Odds and Ends: Narrowing the cause on 787s; 30-120 days grounding?

Narrowing the Cause: Aviation Week has a good article with some behind-the-scenes snippets about the grounding of the Boeing 787. Toward the end are comments from Japan Air Lines about narrowing the cause of the battery problems.

The JAL comments support what we heard on Friday: that Boeing and investigators are indeed beginning to focus on what they think may be behind the battery incidents. Things are still too fluid and uncertain to provide details here–we don’t want to head people or media off in the wrong direction, even inadvertently–but we’re cautiously optimistic.

Aviation Week also has this story about failure mode testing and the 787 batteries.

Reuters has this story about the progress being made in the investigation.

What this means for grounding: So the continuing question remains, how long will the 787 be on the ground? Boeing wants to get the airplanes in the air this month. A source, citing conversations he’s had with the FAA, says the federal agency sees the 787 grounded a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 120.

Lithium-ion Batteries OK to Fly: The Detroit News has an interesting story: while the 787 is grounded, lithium-ion batteries are continued to allow to fly in cargo holds.

Air Lease Orders 25 A350s: This is the long-overdue order (it was expected last November). Included are 20 A350-900s and five A350-1000s.

Regional aircraft trending up: Aviation Week reports that regional aircraft sizes are trending up.

CSeries v Airbus, Boeing: Something called the Wiglaf Journal (never heard of it) has an analysis of the Bombardier CSeries vs Airbus and Boeing.

35 comments on “Odds and Ends: Narrowing the cause on 787s; 30-120 days grounding?

  1. Some positive news re the 787. Can’t wait to see her fly again. I just hope they do find a final solution so a nice neat line can be drawn under the whole sorry episode.

  2. Meanwhile, Loren is at it again.

    http://www.lexingtoninstitute.org/why-boeings-future-is-bright?a=1&c=1171

    How do I know this? By looking at Boeing’s history. In the 97 years since it was founded by Bill Boeing outside Seattle, a dozen major competitors have come and gone in the commercial-transport market — Convair, Douglas, Martin — and only Boeing survived. Its main rival today is a company that the World Trade Organization says never would have existed at all without massive illegal subsidies from four European governments. Boeing doesn’t get government subsidies, and yet it sold more jetliners than Airbus did last year because its planes are better designed, more reliable, and a superior match for market needs.

    If you’ve never seen the Boeing commercial-transport complex around Seattle, then it’s hard to convey what a monument to free enterprise it is. Its final assembly facility for wide-body jetliners is the largest enclosed space in the world, a building so big that it has been known to spawn its own micro-climate, complete with raindrops inside the plant. And if you’ve never talked to the people who design and build and market Boeing planes, then you probably can’t grasp how much better they are than the employees who populate other companies in the same line of work. But they are, so much so that Boeing’s workforce is as much a testament to the greatness of American civilization as the Golden Gate Bridge and the Manhattan skyline.

    • “The World Trade Organization (WTO) on Monday upheld a ruling that Boeing received “at least” $5.3 billion of unfair subsidies between 1989 and 2006 and agreed with Airbus that the effect of the financial support is larger than their face value in light of their “particularly pervasive” nature.”

      http://atwonline.com/international-aviation-regulation/news/wto-upholds-boeing-subsidies-ruling-airbus-boeing-both-claim-

      Americans are always so squeaky clean, never cheating! :) Europeans are all dirty cheaters, snails eating disgusting closet commies! And their morally loose women never shave!

      This Loren guy should report to duty at Fox News. It is not easy to find so narrow minded, xenophobic guys out there. Probably salutes the American flag every morning 6 am sharp in his underwear, upsetting the neighbourhood dogs.

    • Thanks for the link. Wonderfully grotesque. Well Done Sacha Baron Cohen: that Loren B Thompson character is even funnier than Ali G, Brüno & Borat !

    • Mr. Thomson is a Thinktanker.
      You hire him for making your oppinions heard.
      He will cloak it in “analysis” and “advice”.

    • Hihi, this is pretty comical stuff.. American civilization is pretty awesome, but the greatness described here is somewhat of an American wet dream. Talking about wetness, I hope that the plants in other countries have better climate control.. Would help a bit against corrosion and what so not during the manufacturing process. And why are those silly Europeans and Asian folks building stuff like Iter, Cern, Channel tunnel, Akashi Kaikyō Bridge and much more?

    • The older I get, the more people are on the net, the more depressing bigotry I witness. Back in the early nineties I thought the net was going to bring people together (maybe it was just because of the kind of people online in those days), now it just exposes how deep-rooted tribalism is in mankind.

      • I’ve seen a complete reversal of culture. Before there is actually something to take there is no room for the takers and looters and their helpers.

  3. Loren, after shock and denial comes anger, that’s where you are. Maybe tour some Airbus facilities in Hamburg, Toulouse or Seville. It might be an eye opener. Your historical perspective is way off.

  4. Sorry, but that analysis of BBD is either from someone paid off, or massively ignorant. He’s got mistakes in his first paragraph that are so wide as to indicate that he’s not even bothered to do a basic research. So, can someone clarify what exactly is a 727-800? I’ve never heard of such a beast. Whipping up a chart that compares price vs. value, and slapping some points on to claim that a CSeries competes with an A320 and what I assume he meant was 737-800, is absurd. These aircraft are in completely different classes. Now had he compared the A318 and A319 to the 717/737-600 and 737-700 that might be something a bit different. However, I doubt he even knows those aircraft exist. If he thinks the CSeries will deliver in “mid to late 2013″, he’s either on crack or woefully ignorant of the aviation industry to the point that he should refrain from commentary.

  5. “Boeing doesn’t get government subsidies,” MY FOOT!

  6. Scott, there might be a reason why you have never heard of the Wiglaf Journal. This so-called “analysis” looks like a school boy homework. We are far, I mean very far, from the quality work produced by Air Insight a couple years ago:

    http://d9itxagvk5mi8.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/thumbnailcs.jpg

    “Over the next decade, Bombardier’s CSeries product line specifically targets Airbus’ A320 and Boeing’s 737 aircrafts with the intentions of capturing at least 50% of current market share enjoyed by the heavy hitters.”

    Really? I think what he meant is that BBD sees a market potential for 3000 planes in the 100-149 seats segment in the coming decades, and it expects to capture half of that relatively limited market. The other half being distributed between Embraer and the very low end of the Airbus and Boeing product range.

    The above figures were taking into consideration a potential response from Embraer which was widely expected to come out with a riposte, like the MAX versus the neo for example. But that riposte never came. It does not mean that this market now belongs to BBD. The G2 will still pressure the CSeries from the bottom while the smaller variants of the A320 family and the 737 will block the CSeries with al the might that A and B can deploy.

    What is completely ignored in the “analysis” is the widely expected stretched variant called the CS500. The introduction of such a model could indeed completely rearrange the duopoly landscape.

  7. OV-099 :
    But they are, so much so that Boeing’s workforce is as much a testament to the greatness of American civilization as the Golden Gate Bridge and the Manhattan skyline.

    They are such good people. It makes me mad to see them abused by cheating government-subsidised cheese-eating surrender monkeys.

    Oh it makes me mad.

  8. Noticed the mention of possible moisture affecting batteries…

    It didn’t register when I first read it, but I just made a mental link between moisture in batteries, moisture issues during the early testing days, the higher cabin humidity, spurious electrical troubles all over the aircraft…

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if Boeing’s answer were ‘moisture is not above the level of comparable aircraft’ or only ‘slightly higher’

      • well, comparable aircraft don’t have 1kV DC supply lines or high powered AC systems everywhere ..
        but they do have bleed air systems that keep a lot of places
        warm and dry that are cold and clammy on the 787 ?

      • ups, sory,

        symmetrical .270V supply ( i.e. one -270V rail, one +270V rail , resultant voltage is 540V DC.
        1kV is about the maximum summ voltage you can get from
        two three phase 240VAC buses that have an erroneous connection between a phase from each bus.
        If you add grounding errors you can get 1kV relative to
        the reference ground. You would have to design for that
        case imho.

  9. How can the FAA wager that the grounding is not going to last longer as 120 days if the root cause is not established, let alone a fix?

    • Easy. Just like 10000% save ;-)

      I would expect such given values to bracket some value of “probable” as assigned to “We have a good chance to ..” . Somewhere around 80% .. 90% ??

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