Back in 2013 more than a few people swore they would never get on a 787 with the battery fire problem allegedly resolved after 4 months of grounded aircraft.
Since then we hear very little and to the public it seems that the problem has gone away. This has been made easier by the FAA telling airlines and Boeing that it’s now a non-reportable issue.
During the last two weeks a Washington DC to Paris United 787 flight suffered a battery failure. Liquid was found bubbling out of the emergency venting system.
It was fixed after being grounded for a few days, flew back to Denver and developed more problems and had to be grounded again. United are under no obligation to reveal details and apparently won’t.
In 2014 two aircraft suffered battery fires, one Qatar and one JAL, both were contained by the new unit installed since the 2013 grounding.
The point is here that the problems with the battery’s design have not been resolved. They’re containing the problem – they haven’t solved the issue.
A battery like this either has a mechanical problem – which in this case is unlikely as it has no moving parts, or there is a defect in the cells at manufacture, or the electrical system on the aircraft is over-working the battery.
The trouble is Boeing will not confirm an issue, they are not required to report them and the FAA seems happy to let the manufacturer and the Airlines keep it to themselves. The real scale of the problem is hidden from public view. And if it’s not a problem why is everyone being so secretive?
With almost 600 787’s flying every day seems like another day where the chances of a more serious problem developing must be gradually increasing. And nobody wants to discuss the issue. Why?