Business

March 6, 2013

Boeing ready to move on 787 fix, if U.S. approves

Boeing said March 4 that it is set to move quickly to get its 787s back in the air if it gets U.S. federal approval for a fix for the batteries that have grounded the planes.

The Federal Aviation Administration is considering a plan that Boeing submitted on Feb. 22 for fixing the batteries. The FAA has said it expects its experts to recommend this week whether to accept the plan.

Ray Conner, who runs Boeing’s commercial airplane unit, described the process to industry analysts at a J.P. Morgan aviation conference in New York.

The FAA certifies parts used on planes, and changes can prompt the need for a part’s re-certification. The agency has to first certify Boeing’s fix, then it has to approve testing for the fix, Conner said. Then Boeing will be able to install the fix on the 50 787s that have been delivered so far.

Once it gets FAA permission, “this will move really fast in terms of being able to get the airplanes back into the air,” Conner said. “We are prepared, we are ready to go.”

Conner didn’t say how long he thought all that would take.

Boeing’s fix has been described as a long-term solution aimed at making sure that short-circuiting in one battery cell can’t spread to another.

The 787 has been grounded since Jan. 16 after one plane had a battery fire, and a smoking battery on another plane forced an emergency landing.

Deliveries of 787s are halted, but Boeing is still building them. It’s making five per month now, and is moving to seven per month, on its way to 10 by a month by the end of the year. Boeing is still following its plan to speed up production.

“Obviously that could change if something were to go sideways with the FAA,” Conner said.

Boeing has teams working on the speedup and some 200 engineers working on the battery fix. “I’m kind of working both at this point in time,” Conner said. “That’s why I only live on four hours of sleep a night.”

Boeing is about to begin building the 787-9, a longer version of the plane it makes now, with more seats.

And it has been tentatively planning to make a longer-still 787-10 if there’s enough interest.

“Clearly having the fleet down right now has slowed things down a bit,” Conner said, referring to the 787-10. “I think we would have been in much better shape from having people cross the finish line” if not for the battery problem. He said, however, he thinks interest is strong enough that Boeing will soon be able to commit to build the plane.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines May 27, 2015

News: U.S. Air Force certifies SpaceX for military launches - SpaceX has been certified for military space launch, the U.S. Air Force announced May 26. The long-awaited announcement is a game changer, with SpaceX becoming only the second provider cleared by the service to launch national security payloads into orbit.   Business: Northrop Grumman CEO issues...
 
 

New’s Briefs May 27, 2015

U.S. military begins search flights for stranded Rohingya The United States has begun military surveillance flights to help locate stranded Rohingya and Bangladeshi boat people in Southeast Asian seas. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said May 26 that U.S. Navy P8 aircraft flew over the weekend with Malaysian support. Rathke said the U.S. has offered...
 
 
nasa-commercial-crew

Commercial Crew milestones met; partners on track for 2017 missions

NASA has taken another step toward returning America’s ability to launch crew missions to the International Space Station from the United States in 2017. The Commercial Crew Program ordered its first crew rotation mission fro...
 

 
af-spacex

Air Force certifies SpaceX for national security space missions

Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, commander of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center and Air Force program executive officer for space, has announced the certification of Space Exploration Technologies Corporation’s Falco...
 
 

Northrop Grumman passes key design review for B-2 weapons management upgrade

Northrop Grumman has successfully demonstrated to the U.S. Air Force that its plans to upgrade key weapons management software for the B-2 stealth bomber are on track and ready to proceed to the next level of development. The company successfully completed the critical design review of the service’s Flexible Strike Phase 1 program on Feb...
 
 
boeing-space

Boeing awarded first-ever commercial human spaceflight mission

NASA issued a task order as part of Boeing’s $4.2 billion Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract recently to include the company’s first-ever service flight to the International Space Station. The award ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>