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            january 19, 2020

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Boeing installs new batteries on Dreamliners, ANA to fly first five


Since the grounding of the Dreamliner 787 fleet following several lithium battery fires, Boeing has begun installing reinforced batteries on five grounded jets of Japan's All Nippon Airways.
The grounding of the 50 planes since mid-January has cost Seattle-based aircraft manufacturer US$600 million in deliveries on hold and airlines leasing alternative aircraft. Losses are likely to increase with several airlines seeking compensation, cited a report from Reuters.
Production has decreased to a rate of five a month until and it hopes to see deliveries restart in a few weeks.
The replacement involves installing a stronger battery casing, adding 68 extra kilogrammes with new battery chargers and the addition of a duct to vent gases outside the aircraft to avoid overheating.
Boeing has dispatched 10 teams of 30 engineers to carry out the five-day installation on the Dreamliner fleet approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, thought to be followed by Europe's aviation safety body shortly.
It is yet to be discovered as to what led to the repeated short-circuit of the batteries onboard the Japan Airlines' flight and on a plane parked in Boston, which ignited. Boeing has carried out exhaustive studies on "whole universe of possible causes," said 787 programme head Larry Loftis.
"It is possible we will never know the real cause," Mr Loftis said.
ANA will aim to carry out 100 to 200 round trip test flights in May before it carries passengers the following month. This allows its 180 Dreamliner pilots a chance to fly again and renew their licenses following a three-month break. The carrier lost $900,000 revenue per Dreamliner in the last two weeks of January.
Ethiopian Airlines hopes to see delivery of four 787s, which will be flying within days of arrival, according to a source cited by the report.

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