DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky
February 26, 2024
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Here’s news nobody wants to read about during the Dubai show.  The last thing Boeing and aerospace firms want to hear about is 787 and batteries.  But the news is back.

While news should really be that it appears a Thales battery charger is the item at fault, the world will focus on the 787 and the Japanese airlines. It appears these airlines and Boeing know what happened with the 787’s batteries earlier, there has still not been an explanation of how or why it happened.

The consequence of the mystery means that any news related to 787s and batteries continue to attract press attention.  It is important that these issues are dealt with and fixed so they do not occur again.  But it seems this is not case yet.  Which is not a good thing.

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2 thoughts on “Japanese 787 news

  1. Wasn’t Thales the manufacturer of the faulty pitot tubes that have been linked to the cause of
    the crash of Air France 447, an Airbus 330 ? It makes one wonder what kind of R&D and quality control
    goes on in that organization.

  2. Thales was the overall system architect.

    While the basic facts are below, the underlyfing casue was trying to do the 787 on the cheap but Boeing Chicago who has not a clue on aircraft, they think the only ones entitled to getting something for nothing is themselves.

    The most likely underlying cause was the battery itself. It was kept low key, but (Yuasa I believe) had abysmal quality control on batteries and their rejection rate was far lower than industry has with those batteries. Major and rigorous quality controls were put in place along with testing vastly increased and documentation required on each. The fact there was so many improvements in the process indicated that was the issue.

    Boeing did not update their tests either as the program went along. Sort of like finding the rivets in the Titanic were brittle and then no implementing a process to make non brittle rivets and replace the brittle ones. Once they had their authorization on the Battery System, it was kept locked in stone even though the industry progressed and determined they had under estimated the issues and had come up with additional recommendation on it. Basically they said we have our authorization and we aren’t going to change it (or more accurately, we have so many other screw ups we are dealing with we don’t have the time and don’t bug us. Probably someone was saying they needed to and the manager was saying if we say anything we get fired so shut up.

    The real issue was the outsourcing. That lead to the logical debacle with yet another new and unneeded technology (cost in the end would have been far cheaper with the Nicads despite needing more and the added weight)

    As for the rest:

    The battery charger itself was made by an hitherto unknown entity called Secura-Plane (coroprate jet security systems) owned by BAE. Batteries were made in Japan with another Japanese entity making the monitor system.

    No one ever explained why Thales contracted to BAE for the charger. BAE had no expertise and turned it over to Secura-Plane as they were the closest they had (in the US and not explanation why it was US).

    Regardless, it was another 787 unmitigated mess as a result of the bizarre unsupervised network of suppliers Boeing Chicago insisted on as they did not want to pay the true cost to launch a new aircraft so they did it on the cheap (and we have seen how that worked out as they are just “mostly” coming out of the true impact of that).

    Boeing Seattle used to have their own electronics division with capability in all areas. Its been killed off by Boeing Chicago (who thinks electronics like aircraft produciton are tinker toys anyone can do) so they depend on outsiders to provide that with no cross checks until something goes wrong

    The lessons are still not learned as we are seeing on the 777X. They still think its all about what looks the cheapest place and people, not the best place or most talented people.

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