As aviation technology advances, regulators fail to keep pace

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  • 1

    Jerome_from_Utah

    The Dream Liner is one of three problems related to Lithium Ion batteries; so, I would look there first. The other two are Dell laptop computers (a recall due to Sony Li-Ion battery problems) and several different kinds of battery powered cars. That last item resulted in stranded drivers of cars such as the Fiskar and Tesla which depended on the high tech batteries for performance of the super-expensive cars. Thermal runaway is not new. Aircraft NiCad battery installations are under constant surveillance due to this issue which has been around for about forty years which is why NTSB looked there first and proved over charging to not be the cause.

  • -3

    basroil

    JeromefromUtahJan. 21, 2013 - 09:18AM JST

    The Dream Liner is one of three problems related to Lithium Ion batteries

    The 787 isn't related to lithium problems, it's the other way around. Main reason is the use of lithium cobalt batteries rather than far more stable lithium iron phosphate batteries which are used in most applications nowadays.

    The other two are Dell laptop computers (a recall due to Sony Li-Ion battery problems) and several different kinds of battery powered cars.

    That was a manufacturing error, identical to accidentally cutting into a fuel feed line in a gas engine. Not all batteries would be effected even in the entire lifetime, but enough of them were to require a recall.

    That last item resulted in stranded drivers of cars such as the Fiskar and Tesla which depended on the high tech batteries for performance of the super-expensive cars

    Only Fisker had any issue, and was likely from low voltage charging and being left unattended. Nobody was left stranded, no more so than running out of gas or blowing out your radiator would in a normal car.

    Thermal runaway is not new. Aircraft NiCad battery installations are under constant surveillance due to this issue which has been around for about forty years which is why NTSB looked there first and proved over charging to not be the cause.

    Lead acid batteries used in older aircraft also have that issue, and potentially more so than even in ni-cd. However, charging isn't the only thing that can damage batteries, internal shorts are potentially worse since there's no way to stop thermal buildup in that situation.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    Former NTSB board member Kitty Higgins said the FAA must consider whether changes in its certification process would have turned up the problems in the Dreamliner battery systems.

    So, Kitty, what was the specific problem(s) in the 787 battery systems that the FAA should have identified? Oh, it/they hasn't been pinpointed yet? It's amazing how the talking heads are criticizing the FAA over the battery problem before the problem is even identified. All we have so far is symptoms, not the actual problem. I wonder why Kitty is a FORMER NTSB board member? Chronic foot-in-mouth disease, perhaps?

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