The US Federal Aviation Administration grounded all US-registered Boeing 787. There are only six–all operated by United Airlines–but equivalent regulators typically follow the lead, though they don’t have to.
This is the first ground of a US-made commercial airliner since the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 was grounded in 1979, following a crash at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
The move was becoming more and more widely talked about in aviation circles. We’re on a multi-stop trip in Europe and more and more people we’ve visiting had been talking about the prospect of grounding.
Buckingham Research issued a note about a company that is in the process of producing a new lithium-ion battery design of later technology:
From the Buckingham note
We think BA does have alternatives if it decides to replace the current Li-Ion batteries.
- We recently spoke with EaglePicher, a competitor to GS Yuasa (787 battery maker).
- EaglePicher has a Li-Ion battery technology currently being certified for a business jet.
- EaglePicher notes it could have a 787 Li-Ion battery designed and certified in 12-15 months.
- EaglePicher’s Li-Ion battery conforms to current (and far stricter) FAA standards for Li-Ion batteries.
- Consequently, we think BA has design alternatives if it decides to replace the current battery.