Grounding the Dreamliner

Is the Boeing 787, heretofore known as the Dreamliner, becoming a nightmare for Boeing? The bet-the-company bird has had a difficult entry into service, with a number of early incidents such as a crack windshield. And now, two incidents with lithium ion batteries catching fire and generating smoke have caused the FAA, Japan's civil aviation authorities, and other aviation regulators to ground their airlines' 787.  The New York Times describes the problem: The 787 uses two identical lithium-ion batteries, each about one-and-a-half to twice the size of a car battery. One battery, in the rear electrical equipment bay near the wings, is used to start the auxiliary power unit, a small engine in the tail that is used most often to provide power for the plane while it is on the ground. The other battery, called the main battery, starts the pilot's computer displays and serves as a backup for flight systems. The Seattle Times offers details of what really happened: Hot chemicals...(Read Full Post)