working non-stop in the United States and Japan to try to pinpoint fire risk in the 787 electrical system.
as far as I am informed, the A/c Batteries installed in the rear bay of B787, is overheating in service and thus causing, in worst case an Explosion. Boeing is working on isolation of the Battery compartment and directng the overheated gases out of cabin. Even if BAC is sucessful in finding a solution, a modification of that scale will require allest 90 days for implementation. Until this Mod carried out, the B787 is only allowed to c/out test flights under FAA directivess.
Initially, EADS planned to utilize the same batteries on A350. After the disaster with B787 Bateries, EADS is now looking for another solution I guess.
Hope I aws able to give some clue on the B787 Problem with the battery. My sugession is to overlook the problem of interaction between the Lithium Ion Battery and the Charger.


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