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Thread: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

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    The root cause of the 787 problems is?

    We have had some insight (e.g. working for a vendor to Boeing) on the root causes of the 787 problems. Can't comment now, but maybe in the future. But, what do you think is the root cause is?

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    Re: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

    Quote Originally Posted by OhIsee.Then View Post
    We have had some insight (e.g. working for a vendor to Boeing) on the root causes of the 787 problems. Can't comment now, but maybe in the future. But, what do you think is the root cause is?
    the 787 batteries use lithium cobalt oxide tech, because it has higher energy storage capabilities.

    Grounded Boeing 787 Dreamliners Use Batteries Prone to Overheating | MIT Technology Review

    unfortunately, just like laptops, it can overheat and fry the device. from what i've heard, the 787 relies on electricity much more than previous passenger planes, so there are probably a lot of lithium batteries placed strategically on the plane for weight balance. maybe too many of them are in close proximity and are not adequately cooled.

    either way, it sounds like it's going to cost a lot of money. i'm surprised this problem didn't turn up in the exhaustive test flights that they have to do.

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    Re: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

    Quote Originally Posted by OhIsee.Then View Post
    We have had some insight (e.g. working for a vendor to Boeing) on the root causes of the 787 problems. Can't comment now, but maybe in the future. But, what do you think is the root cause is?
    So you have a good idea of what is wrong, but can't share. What is the purpose of this thread?

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    Re: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

    some techies on the web are saying that lithium iron phosphate batteries might be the answer :

    Boeing Chose Wrong Lithium Battery Type For 787, Says Lux Research - Investors.com

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    Re: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

    Boeing made a poor engineering choice. Passenger airplanes demand safety above all else, and using volatile batteries was simply a very bad idea. Lithium iron phosphate would had likely been a better choice, as it would be worth trading the energy density for a lower fire risk.

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    Re: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

    that would be kind of damming if true. car makers don't use those batteries because of the fire danger but Boeing thought it would be OK to use them in airliners...

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    Re: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    Boeing made a poor engineering choice. Passenger airplanes demand safety above all else, and using volatile batteries was simply a very bad idea. Lithium iron phosphate would had likely been a better choice, as it would be worth trading the energy density for a lower fire risk.
    in the comments of this article, a poster claims that the 787 was finalized before the FAA had approved lithium iron phosphate batteries :

    All 787s Now Grounded, Await Inspection Protocol | Aviation International News

    how long have lithium iron phosphate batteries been utilized in aviation? i'm not sure.

    either way, yes, it was a poor battery choice, for sure.

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    Re: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

    Quote Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
    that would be kind of damming if true. car makers don't use those batteries because of the fire danger but Boeing thought it would be OK to use them in airliners...
    That isn't true. Car makers use lead acid batteries because they are cheap, not because of safety. Even with the fire risk, the Dreamliner is still far far safer than driving a car.

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    Re: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

    Regulation is the problem.

    They should be allowed to fly, just restrict them to rural routes and tea party passengers only, until the bugs get worked out.


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    Re: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    in the comments of this article, a poster claims that the 787 was finalized before the FAA had approved lithium iron phosphate batteries :

    All 787s Now Grounded, Await Inspection Protocol | Aviation International News

    how long have lithium iron phosphate batteries been utilized in aviation? i'm not sure.

    either way, yes, it was a poor battery choice, for sure.
    A classic case of technological overreach. Using electrical systems to replace hydraulics and pneumatics to save weight is a viable concept, but only if you have stable and high energy density batteries. Li CoO2 batteries have the fire risk, NIMH are too heavy and Li Po4 weren't ready in time. Commercial airliners demand safety and predictability over performance and that requires taking a more conservative technological approach.

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