Dreamliner: Boeing 'Finds Battery Fix'
Boeing has said it has found a "permanent" solution to fix battery problems on its grounded 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
The head of the company's commercial aircraft division made the announcement following talks with Japanese government officials in Tokyo over the fate of the lithium-ion batteries used in the planes, which are at the centre of a world safety probe.
All 50 of the 787s in service industry-wide were grounded in mid-January after a blaze on a Japan Airlines 787 at Boston airport and a second battery incident on an ANA flight in Japan.
Raymond Conner told reporters the company would not abandon batteries and he denied reports that the plane-maker was at odds with the battery's Japanese supplier, GS Yuasa, over how to fix the troubles.
"It is not an interim solution. This is a permanent solution," he said.
Mr Conner did not give any technical details of the proposed fix, saying only that he was "confident" in it, however US officials have suggested it would address overheating by putting more robust ceramic insulation around each of the battery's eight cells.
He continued: "The solution set that we have put in place provides three layers of protection and we feel that this solution takes into account any possible event that could occur, any causal factor that could cause an event.
"And we are very confident that this fix will be permanent and will allow us to continue with the technology," he concluded.
Boeing told the US Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Transportation last week what it intended to do to remedy the problems.
The US aircraft giant, which has bet heavily on its lightweight Dreamliner plane at a time when airlines are eager to slash fuel costs, desperately wants to get it back in the air but the battery remedy will still need to be tested before clearance is granted.
The investigation found that short-circuits caused a rapid rise in battery temperatures but the root cause has either not been identified or made public.