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Boeing to Propose Redesign of 787 Battery to F.A.A.
By CHRISTOPHER DREW
New York Times
Boeing has developed possible fixes for the battery problems in its grounded 787 jets and could have them back in the air within two months, industry and federal officials said Wednesday.
The officials said Boeing has narrowed down the ways the lithium-ion batteries on the jetliners could fail, and believes that adding insulation between the cells of the batteries and making other changes would provide enough assurance that they would be safe to use.
Raymond L. Conner, the president of Boeing’s commercial airplane division, plans to propose the fixes in a Friday meeting with Michael P. Huerta, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration. Mr. Huerta is not expected to approve the changes immediately, but the meeting is likely to start a high-level discussion on the standards Boeing needs to meet as it tests the fixes and seeks to get the planes flying again.
Boeing’s plan could be a pivotal moment in the history of the innovative fuel-efficient planes. Mr. Huerta and regulators around the world grounded the planes in mid-January after a battery caught fire on one jet parked at the Boston airport and smoke forced another 787 to make an emergency landing in Japan.
Investigators have not determined what caused those problems. But Boeing’s engineers have worked closely with the F.A.A. and outside experts to identify ways in which the batteries could have failed, and Boeing is now asking the government to sign off on a calculation that they have now come up with a safer design.
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