Boeing 787 Dreamliner Continuously Updated Grounding Timeline

By Jack Harty

Last Updated: June 1, 2013 at 1:30 AM EDT

1-June

I am excited to post our last update to our “Boeing 787 Dreamliner Continuously Updated Grounding Timeline.” We have spent four long months covering the Dreamliner battery issues, and, finally, Air India, All Nippon Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Japan Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Qatar Airways, and United Airlines have resumed normal operations with their beloved 787s. LAN Airlines will resume 787 flights on July 1.

EVERETT-2013-LOT-787Over the last four months, we have tried to provide the latest 787 updates on our continuously updated timeline to keep you informed about the latest developments, and we are very excited to see the Dreamliners back in the air. Personally, I think that I have become more attached to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner during the last four months as I have spent more than 100 days updating this timeline during the Dreamliner battery saga (with the help of Chris Sloan, Webmaster of Airchive.com, on a few occasions). Yet, it is great to see the Dreamliner back in service!

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While the exact cause of the battery problem is still not known, Boeing has developed a modification to the battery which will contain a fire in-case one was to break out in-flight. Despite a modification to the battery that is installed on all Dreamliners, Boeing will continue to find the root of the battery issue.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is still investigating the JAL Boeing 787 Dreamliner that suffered a battery fire on January 7 in Boston. Also, the FAA certification process is under investigation, and it is not known if any changes will be made to the process. In the mean time, Boeing is continuing to deliver Boeing 787 Dreamliners to customers, and the final assembly of the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner has begun. The first 787-9 is expected to take its first flight sometime this fall, and the first one will be delivered early-summer 2014.

Many have been wondering if the battery issues could have been prevented during the designing, building, and testing phases. Questions about the new technology being too exotic or not as mature (such as lithium ion batteries) have been raised by industry analysts. Also questions about the thought of Boeing trying too much cutting edge design in such a short period of time and the complexity of the supply chain have also been risen. While the long term damage to Boeing’s reputation is not known, there have been no Dreamliner order cancellations.  However, current Dreamliner customers are hoping to receive compensation from Boeing for the inconvenience, but Boeing is not contractually obligated to compensate airlines for the battery issues. But, Boeing has said that they are working with their customers in other ways.

As always, we will be sure to Tweet and post any updates about the 787 grounding on our Facebook page. Thank you to all who have followed our 787 coverage over the last four months!

31-May

Update 11:45PM EDT: China Southern Airlines became the first Chinese airline to take delivery of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The Dreamliner is expected to arrive at the carrier’s base, Guangzhou, on June 2. Domestic flights will begin shortly after.

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Photo courtesy of China Southern Airlines

Update 6:15PM EDT: ANA, JAL, and LOT Polish Airlines will all resume 787 flights tomorrow (June 1).

LOT Polish Airlines is depending on the Dreamliner to help them cut costs to help their financial troubles. On June 20, they will be presenting a plan that includes lay offs to the European Commission for more government aid.

Update 6:57 AM EDT: Manchester based leisure operator Thomson Airways became the first UK airline to take delivery of the Boeing 787. Thomson, along with China Southern, are the first new airlines to take delivery of a 787 since the grounding order was lifted. Thomson Airways was the first European customer for the Boeing 787, when parent company TUI Travel placed an order for 13 Dreamliner’s, with 8 going to the UK division.  LOT, however was the first European 787 operator. The 787, flight 9768, arrived on May 31st at 10:20AM British Standard Time at  the airline’s Manchester base after a 9:27 flight from Paine Field. Onboard were Thomson Managing Director Chris Browne and Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President of Marketing Randy Tinseth.

Image courtesy: Thomson

Image courtesy: Thomson

On July 8, the leisure carrier’s first long-haul Dreamliner flights will operate from Manchester to Florida and Glasgow to Cancun. Thomson will also operate services from London Gatwick and East Midlands airports. Later this year, the airline will introduce direct flights to Phuket, Thailand from the UK.

Thomson's first 787 departs on its fly away delivery flight from Paine Field on May 30, 2013. Image courtesy: Boeing

Thomson’s first 787 departs on its fly away delivery flight from Paine Field on May 30, 2013. Image courtesy: Boeing

The Thomson 787 Dreamliner will carry 291 passengers and is configured with 47 seats in the airline’s Premium Club cabin and 244 seats in the Economy Club cabin. Thomson is running a unique promotion called “Name Your Plane” to christen the new aircraft.  A new livery, named the “dreamliner” livery to coincide with the delivery of the Dreamliner, was introduced in May 2012

Extra: Thomson Special 787 Promotional Site here.

British Airways will become the 2nd UK airline to receive a Dreamliner when the first of their 24 Dreamliners (8 787-8s and 16 787-9s) arrives in July, 2013. Virgin Atlantic has 16 787-9s on order which are scheduled to begin deliveries in 2014.

29-May

Boeing has confirmed that all 50 Dreamliners that were delivered prior to the grounding have received the battery modifications.

ANA, JAL, and LOT Polish Airlines will resume scheduled 787 flights on June 1. LAN Airlines plans to resume 787 flights on July 1.

27-May

On May 23, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) granted an airworthiness certificate for the Boeing 787 which will allow China Southern Airlines to take delivery of its first Boeing 787 at the end of May or early June.

Yesterday, ANA flew their first two 787 flights since the grounding. The two flights took place from Sapporo to Tokyo Haneda. Scheduled 787 service will begin June 1.

23-May

ANA has announced that they will operate five non-scheduled domestic 787 flights between May 26 and May 31. Resumption of regular 787 service will begin on June 1, 2013. All of ANA’s 17 Dreamliners have received the battery modifications, and they have conducted more tha  170 proving flights for training.

Osamu Shinobe, President and CEO of ANA, said “The safety of passengers is our number one priority. Modifications for all 787 have been implemented and ANA has undertaken its own additional testing. The 787 remains a game-changing aircraft, important from an environmental, efficiency and passenger comfort perspective.”

Schedule of additional flights with 787:

  Date          Flight Number      Route   Departure Time   Arrival  Time  
May 26 (Sun.)   NH1404   Sapporo-Tokyo (Haneda)    17:00   18:35
May 26 (Sun.)   NH1406   Sapporo-Tokyo (Haneda)    19:30   21:05
May 27 (Mon.)   NH1404   Sapporo-Tokyo (Haneda)    15:30   17:05
May 30 (Thu.)   NH1403   Tokyo (Haneda)-Sapporo    8:00   9:35
May 31 (Fri.)   NH1406   Sapporo-Tokyo (Haneda)    19:30   21:05

* All schedules are subject to approval by relevant authorities.

Source: ANA Press Release

20-May

United Airlines resumed 787 flights

18-May

On Monday, United Airlines will resume Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger flights, and we will be covering the ‘re-inaugural’ flight live via Facebook, Twitter, and a full article after the flight. Monday’s historic flight will be operated as United flight 1 which will be 11AM Houston to Chicago flight.

United is saying that United’s CEO, Jeff Smisek, United’s CFO, John Rainey, and Boeing’s CEO, Jim McNerney, will be on-board Monday’s flight. A formal gate event with remarks from McNerney and Smisek will occur at 10:05 AM.

16-May

Following an ANA Boeing 787 test flight on May 4, engineers found discoloration on a connection on an electrical panel according to an ANA spokesperson. ANA says that the panel was replaced, and they believe that a loose nut caused the problem which did not compromise the safety of the aircraft.

Today, United conducted a 787 test flight between Houston and Denver to continue pilot training to prepare for passenger flights which will begin on Monday. United will resume Boeing 787 Dreamliner service between Houston and Chicago, and we will be covering the flight live via Facebook and Twitter.

15-May

LAN Airlines completed a successful test flight, and they expect 787 flights to resume soon.

Boeing will be holding a live chat with Mike Sinnett, 787 vice president and chief project engineer, and Capt. Heather Ross, flight test pilot, on Thursday at 12:30PM PDT. They will discuss recent program milestones and related topics and will take your questions. Be srue to RSVP!

14-May

Boeing delivered the first 787 Dreamliner in more than four months which was Boeing’s 51 787 delivery. The delivery also marks the addition of ANA’s 18 Dreamliner. A 787 delivery to LOT Polish Airlines is expected to occur Thursday.

Boeing will be holding a live chat with Mike Sinnett, 787 vice president and chief project engineer, and Capt. Heather Ross, flight test pilot, on Thursday at 12:30PM PDT. They will discuss recent program milestones and related topics and will take your questions. Be srue to RSVP!

Air India will begin domestic 787 flights today and international flights on May 22.

14-May

United Airlines has publicly announced that Dreamliner flights will begin on Monday, May 20. Two Dreamliners are back in Houston conducting training flights to Austin, and the other four Dreamliners at at a Boeing Facility in San Antonio, Texas receiving the battery fix and software updates that Boeing is recommending. When passenger flights begin next week, the Dreamliners will fly domestic flights in and out of Houston to Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles, and international flights will begin June 10. The ‘re-inaugural’ flight will occur on May 20 from Houston to Chicago, and we hope you will join us on May 20 as we cover United’s first post-grounding Dreamliner flight live on Facebook and Twitter.

13-May

According to NYC787.blogspot.com, 787 deliveries are expected to resume today. ANA (LN 83, JA818A) is expected to be delivered today and fly away tomorrow while LOT Polish Airlines (LN 86, SP-LRC) is expected to be delivered tomorrow. (SP-LRC is the aircraft that flew the battery fix FAA certification flight in April.)

Air India is planning to resume 787 flights on May 15 instead of May 22. It appears that Air India’s first post-grounding Dreamliner flights will occur between Delhi and Bangalore and Delhi and Kolkata on May 15. Delhi to Frankfurt, London Heathrow, and Paris will resume on June 1st.

ANA is set to resume 787 flights throughout Japan and to Frankfurt on June 1st. ANA’s Dreamliners have been receiving battery modifications, and they have flown approximately more than 80 test flights in Japan.

Ethiopian Airlines became the first carrier in the world to resume Boeing 787 flights since the grounding on April 27. Since their first flight, they have continued to fly the Dreamliner without any problems.

JAL is planning to resume Dreamliner flights on June 1. Flights to the U.S. will also begin on June 1.

LAN Airlines is set to resume 787 service on June 1st from Santiago de Chile to Lima and onto Los Angeles.

LOT Polish Airlines will resume 787 flights on June 5 from Warsaw to Chicago. Both of their Dreamliners have yet to receive the battery modifications, and it is rumored that both Dreamliners will be ferried to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the battery modifications.

Qatar Airways resumed Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger flights on May 1 from Doha to Dubai. Since May 1, they have conducted several Dreamliner passenger flights.

United Airlines has publicly confirmed that they will resume Boeing 787 flights on May 20. We will be covering the first post-grounding flight live on Facebook and Twitter from Houston to Chicago, and we hope you will join us.

13-May

According to NYC787.blogspot.com, 787 deliveries are expected to resume today. ANA (LN 83, JA818A) is expected to be delivered today and fly away tomorrow while LOT Polish Airlines (LN 86, SP-LRC) is expected to be delivered tomorrow. (SP-LRC is the aircraft that flew the battery fix FAA certification flight in April.)

Air India is planning to resume 787 flights on May 15 instead of May 22. It appears that Air India’s first post-grounding Dreamliner flights will occur between Delhi and Bangalore and Delhi and Kolkata on May 15. Delhi to Frankfurt, London Heathrow, and Paris will resume on June 1st.

ANA is set to resume 787 flights throughout Japan and to Frankfurt on June 1st. ANA’s Dreamliners have been receiving battery modifications, and they have flown approximately more than 80 test flights in Japan.

Ethiopian Airlines became the first carrier in the world to resume Boeing 787 flights since the grounding on April 27. Since their first flight, they have continued to fly the Dreamliner without any problems.

JAL is planning to resume Dreamliner flights on June 1. Flights to the U.S. will also begin on June 1.

LAN Airlines is set to resume 787 service on June 1st from Santiago de Chile to Lima and onto Los Angeles.

LOT Polish Airlines will resume 787 flights on June 5 from Warsaw to Chicago. Both of their Dreamliners have yet to receive the battery modifications, and it is rumored that both Dreamliners will be ferried to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the battery modifications.

Qatar Airways resumed Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger flights on May 1 from Doha to Dubai. Since May 1, they have conducted several Dreamliner passenger flights.

United Airlines has publicly confirmed that they will resume Boeing 787 flights on May 20. We will be covering the first post-grounding flight live on Facebook and Twitter from Houston to Chicago, and we hope you will join us.

9-May

Update 1 11:38 AM EDT:

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Over the next several days, United Airlines will conduct at least six Dreamliner pilot training flights. The flights will be conducted between Houston IAH and Austin, and the first test flight is expected to occur today. Passenger flights will begin on May 20 between Houston and Chicago. While the battery modifications are being completed, United has made a few minor alterations that Boeing recommended to increase the reliability of the aircraft which include software and hardware updates. We will be onboard the May 20th inaugural flights with live coverage.

ANA, the launch and largest customer for the 787, announced today its resuming Dreamliner services beginning June 1, 2013, following the successful completion of a series of battery system modifications, safety checks and test flights. Both the new Seattle and San Jose to Tokyo Narita, suspended since March 31st and January 18th respectively will resume on Saturday June 1st.

ANA will also introduce the Dreamliner onto a further three international destinations over the summer – Tokyo Narita to Beijing and Shanghai and Haneda to Taipei – bringing the number of overseas destinations served by the 787 to five.

Domestically, the 787 will be introduced on flights between Tokyo Haneda and Akita on June 1 and flights between Haneda and Toyama on June 15. ANA will also be operating additional 787 domestic flights from July onwards, principally on Okinawa flight routes, for summer tourist flights.

We were at the original handover in September, 20011 which can be viewed here and the original inaugural flight which can be viewed here.

61-ANA INAUGURAL 787 PROFILE TOKYO-1On the heels of the 787 returning to service, Boeing has rolled out of the factory the first Dreamliner to be built at the increased production rate of seven airplanes per month. The 787 which rolled out earlier this week, is the 114th 787 to be built overall and the 100th 787 to be built at Everett, Washington. It is a British Airways aircraft as seen in this rollout image.

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The 787 program is on track to achieve a planned 10 per month rate by the end of 2013. The production rate surge includes aircraft at the Everett Final Assembly facility, the Everett Temporary Surge Line and Boeing’s new 787 plant in South Carolina.

As of now, 50 787s have been delivered to eight airlines with more than 800 unfilled orders with 58 customers worldwide.

Boeing published a video feature on the rate increase can be found here.

EVERETT 2013 - FULL 787 LINE

AirlineReporter.com reports initial assembly of the first 787-9 has begun. with the first horizontal stabilizer for the 787-9 arriving to Paine Field ahead of schedule. The new 787-9 variant, will seat 40 additional passengers, and is expected to begin final assembly this summer. First flight is scheduled during second half of 2013. It will be delivered to Air New Zealand in early 2014 and start flying passengers in mid 2014. More details and images from AR.com here.

 

Update 2 2:15 PM EDT:

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Early this morning, United Airlines conducted their first round trip Dreamliner training flight betweet Houston and Austin. Boeing 787 N27903 conducted the training flight which was the first United 787 to receive the battery modifications at Boeng’s facility in San Antonio. More training flights will occur over the next several days.

7-May

Four months since the 787 battery incident in Boston, most of the Dreamliners around the world are still grounded, but two airlines have already resumed Dreamliner passenger flights.

Air India is planning to resume 787 flights on May 15 instead of May 22. It appears that Air India’s first post-grounding Dreamliner flights will occur between Delhi and Bangalore and Delhi and Kolkata on May 15.

On June 1st, ANA is set to resume domestic 787 flights and one flight to Frankfurt. ANA’s Dreamliners have been receiving battery modifications, and they have flown approximately 40 test flights in Japan.

Ethiopian Airlines became the first carrier in the world to resume Boeing 787 flights since the grounding on April 27. Since their first flight, they have continued to fly the Dreamliner without any problems.

JAL is planning to resume Dreamliner flights on June 1. The Boeing 787 that suffered the battery fire in Boston on January 7 conducted a short taxi test today.

LAN Airlines is set to resume 787 service on June 1st from Santiago de Chile to Lima and onto Los Angeles.

LOT Polish Airlines will resume 787 flights on June 5 from Warsaw to Chicago. Both of their Dreamliners have yet to receive the battery modifications, and it is rumored that both Dreamliners will be ferried to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the battery modifications.

Qatar Airways resumed Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger flights on May 1 from Doha to Dubai. Since May 1, they have conducted several Dreamliner passenger flights.

United Airlines has publicly confirmed that they will resume Boeing 787 flights on May 20. We will be covering the first post-grounding flight live on Facebook and Twitter from Houston to Chicago, and we hope you will join us.

4-May

Update 2 9:35AM EDT:

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United Airlines has moved up the date to begin Dreamliner passenger flights to May 20th, and the first Dreamliner flight will be UA 001 from Houston to Chicago. Beginning later in the week, United will operate four daily flights between Houston and Chicago until June 9th. On May 21st, United will begin four daily Dreamliner flights between Houston and Denver until June 9th, and one daily flight beginning June 10th. United will also operate 2-3 daily flights beginning May 24th between Houston and Los Angeles until June 9th.

United is still planning to begin international Dreamliner flights on June 10th between Houston and London until July 31st and Denver to Tokyo Narita also on June 10th. The Dreamliner will begin to operate Houston to Lagos on August 1st, and Los Angeles to Tokyo Naritia on August 1st and Los Angeles to Shanghai Pu Dong on August 2nd.

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The initial 787 flight, UA1 schedule beginning Monday May 20th in this frame grab from United.com
Click to enlarge

Update 1 2:00AM EDT:

Boeing’s Dreamliner battery modifications are adding 184.8 pounds to the Dreamliner according to Boeing’s Alert Service Bulletin.

On May 2nd, JAL conducted their first Dreamliner test flight since the grounding in January. They are still planning to resume passenger flights in early June along with ANA. ANA has conducted 12 test flights from April 28th to May 1st.

United Airlines and Boeing have been hard at work to make the battery modifications on United’s six Dreamliners. United’s Dreamliner that was grounded in Japan, N20904, started receiving the modifications in one of ANA’s hangars earlier this week. N27903 will be ready to return to revenue service as early as May 7th, and N27901 will be ready to return to revenue service as early as May 10th. Even though the aircraft will be ready return to service, this does not mean they will begin to flying passengers as soon as they are ready, and it remains unclear if United will begin to fly Dreamliner passenger flights sooner than May 31st.

Prior to the first Dreamliner flight since the grounding, Qatar Airways’ Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said that Qatar Airways is expecting to receive compensation for the battery problems. He also criticized the decision by regulators to ground the 787 in January, and he expressed that “I think there was reaction due to the unnecessary evacuation of a Japanese aircraft. People are too sensitive to what the social media says,” Al Baker said. Also, Boeing has agreed to compensate Air India for the 787 Dreamliner grounding, but the details have yet to be finalized according to Air India’s Chief Executive.

Thomson Airlines will debut their Dreamliners with service to Cancun and Orlando Sanford beginning July 8th.

1-May

According to a tweet from Jon Ostrower, Qatar Airways will return their Dreamliner to revenue service today. It is set to operate QR 116 from Doha to Dubai as well as the return to Doha.

Boeing and Qatar Airways will be showcasing a Boeing 787 Dreamliner at the Paris Air Show which begins on June 17. Boeing is hoping to have the advantage as their competitor, Airbus, is not planning to have their new A350 XWB participate in a fly by nor on static display.

On Sunday, Boeing conducted a Boeing 787 test flight out of Everett, Washington. It is unclear if the test flight was for the battery or a general test flight. Also, Boeing has been flying an experimental Dreamliner in Kona, Hawaii. It is unclear if the flights are being conducted are related to battery testing.

JAL is planning to resume Tokyo to Boston service on June 1st.

LOT Polish Airlines’ grounded Dreamliner in Warsaw is rumored to be ferried to Addis Abab to receive the battery modifications in the near future. Their grounded Dreamliner in Chicago will be ferried to Boeing’s facility in San Antonio, Texas for the battery modifications.

27-April

Update 4: 10:15PM EDT:

Boeing tweeted at 9:57PM EDT that ANA’s Dreamliner had a beautiful landing at Tokyo’s Haneda airport. Based on another tweet from Boeing, it would appear that the aircraft departed at approximatley 8:03PM EDT from Haneda.

Update 3 10:00PM EDT:

ANA has begun Dreamliner test flights. JA810A is conducting the test flight with Boeing’s CEO and ANA’s Chairman on board. You can track it live via PlaneFinder here.

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Update 2 7:35PM EDT:

The Japanese Civil Aviation Board approved Boeing’s battery fix on Friday, and ANA will begin the first of 100-200 Dreamliner test flights in Japan on Sunday. ANA is conducting the test flights to ensure the batteries are safe and to re-familiarize their pilots with the Dreamliner.

According to The Wall Street Journal, ANA and JAL are both taking extra steps to ensure the Dreamliner’s batteries are safe. They are installing a new way to monitor the batteries’ voltage remotely, and their maintenance check procedures are being changed to ensure that the batteries are checked more often.

On Thursday, the FAA formally lifted the grounding they imposed on Dreamliners in the United States as long as the aircraft has received the battery modification. According to the New York Times, the FAA is estimating that the battery modifications will cost $464,763 per aircraft.

In United Airlines’ first quarter conference call on Thursday, they reported that the 787 grounding caused them to lose approximately $11 million. However, they are expecting to resume 787 flights in May. On Saturday, United ferried N27901 to Boeing’s facility at Lackland Air Force Base to receive the battery modifications, and N27903 is still being worked on at Lackland Air Force Base. N26902′s battery modification was completed in Houston yesterday, and United began modifications on N45905 today. N20904 remains in Narita.

LOT Polish Airlines will resume 787 service between Warsaw and Chicago on June 5th. In the mean time, they will lease a few Boeing 777s, beginning on May 4th, to fly between Warsaw and Toronto. It is expected that they will ferry their Dreamliners to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas to have the battery modifications completed.

Boeing is expecting final assembly of the first Boeing 787-9 to occur in late May, and the first flight is expected to occur in August or September. Entry into service is expected in April 2014.

Update 1 12:15PM EDT:

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Photo taken by Randy Tinseth, Boeing’s V.P. of Marketing

Today, Ethiopian Airlines became the first airline to conduct a Dreamliner flight with passengers on board. They conducted the first 787 commercial flight since the grounding on a flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, and Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam and Randy Tinseth, Boeing Vice President of Marketing, were on board.

In an Ethiopian Airlines press release, Tewolde Gebremariam said “We are excited to resume our service with the Dreamliners. The Dreamliner is the most advanced commercial aircraft, which has enabled passengers travelling with Ethiopian to enjoy the ultimate on-board comfort. During the five months our four Dreamliners were in service, we were very pleased with their performance, and the feedback from our passengers has been overwhelmingly positive. I look forward to being on-board the first passenger flight on Saturday, 27 April.”

After the flight, Randy Tinseth wrote in Randy’s Journal that “I’ve taken countless flights during my career at Boeing. But I can tell you the one I took today may be the most special.” Also, he said that that “It was a fantastic, party-like atmosphere as we boarded. As one surprised passenger told me after realizing he’d be flying on the Dreamliner—’this is history.’”

You can view more images from today’s flight, and read Rany Tinseth’s full post on Randy’s Journal.

24-April

In their first quarter earnings conference call, Boeing said that they are expecting to resume delivering Dreamliners in early May, and they expect the bulk of battery modifications to be completed by mid-May. Also, Boeing recently increased the current production of five Dreamliners a month to seven. However, they will not tell the specific costs of the Dreamliner battery problems, but they say the costs were “minor.” As for compensation, Boeing’s CEO said they are under no contractual obligation to provide compensation, but they will help their customers “in various ways.”

According to a tweet from Jon Ostrower, the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner began to be assembled at Boeing’s Charleston, South Carolina factory. Boeing said they are expecting the first 787-9 to enter into final assembly sometime in the middle of this year.

On the front of battery modifications, it is rumored that one or two United Dreamliners have received the battery modifications in Houston. Also, it is expected that LOT Polish Airlines’ two Dreamliners will be ferried to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas to receive the battery modifications.

23-April

Airlines that had Dreamliners grounded away from their hubs are beginning to ferry their beloved Dreamliners back home to receive battery modifications.

Qatar Airways will ferry their Dreamliner (A7-BCK) that was grounded in London back to Doha to receive battery modifications on Wednesday (April 24).

This morning, United’s Dreamliner (N27903) that was grounded in Los Angeles was ferried to a Boeing facility at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas to receive the battery modifications. It is unclear if the four United Dreamliners grounded in Houston will have the battery modifications completed in Houston or at the Boeing facility in San Antonio. Last week, Aviation Week reported that LOT Polish Airlines was going to ferry their two Dreamliners to Houston IAH for battery modifications, but it is unclear where their modifications will be completed.

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The flight path of the United Dreamliner that was ferried to San Antonio, Texas courteous of Flight Aware.

Stay tuned…

22-April

On Monday morning, Boeing began battery modifications on select ANA and JAL Boeing 787 Dreamliners in Japan. Five teams from Boeing are working at four airports across Japan to make battery modifications to ANA’s Dreamliners, and two teams are working on JAL’s Dreamliners. It is expected that it will take each team approximately five days to complete the battery modifications for each aircraft. An ANA spokesperson said, “since we have 17 787s, it should take a month to finish all the modifications on our aircraft.” However, a JAL spokesperson did not give a specified time period that they expect all battery modifications to be completed. However, the JAL spokesperson said, “We expect it to take several weeks to complete the modifications. We will then have to wait for the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau [JCAB] to issue the directive to lift the ban on 787, then we can decide when to return them to service.”

20-April

Reuters is reporting that ANA will conduct between 100 and 200 round trip Dreamliner test flights in May before allowing their Dreamliners to fly passengers in June. Sources from ANA told Reuters that the purpose of the test flights are to re-familiarize the 180 pilots that are trained to fly the 787 and to ensure that their Dreamliners are safe. The test flights will occur between Tokyo’s Haneda and Narita airports as well as Chitose in northern Japan. Also, one source told Reuters that ANA could use the test flights as cargo flights.

While the FAA lifted their 787 grounding yesterday, the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau has yet to lift their grounding they imposed, but it has been reported that they could lift the grounding as soon as April 25.

19-April

4th Update – Boeing Press Release

Release Issued: April 19, 2013 3:39 PM EDT

Boeing to Begin Modifying Boeing 787s as FAA Approves Battery Improvements

  • Modifications to existing fleets to begin; deliveries to resume soon
  • Boeing to provide customers support for return to service.

EVERETT, Wash., April 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Today’s approval of battery system improvements for the 787 Dreamliner by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) clears the way for Boeing (NYSE: BA) and its customers to install the approved modifications and will lead to a return to service and resumption of new production deliveries.

“FAA approval clears the way for us and the airlines to begin the process of returning the 787 to flight with continued confidence in the safety and reliability of this game-changing new airplane,” said Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney. “The promise of the 787 and the benefits it provides to airlines and their passengers remain fully intact as we take this important step forward with our customers and program partners.”

The FAA’s action will permit the return to service of 787s in the United States upon installation of the improvements. For 787s based and modified outside the United States, local regulatory authorities provide the final approval on return to service.

Approval of the improved 787 battery system was granted by the FAA after the agency conducted an extensive review of certification tests. The tests were designed to validate that individual components of the battery, as well as its integration with the charging system and a new enclosure, all performed as expected during normal operation and under failure conditions. Testing was conducted under the supervision of the FAA over a month-long period beginning in early March.

“The FAA set a high bar for our team and our solution,” said McNerney. “We appreciate the diligence, expertise and professionalism of the FAA’s technical team and the leadership of FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood throughout this process. Our shared commitment with global regulators and our customers to safe, efficient and reliable airplanes has helped make air travel the safest form of transportation in the world today.”

Boeing, in collaboration with its supplier partners and in support of the investigations of the National Transportation Safety Board and the Japan Transport Safety Board, conducted extensive engineering analysis and testing to develop a thorough understanding of the factors that could have caused the 787′s batteries to fail and overheat in two incidents last January. The team spent more than 100,000 hours developing test plans, building test rigs, conducting tests and analyzing the results to ensure the proposed solutions met all requirements.

“Our team has worked tirelessly to develop a comprehensive solution that fully satisfies the FAA and its global counterparts, our customers and our own high standards for safety and reliability,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “Through the skill and dedication of the Boeing team and our partners, we achieved that objective and made a great airplane even better.”

Boeing also engaged a team of more than a dozen battery experts from across multiple industries, government, academia and consumer safety to review and validate the company’s assumptions, findings, proposed solution and test plan.

The improved battery system includes design changes to both prevent and isolate a fault should it occur. In addition, improved production, operating and testing processes have been implemented. The new steel enclosure system is designed to keep any level of battery overheating from affecting the airplane or even being noticed by passengers.

“This is a comprehensive and permanent solution with multiple layers of protection,” said Conner. “The ultimate layer of protection is the new enclosure, which will ensure that even if a battery fails, there is no impact to the airplane and no possibility of fire. We have the right solution in hand, and we are ready to go.

“We are all very grateful to our customers for their patience during the past several months,” said Conner. “We know it hasn’t been easy on them to have their 787s out of service and their deliveries delayed. We look forward to helping them get back into service as quickly as possible.”

Boeing has deployed teams to locations around the world to begin installing improved battery systems on 787s. Kits with the parts needed for the new battery systems are staged for shipment and new batteries also will be shipped immediately. Teams have been assigned to customer locations to install the new systems. Airplanes will be modified in approximately the order they were delivered.

“The Boeing team is ready to help get our customers’ 787s back in the air where they belong,” said Conner.

Boeing will also begin installing the changes on new airplanes at the company’s two 787 final-assembly plants, with deliveries expected to resume in the weeks ahead. Despite the disruption in deliveries that began in January, Boeing expects to complete all planned 2013 deliveries by the end of the year. Boeing further expects that the 787 battery issue will have no significant impact to its 2013 financial guidance.

3rd Update FAA issues statement

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today took the next step in returning the Boeing 787 to flight by approving Boeing’s design for modifications to the 787 battery system. The changes are designed to address risks at the battery cell level, the battery level and the aircraft level.

Next week, the FAA will issue instructions to operators for making changes to the aircraft and will publish in the Federal Register the final directive that will allow the 787 to return to service with the battery system modifications. The directive will take effect upon publication. The FAA will require airlines that operate the 787 to install containment and venting systems for the main and auxiliary system batteries, and to replace the batteries and their chargers with modified components.

“Safety of the traveling public is our number one priority. These changes to the 787 battery will ensure the safety of the aircraft and its passengers,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

“A team of FAA certification specialists observed rigorous tests we required Boeing to perform and devoted weeks to reviewing detailed analysis of the design changes to reach this decision,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

To assure proper installation of the new design, the FAA will closely monitor modifications of the aircraft in the U.S. fleet. The FAA will stage teams of inspectors at the modification locations. Any return to service of the modified 787 will only take place after the FAA accepts the work.

As the certifying authority, the FAA will continue to support other authorities around the world as they finalize their own acceptance procedures.

2nd Update

The Associated Press is reporting that an unnamed congressional official say the FAA has accepted Boeing’s revamped battery system for the 787 and as result has agreed to lift its grounding order. With the order, Boeing now has the authority to begin retrofitting the Dreamliners with the new battery system and containment kit. Boeing has dispatche Trans Secretary Ray LaHood says “These changes to the 787 battery will ensure the safety of the aircraft and its passengers.” The cause of battery failures does remain unknown.

Boeing intends to begin work on the retrofits early next week with 300 mechanics, with some engineers reportedly already dispatched to key 787 hubs such as ANA / JAL in Tokyo and United in Houston. The new battery cage and revised battery insulation installation is projected to take 5 days per aircraft. 787 flights could resume within just a few days or a week. United will likely move up their May 31st 787 return to schedule flight from IAH-DEN-IAH. Qatar could also move up its 787 May 15th return of service for the 787. ANA has loaded 787s back on to their schedules beginning May 31 while JAL has yet to reinstate their 787s back on their schedules yet. Japan’s JAA and Europe’s EASA are expected to follow the FAA’s lead in allowing the 787s back in the air.

Once the 787s resume scheduled flights, this will end the only full grounding of an airline type since the Douglas DC-10 was grounded in 1979 following the crash of American Airlines flight 191. Boeing says all original deliveries projected for CY 2013 will not be affected.

1st Update

There is still no word this morning on whether the 787 Grounding Order will be lifted. There has been speculation that the timing of the announcement figured largely with The National Transportation Safety Board’s two-day investigative hearing into the Jan. 7 Boeing 787 battery fire. The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday April 23 and Thursday April 24th in the NTSB’s Board Room and Conference Center at 429 L’Enfant Plaza SW in Washington, beginning at 9AM.

The agenda for the meeting calls for representatives of the FAA, Boeing including Mike Sinnett, Vice President, 787Chief Project Engineer; the Japanese battery manufacturer GS-Yuasa and Thales who will testify and answer questions from NTSB Board members and technical staff about the design, testing, certification and operation of the lithium-ion battery on the Boeing 787 and the battery fire incident.

Topic Areas for the hearing on Day 1 include:

  • Reasons for selecting Li-Ion battery technology and its classification as novel design
  • Process for evaluating battery/battery system as novel design and developing certification requirements (Issue Paper)
  • Resulting Special Conditions and their interpretation
  • Applicability of Airworthiness Standards for Equipment, Systems, and Installations (14 Code of Federal Regulations 25.1309)
  • Industry safety standards used in development of certification requirements
  • Certification program timeline and high level compliance plans
  • Prime and subcontractors battery expertise and experience
  • Role of prime and subcontractors in the development and design approval of the battery system
  • Cell and battery design and specifications
  • Charging system design and specifications
  • Design development testing and evaluation:
    • Battery, cell, and integrated system testing
    • Test failures / investigations
    • Engineering analysis and evaluation of design during development phase
    • Resulting design modifications

Topic Areas for the hearing on Day 2 include:

  • Battery, cell, and integrated system testing pertinent to certification (qualification, development, other)
  • Safety Assessments
    • Purpose with respect to certification
    • Analyses performed to evaluate battery safety risks (Boeing, Thales, GS-Yuasa roles)
    • Data sources for analyses
    • Certification process structure and comparison to prior certification programsRetained and delegated approval authority
    • Oversight of delegation organization / authorized representatives
    • Oversight of validation testing for B787 Li-Ion battery
    • Findings of compliance and review of safety assessments for B787 Li-Ion battery

Review the full agenda here.

18-April

Today, the FAA granted Boeing approval to resume routing production flights on its 787s to determine that the modifications were working on newly assembled aircraft.

Late this afternoon, numerous sources around the world including Reuters, “The Wall Street Journal”, and ATW Online are reporting the 3 month long Boeing 787 Dreamliner grounding could be lifted as soon as Friday April 19th, by the FAA. This would mean that Boeing has demonstrated to the FAA that the new battery containers will prevent fires and vent fumes and smoke from the aircraft. This would allow Boeing to begin the process of dispatching teams to work with its worldwide customer base to retrofit the 50 Dreamliners in service. Foreign regulators, particularly Japan’s JAA are expected to follow the FAA’s lead. The timeline to begin flying 787s in passenger service could be moved up to early May. Already United Airlines, Air India, and Qatar have load the 787s back on their schedules. Just as significant, the current ETOPS rules so key to the Dreamliner’s value proposition are expected to be in place when the Dreamliner returns to service. Next week the NTSB will be holding public hearings that will deep dive into the FAA’s original approval and how throughly they vetted Boeing’s 787 battery systems.

12-April

@AirlineRoute is reporting that both Air India and Ethiopian Airlines are tentatively scheduled to resume Boeing 787 service on May 1, 2013. But chances seems to be slim given this is 3 weeks away. Air India as you may recall flew their 787s back to the Mumbai base controversially, following the grounding. Air India has taken delivery of 6 787s with 21 on order. Ethiopian, the first African carrier to fly the Dreamliner operated their 787s between IAD and Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa before switching back to the 777. Ethiopian operates 4 787-8 with 9 on order.

8-April

Over the weekend, United quietly returned their Dreamliners to their schedule, and it appears that United is anticipating their first Dreamliner flight to occur on May 31st from Houston to Denver. Further, United will begin their much anticipated Denver to Tokyo-Naritia on June 10th, and United will also begin flying one Dreamliner flight a day between Houston and London Heathrow from June 10th to July 31st. These dates are subject to change.

Qatar Airways is anticipating to return their Dreamliners to the skies on May 15th from Doha to London Heathrow. Beginning May 25th, their Dreamliners will begin to fly between Doha and Frankfurt, and both Doha to Munich and Doha to Zurich are estimated to begin on June 1st. However, these dates are subject to change.

LAN Airlines is expecting to resume 787 operations on their Santiago-Lima-Las Angeles service beginning on June 1st instead of June 30th. However, the date is subject to change.

It is unclear when Air India, ANA, Ethiopian Airlines, JAL, and LOT Polish Airlines plan to resume 787 operations.

Thomson Airlines is slated to be the next carrier to operate the Dreamliner beginning this summer, and British Airways will be the next new carrier to take delivery of a Dreamliner after Thomson. It is rumored that British Airways announced their initial 787 routes internally in March. According to a post on Airliners.net, British Airways will initially fly their Dreamliners to Calgary, Newark, Toronto, and Washington Dulles beginning on July 16. The flights have not been loaded into the system as the start date depends on the delivery date, and the inaugural flight could potentially occur before July 16.

While the Dreamliner carriers have begun to integrate their Dreamliners back into their schedules, Boeing has sent several teams to Japan with retrofit kits to fix the Dreamliner battery problems. However, the FAA has yet to certify Boeing’s retrofit, and Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau (JAA), which is similar to the FAA, will also have to approve the retrofit. Yet, many are expecting the JAA to make their ruling after the FAA approves the fix.

5-April

Updated: 6:45EDT: Randy Tinseth, vice president, marketing, for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, reflected on today’s events by writing, “I want to once again thank our customers for their support during this process—as well as every member of the Boeing team for their tireless work to reach this very important point. Captain Ross perhaps said it best after today’s flight: ‘It feels great knowing that we are one step closer to helping our customers get their airplanes back in service.”’ You can read his full post on Randy’s Journal that reflects on the importance of today’s certification flight here.

Updated: 5:30PM EDT: Boeing has completed a 787 certification demonstration flight, using Line 86, to demonstrate their battery fix the the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). A 1 hour and 49 minute test flight was conducted with 11 crew members on board, including two FAA representatives. The Dreamliner departed Paine Field in Everett, Washington at 10:39AM PDT and landed at 12:28PM PDT. After completing the test flight, Boeing said in a written statement that the “certification demonstration plan was straightforward and the flight was uneventful.” The test flight included flying in normal and non-normal flight conditions to test the battery’s fix performance.

Image courtesy: Boeing

Boeing will gather, analyze, and submit the data to the FAA within the coming days. After submitting the data, the FAA will analyze the data and either approve or not approve Boeing’s fix.

If the FAA approves Boeing’s current plan, it is estimated that it will take four to five days to install the fix per aircraft. However, Boeing has already sent several teams equipped with materials to fix the Dreamliner battery problems to Japan, and they have started putting together supply kits to give to the airlines. The order will be based roughly on who received the aircraft first.

Update: 12:00AM EDT: On Wednesday, British Airways’ parent, IAG, announced they will purchase 18 more 787 Dreamliners, and IAG said they may place another 787 order for Iberia. The 18 additional Dreamliners will be delivered from 2017 to 2021, and they will help phase out British Airways’ Boeing 747-400 fleet. While the order is estimated to be valued at $3.7 billion based on list price, it is estimated that the order will only be approximately $2 billion based on standard airline industry discounts.

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Line 86, took to the skies on Wednesday for a routine test flight. Boeing said that a battery certification demonstration flight will occur within the next few days. However, it is rumored that the certification demonstration flight could happen as soon as today (Friday April, 5).

All Nippon Airways’ pilots will be returning to the Boeing 787 simulators for more training this month. ANA plans to start selling Dreamliner tickets for domestic routes beginning June 1.

Boeing has sent several teams equipped with materials to fix the Dreamliner battery problems to Japan. Based on the plan that Boeing is hoping to be approved by the FAA within the coming days, the fix is estimated to take four to five days per aircraft. The order will be based roughly on who received the aircraft first.

1-April

Today, Boeing conducted a 787 test flight that was not related to battery testing or certification. They flew Line 86 from Everett to Moses Lake and back, and the Dreamliner was in the air for approximately two hours and forty-five minutes. Line 86 is the same aircraft that conducted the battery test flight on March 25. Boeing said they expect a battery certification flight to occur within the coming days.

It was reported today that Air India is seeking at least $37 million from Boeing for compensation due the Dreamliner issues. LOT Polish Airlines is also joining Air India in asking Boeing for compensation, but it is not known how much LOT Polish Airlines is asking for.

Last week, United Airlines delayed the start of their Denver to Tokyo service until June 10. Originally, they were targeting to start on March 31st, but the grounding and delays are lasting longer than they anticipated.

29-March

The Seattle Times and Wall Street Journal have both reported that Boeing will fly a 787 test flight on Saturday, but the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the flight is a non-battery related test flight while the Seattle Times is reporting that it is a FAA demonstration flight. The flight will be conducted by the same aircraft (Line 86) that flew a test flight on March 25. Stay tuned…

It appears that Plane Finder was a bit anxious to see the 787 to return to the skies. At 12:30 PM EDT, it was reported that Plane Finder was showing a Dreamliner to be over south Oregon, but, about an hour later, it appeared that Plane Finder realized that it was a glitch. However, a 787 certification flight with the FAA is estimated to occur within the next few days.

25-March

Boeing conducted a Boeing 787 test flight to test their solution to the battery problems. After conducting a two-hour and eleven-minute test flight, Boeing said the flight “went according to plan.” Boeing will analyze the results, and, if the flight was successful, Boeing will use the same Dreamliner that flew today’s test flight, Line 86 which is painted in a LOT Polish Airlines livery, for ground and flight tests with the FAA to certify their fix within the next few days. Boeing officials estimate that the Dreamliners could return to service service on May 1st, or earlier. Simultaneously, Poland’s Treasure Ministry is continuing to seek compensation for the Dreamliner battery problems as LOT Polish Airlines loses approximately $50,000 each day their two Dreamliners remain grounded.

 

24-March

While the Dreamliners remain grounded, it is rumored that British Airways has announced their initial 787 routes internally. According to a post on Airliners.net, British Airways will initially fly their Dreamliners to Calgary, Newark, Toronto, and Washington Dulles beginning on July 16. The flights have yet to be loaded into the system as the start date depends on the current battery issues, and the inaugural flight could potentially occur before July 16. Stay tuned…

20-March

The New York Times is reporting that ANA wants Boeing to compensate them for the Boeing 787 groundings with cash. While Boeing has yet to outline an official plan to compensate their 787 customers for the battery issues, Boeing is not obligated to compensate airlines for lost business based on a warranty airlines could have purchased. Through the end of May, ANA will have cancelled 3,600 Dreamliner flights due to the battery issues, and ANA is expecting to lose $11.6 million during April and May due to the groundings.

While it has been reported that Boeing is close to a fix, ANA said it will take at least a month to receive the supplies and to fix the battery.

6-March

UK based aircraft components-to-energy conglomerate Meggit confirmed that the Boeing 787′s battery charger passed a series of tests that the NTSB ran. The battery charger is made by a US subsidiary of Meggit.

Several United 787 trained pilots are remaining on the ground while others are flying the other aircraft they flew before they trained on the 787. However, some of the grounded pilots are training on the Boeing 787 simulator in Houston.

3-March

150 ANA 787 pilots are being forced to stay home as different aircraft take on additional workloads.

Several United 787 trained pilots are remaining on the ground while others are flying the other aircraft they flew before they trained on the 787. However, some of the grounded pilots are training on the Boeing 787 simulator in Houston.

Once a plan to fix the 787 battery problems is approved, a long testing period will have to occur. Some analysts say that the Dreamliner could be grounded for another three to six months.

(New York Times)

28-Feburary

Updated 5:25PM EST: JAL has cancelled all 787 flights until May 31st, and they are considering delaying the retirement of two Boeing 767 aircraft to prevent canceling flights. (Reported by FlightGlobal)

Updated 1:51PM EST: Today, Boeing met with the Japanese government to discuess their solution to to fix the 787 battery problems. However, the Japanese government continues to say that there is not enough evidence to show what exactly caused the fires, and they mentioned that a shock may have caused the battery to overheat.

Updated 12:59AM EST: Boeing will brief their 787 customers on Friday about their plan to correct the 787 battery problems. However, extensive test flights will need to be completed before the FAA lifts the grounding, but Boeing’s solution is a permanent solution. Boeing’s plan has three layers which will prevent a failed cell form harming adjacent cells, protect the plane from damage of all the cells burn, and attempt to ensure none of the eight individual cells within a battery overheat.

27-Feburary

Sources told the WSJ that the FAA could allow the 787 test flights as early as next week, but the FAA quickly denied the sources statement.

The LAN 787s are grounded until June 29th.

25-Feburary

ANA has cancelled all 787 Dreamliner flights through May 31st , and, since grounding their 787 fleet on January 15, ANA has cancelled 3,701 787 flights.

23-Feburary

Boeing and the FAA met on Friday to discuss Boeing’s long term solution to fix the 787 battery problems. Very few specific details about the meeting have emerged, but the FAA is allowing Boeing to conduct more test flights to ensure Boeing’s solution will actually work. Since the actual causes of the Dreamliner’s battery problems are unknown, battery and aviation-safety experts say it may be hard for Boeing to meet the FAA’s standards if the causes are not known. However, after the meeting Boeing issued a statement stating that they were “encouraged by the progress being made toward resolving the issue and returning the 787 to flight for our customers and their passengers around the world.” (Via The New York Times)

22-Feburary

Boeing may have a solution to fix the 787 problems, and, today, they will meet with FAA officials to discuss their plan.The plan is a 10-point package with emphasis on changes to the plane’s lithium-ion battery cells as well as a new protective fireproof container. However, today’s meeting does not mean that a decision will be reached as the FAA may ask for clarification or extra drawings. Be sure to follow @airwaysmagazine and @airchive for the latest updates on Twitter.

As we mentioned last week (Feb. 14 Update), LOT Polish Airlines is in dire need to return their 787s to the skies. The Polish government said in a statement yesterday: LOT is losing $50,000 a day due to the grounding of its two Dreamliner, and, since the grounding, LOT has lost $2.5 million.

Yesterday, United Airlines said they are removing their Boeing 787 from their flight schedule until June 5th, but they plan to start their Denver to Narita route on May 12 with the 787. A spokesperson for United said if the problems with the 787 are fixed sooner than the scheduled date, the 787s will fly as needed throughout the system.

20-Feburary

Boeing is headed to Washington DC to present the FAA a solution to fix the 787 problems. Boeing believes that the battery overheated because the lithium-battery cells were too close to each other, and CNBC has reported that Boeing’s solution includes the installation of ceramic plates between each cell and add a vent to the battery box.

Air India’s CEO said Boeing told them today that they think the 787 can be back in the air as soon as early April. However, both ANA and JAL said Boeing has not informed them about this.

Japan’s Transport Ministry said the lithium ion battery in an All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 was improperly wired.

17-Feburary

As early as this week, Boeing could present a temporary solution for the 787 battery problem to the FAA. The temporary fix includes a heavy-duty titanium or steel box around the battery cells and high-pressure evacuation tubes. The box would be able to vent any gasses in case a fire was to break out. However, it is unclear if the FAA will approve any temporary solution, and those involved from a financial stand point at Boeing say that “This cannot drag out for six to nine months … from a financial standpoint. Think about nine months of airplanes just sitting there,” said an Everett source for the Seattle Times. Stay tuned…

15-Feburary

While Boeing continues to stand by its lithium-ion battery technology for the 787, Airbus a release that it is confident in the lithium-ion batteries as well for its upcoming A350 XWB flight test program. But for production, it will “activate its plan B” and switch to conventional nickel cadmium main batteries for the airplane’s entry into service. Airbus currently doesn’t expect the battery change to affect the A350 XWB EIS or flight test program.

14-Feburary

LOT Polish Airlines has grounded their two 787 aircraft until October due to the 787 issues. As Boeing works to find the source of the battery problems, LOT President, Sebastian Mikosz, said LOT does not want to include the 787 in the summer schedule until Boeing has a clear understanding of what is causing the battery problems. Since taking delivery of the 787, LOT has flown the new aircraft around Europe to get ready for trans-atlantic service, and, on January 16th, LOT was able to complete their inaugural flight from Warsaw to Chicago. As the inaugural 787 flight from Warsaw to Chicago began their final approach into Chicago, LOT cancelled the return flight, and the 787 has remained on the ground in Chicago since the grounding of the 787 fleet. The decision to ground the 787 is a setback for LOT as they work to cut costs and plan mass layoffs in an effort to survive. In the meantime, LOT has renewed their 767 leases to substitute for the flights they planned to be operated by the 787, and LOT is reportedly in talks with Boeing about compensation for the issues.

(Via: CBS News Marketwatch)

Image courtesy: LOT Polish Airlines

11-Feburary

Investigators are examining the JAL Boeing 787 battery that caught fire on January 7th for any ‘dendrites’ in the battery. Dendrites are tiny deposits of lithium that can grow in the cells of batteries which can cause short circuits, significant heat, or fire. Last Thursday, NTSB officials announced that the fire was triggered by short circuits, and the examination for dendrites will be crucial to understanding the cause of the short circuits. (Via: Jon Ostrower)

Boeing flew test aircraft ZA-005, on its second FAA approved flight leaving Boeing Field at 10:17AM PST and returning at 11:47AM. The aircraft flew a short, uneventful 90 minute flight mainly over Washington State. There were 13 crew and engineers on board as well as gear to test the lithium ion batteries. Boeing say no additional test flights are planned for the time being. Here ls the track on Flight Aware and an image of ZA-005 from Boeing today departing BFI.


Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA-005 takes-off from Boeing Field on its second post-grounding FAA approved test flight.
Image courtesy: Boeing

9-Feburary

Boeing flew the first 787 test flight. The aircraft took off from Boeing Field at 12:32 PM PST, and, after a 2 hour and 21 minute flight, the aircraft landed safely. Results of the test flight are not being released at this time due to the data being part of the investigation. Boeing has published images of Saturday’s test flight on their Flickr stream but isn’t allowing them to be downloaded.

The Saturday February 9th flight path of Boeing 787-8 ZA005, the first 787 cleared for flight testing by the FAA. (courtesy of Flight Aware)
8-Feburary

Boeing has informed the 787 customers that there will not be any new deliveries until summer.

7-February

The pilots who flew the 787 ferry flight from Texas to Seattle said the entire flight was uneventful, and the battery status was monitored throughout the entire flight.

The FAA will allow Boeing to fly a 25-hour block 787 test flights. The FAA is requiring Boeing to conduct the test flights “in defined airspace over unpopulated areas.” Boeing 787 #ZA005 will be flying the test flights.

The NTSB announced they that investigators have determined that the majority of evidence from the flight data recorder and both thermal and mechanical damage pointed to an initiating event in a single cell. The cell showed multiple signs of short circuiting, leading to a thermal runaway condition, which then cascaded to other cells. Charred battery components indicated that the temperature inside the battery case exceeded 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, the NTSB noted that the FAA will make the decision of when the 787 can return to the sky.

6-Feburary
The FAA will allow Boeing to ferry one 787 from Texas to Seattle with a minimal crew as long as they monitor the battery during the entire flight. The aircraft that will be ferried will be delivered to China Southern.

5-February
Japan’s Transportation Safety Board said the battery in the ANA Dreamliner had a thermal runaway, similar to the JAL 787 fire in Boston.

ANA has cancelled 1,100 787 flights through March 30th

4-Feburary
Boeing has formally asked the FAA to lift the grounding of the 787 only to conduct test flights.

2-Feburary
The New York Times confirmed that United has had to replace three batteries on their six 787s they took delivery of between September and December 2012.

1-Feburary
Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau is sending investigators looking into problems with Boeing 787 batteries to Seattle.
Speaking to reporters this week in France, Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Brégier said the company has no intention at this time to move away from using lithium ion batteries on the A350 (very similar to the 787 batteries that are having problems). “We studied the integration of these batteries on the A350 very carefully,” Brégier said. “I am very relaxed about this.” He added that Airbus believes it has “resolved” any safety concerns related to using lithium ion batteries on the A350.

31-January
Japan Airlines (JAL) appears to be resigned to the idea that there will be no quick fix for the Boeing 787 battery problem, and it anticipates that it may take as long as two months to implement a solution.

30-January
The New York Times reported that the Boeing 787 battery was a concern before the recent wave of 787 issues. You can read the full article here.

Air India has decided they want to sell off all of their Boeing 787 aircraft and take it back onto lease to raise capital. They hope to have a deal worked out by February 4th.
United and ANA have both replaced a 787 batteries in their fleet prior to the recent incidents, and United has only been flying the Dreamliner since early November, so aviation safety experts say it’s a red flag that more than one battery would already be having trouble. Similarly, ANA replaced ten 787 batteries between May and December 2012.

It is highly likely that All Nippon Airways (ANA) will seek compensation for the grounding of their 787 Dreamliners as they have cancelled 459 787 flights for the month of January. It is estimated they will lose 3% of their annual revenue if the 787 does not resume scheduled operations by March 31st. However, ANA has already lost $15 million due the grounding.

Boeing reported earnings and revenue that beat expectations, and they said their 2013 forecast “assumes no significant financial impact” from the grounding of its 787 Dreamliner passenger jet by regulators.

Boeing’s idea to fix the battery problem includes a larger containment box over battery, and a direct vent to route any smoke or debris over the side.

Despite the battery issues, Boeing is still planning to speed up production of the Boeing 787 according to Boeing CEO, Jim McNerney

27-January
The NTSB announced: The event airplane, JA829J was delivered to JAL on December 20, 2012. At the time of the battery fire, the aircraft had logged 169 flight hours with 22cycles. The auxiliary power unit battery was manufactured by GS Yuasa in September 2012.

24-January
The NTSB had another update regarding their investigation of the January 7th JAL Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner fire:

The investigation revealed that the battery in the B-787 fire in Boston showed signs of short circuiting, and had indications of thermal runaway, a situation in which a significant temperature increase can initiate a destructive chain reaction.

Investigators developed the following timeline of the events on Jan. 7, whichwas released at today’s briefing:
10:06 am EST – Aircraft arrived at gate in Boston from Narita, Japan
10:32 am – Cleaning and maintenance crew noticed smoke in cabin
10:35 am – Mechanic noted flames coming from APU battery in aft electronics bay
10:37 am – Airport Rescue & Fire Fighting notified
10:40 am – Fire and rescue personnel arrive on scene
12:19 pm – Fire and rescue personnel report event was “controlled”

The batteries were manufactured by GS Yuasa for the Thales electrical installation and are unique to the Boeing 787. The same battery model is used for the main airplane battery and for the battery that is used to start the auxiliary power unit, which is the one that caught fire in Boston.

In addition to the activities at the NTSB lab in Washington, members of theinvestigative team have been conducting work in Arizona, Seattle and Japan. Their activities are detailed below.

ARIZONA
- The acceptance test procedure of the APU battery charging unit was conducted at Securaplane in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 21.
- The battery charging unit passed all significant tests and no anomalies were detected.
- Members of the airworthiness group examined the APU start power unit at Securaplane in Tucson. The same team traveled to Phoenix to conduct an examination of the APU controller at UTC Aerospace Systems.

SEATTLE
- NTSB investigators are working with Boeing teams as part of root cause analysis activities related to the design and manufacturing of the electrical battery system.
- The two JAL B-787 general purpose module units, which record airplane maintenance data are being downloaded at Boeing to obtain information that was recorded after the airplane’s electrical power was interrupted.

JAPAN
- The NTSB-led team conducted component examination of the JAL B-787 APU battery monitoring unit at Kanto Aircraft Instrument Company, Ltd., in Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan.
- The team cleaned and examined both battery monitoring unit circuit boards, which were housed in the APU battery case. The circuit boards were damaged, which limited the information that could be obtained from tests.

23-January
Airbus’ CEO is worried about what will occur in the wake of the 787 for future aircraft.

The NTSB will be holding a press conference regarding the status of the January 7th JAL 787 fire investigation at 2:30 PM EST on Thursday. We will post more details here after the conference.

22-January
The U.S. Senate wants to hold a committee meeting within the next few weeks to discuss the FAA certification process of the 787.

Japan’s transport ministry will conduct a second probe of GS Yuasa Corp.’s headquarters in Kyoto on Tuesday. GS Yuasa Corp makes the 787 battery.

Today, the NTSB will be investigating the manufacture of the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Battery Charger.

21-January
ANA has reported they have cancelled 335 787 Dreamliner flights since January 16th, and the cancellations have affected almost 48,000 passengers. However, this is just one airline…If we receive more details; we will have a separate post.

The NTSB has begun to investigate the Boeing 787 battery manufacture at their Japan location.

20-January
The NTSB investigation of the JAL 787 fire on Jan 7th is now being focused on the batteries manufacture. Also, the NTSB is beginning to study individual battery cells.

After examining the black box of the JAL 787 that had the battery fire in Boston on January 7th, the NTSB has announced that the voltage of the battery did not exceed the limit.

19-January
Air India and LOT have both confirmed they are talking to Boeing about 787 compensation.

18-January
Japanese safety investigators have determined that the ANA 787 issue was caused due to the main battery being overcharged.

Air India will begin to seek for compensation due to the 787 issues.

United Airlines has canceled all Boeing 787 international operations until mid-February.

17-January
No Boeing 787′s flew today. It was reported that the FAA rejected Boeing’s intermediate fix proposal.

16-January
By 10:00 PM CST, all Boeing 787 operators (Air India, ANA, Ethiopian, JAL, LAN, LOT, Qatar and United) have grounded their 787 fleets.

At 5:30 PM CST, the FAA ground all U.S. Registered Boeing 787s, and the FAA is talking to international aviation authorities about the Boeing 787 issues.

At 8:00 AM CST, the NTSB announced they will send investigators to investigate the ANA Boeing 787 incident.

At 7:30 AM CST, it was reported that electrolyte fluid was found near the main battery of the ANA Boeing 787 that made an emergency landing.

15-January
JAL announced they will follow ANA by grounding their Boeing 787 fleet for inspection.

ANA announced they will ground their Boeing 787 fleet for inspection.

Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK, reported that a Boeing 787 flown by ANA made an emergency landing due to a battery fire. Smoke was reported by the passengers.

10-January
The FAA says they will launch a review of Boeing 787 electrical systems.

9-January
An ANA Boeing 787 flight was canceled after the aircraft showed an error message for the breaking system.

8-January
A JAL Boeing 787 suffered a fuel leak in Boston.
United inspected their Boeing 787′s, and one of their 787′s had improper battery wiring.

Investigators began to examine the black box today of the ANA 787 that made an emergency landing in Japan on Tuesday. The information will be helpful to determine what may have caused the 787 issue. Stay tuned!

7-January
A JAL Boeing 787 suffers a fire from a battery problem in Boston.

 

The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner delivered to an airline, ANA, on September 25, 2011. More images of the event here.
ANA’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner boards passengers at Tokyo Narita for its inaugural passenger flight in October, 2011. More Images of the Event Here.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner Gallery in Everett, Washington is used for customers to configure their new aircraft. Images of the Dreamliner Gallery Here.

 

 
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