Dreamliner battery fiasco blamed on design flaws

The National Transportation Safety Board blamed both Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration for fire on Japan Airlines Dreamliner

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The Independent Online

The battery fire that led to the grounding of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner jets for more than three months last year responded to flaws in design and testing, US investigators have concluded.

The January 2013 battery fire on a Japan Airlines Dreamliner led to the longest grounding of a large commercial aircraft by US regulators since jets were introduced in the 1950s.

Boeing uses two lithium-ion batteries in the Dreamliner to power electronics and other equipment.

But, according to the The National Transportation Safety Board, a short circuit in one of the battery’s eight cells triggered a runaway failure that engulfed the entire power pack.


Boeing had certified that overheating in one cell of the lithium-ion battery couldn’t spread to others and the Federal Aviation Administration approved the design and testing.

The NTSB faulted both in a final report for not anticipating how the power packs might fail, and also pointed the finger at Japanese battery maker GS Yuasa, whose shares sank more than 2 per cent.

The 787 entered the market more than three years behind schedule in 2011, slowed by a variety of issues