- Title: USA: U.S. transportation safety board seeks lessons in Boeing 787 fires
- Date: 23rd April 2013
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (JANUARY 24, 2013 ) (REUTERS) NTSB LAB WITH OFFICIAL SHOWING CHARRED BATTERY INVESTIGATOR WORKING CLOSE UP OF CHARRED BATTERY AND CASING VARIOUS OF MATERIALS RELATED TO INVESTIGATION ON DISPLAY IN LAB EVERETT
- Embargoed: 8th May 2013 13:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Industry,Technology
- Reuters ID: LVAD1OXVNO7QV6RBJ7RSQ429MKWL
- Story Text: The top U.S. transportation safety agency is looking beyond what caused a Boeing Co Dreamliner battery to fail in January at larger lessons that can be applied to the airplane certification process and new technologies.
A two-day hearing at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) headquarters in Washington that began on Tuesday (April 23) delved into what Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration knew about volatile lithium-ion batteries when they proposed them for use on the Dreamliner, and how they addressed the risks.
"We are looking for lessons learned, not just for the design and certification of the failed battery but for knowledge that can be applied to emerging technologies," NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said in opening the hearing. "It's imperative to understand how to best oversee their development and certification."
Boeing said that it did not believe during design and testing that a fire could occur in the lithium-ion battery system that failed on the Dreamliner.
Under questioning, Mike Sinnett, Boeing's chief 787 engineer, said, "Any form of internal short circuit could lead to venting of that cell and release of electrolyte, but nothing more than that."
"The only time we were ever able to make a cell vent with fire was with significant overcharging," Sinnett added.
The hearing is part of the agency's investigation into what caused a battery to catch fire and burn on a parked 787 Dreamliner in Boston in January. The battery fire occurred after passengers had left the plane, and workers noticed smoke in the cabin. It took firefighters more than an hour to put the fire out.
A top Boeing Co executive said it was too early to determine whether problems with the lithium ion batteries on its new 787 Dreamliner that led to the plane's grounding in January stemmed from a design error or some manufacturing problem.
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