787 electrical fires, they keep cropping up.

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Hugo Drax, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. BUTCH1

    BUTCH1 Lifer

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    ALL airliners have multiple redundant systems including APU's (auxiliary power unit) to ensure the plane has power available (to power avionics, control systems, and hydraulic pumps so that control surfaces can still function without any of the planes engines running)
     
  2. lsd

    lsd Golden Member

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    Are you serious? I've been a commercial aircraft mechanic for 12yrs. ALL boeing commercial a/c have had an APU since the 727's.

    And only the 787 has li-on primary batteries. This is a serious issue, there's no smoke/fire detection where the batteries are installed. On most boeing /ac the batteries are not accessible to the crew. Had this happened over the pacific the results may have been different.
     
    #27 lsd, Jan 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  3. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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    707/720 has no APU

    727 was designed without an APU, and then had it added.

    Lots of small and medium pax planes have no APU.

    A380 has lithium ion batteries on board for the emergency lighting, iirc.

    The 787 battery packs have a cockpit overheat indication so the crew will know and can isolate the battery pack.
     
  4. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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    Nope, quite a few small pax planes have no APU and need no APU.

    Some just have batteries.

    Some have a RAT.

    Some have a combination. Most big airliners have several ways of getting power.

    Some RATS supply electricity, some supply hydraulic pressure, some supply both.

    Sometimes a windmilling turbine or prop will provide some power.

    Many airliners can't dump fuel, either.

    IIRC, the 747's APU can't be started in flight. 4 generators are considered enough redundancy.
     
  5. lsd

    lsd Golden Member

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    Isolate and then what? Overheat means nothing.
    You can switch off the battery and it still could be on fire and you would not know.
    Like I said, you can not do anything about a battery fire once the a/c is airborne.
    You can only hope to land in time before it gets worse and evacuate.
    Read up on Swissair 111, a Little arcing doomed 229 people. The FAA has been harping on oems, airlines and mechanics since then about electrical practices and system reliability. Expect them to come down hard on Boeing and its supplier over these batteries.
     
  6. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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    Swissair 111 bears no resemblance to this ground fire. Fires were handled differently way back then, and planes were built differently. Had 111 been built with fireproof material, and fire detection equipment, the outcome is probably different.

    Had the policy back then been what it is today, the pilot would be aware of the problem earlier, and would divert immediately at the first warning of a fire, instead of trying to figure it out, and the outcome is likely different.

    The 787's battery rack is designed to help contain the fire. Isolating the bad battery from the charger/electrical system is important, even if it won't directly stop the fire. The avionics bay vents to the outside, so there would likely have been no smoke in the cabin.

    Boeing thought of what would happen with a battery fire, and the avionics bay, and the aircraft itself, is designed to handle such a fire.

    Reports are that this fire was burning for about 40 minutes, so it looks like the 787 did an amazing job of containing the damage, but I probably shouldn't make that judgement yet.

    The APU is not normally used in flight, so this problem most likely would only occur on the ground when the plane is using the APU for power.

    We still don't know what caused the fire, what was burning, or what the sequence of events might have been.

    Did the wiring cause the problem? Was the battery defective? Did the maintenance crew do something? Did the APU cause the problem?
     
  7. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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  8. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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    Sounds like a defective battery, and a well designed battery rack.

    http://www.ntsb.gov/news/2013/130108b.html
     
  9. Number1

    Number1 Diamond Member

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    Do you work for Boeing? Seriously. What kind of "well designed" battery pack catches on fire?

    There is no such thing as a minor fire on board an aircraft. Smoke did get into the cabin, a fire fighter got injured extinguishing the blaze. There is nothing minor about this incident and Boeing had better fix it before they lose an aircraft.
    Here is a quotes from an online article:

    Flames about two feet (0.6 meter) high shot out of an avionics bay in the jet’s belly yesterday as the plane sat at a Logan International Airport gate before its next departure, and there was a small explosion, Massachusetts Port Authority Fire Chief Robert Donahue said in an interview. Hello minor incident!!!!!!

    They should re brand it to "Nightmare Liner"
     
  10. Druidx

    Druidx Platinum Member

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    The article you link to talks about flames shooting out but than says the firefights had to use infrared detection to locate the fire.
     
  11. unokitty

    unokitty Diamond Member

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    Boeing is now saying that the fire was due to an improperly installed wiring bundle.

    "United Airlines found improperly-installed wiring on one of its Boeing Co. 787s, as operators of the new jet inspected their fleets in the wake of the electrical fire suffered Monday on a Japan Airlines Co. Dreamliner parked at Boston airport,...."

    One of the new Boeing processes that was implemented for the 787 was outsourcing many more aircraft components than ever before. At the time, it engineers pointed out that while you can save money by outsourcing, you give up some (quality) control.

    I wonder what the MBAs think of their cost savings now?

    Uno
     
  12. skyking

    skyking Lifer

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    Yay! saved x thousands of dollars per bundle!
    <stock plummets 6.2% in two days>
    FFFFUUUU
    It's up 3% on the day.
     
    #37 skyking, Jan 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  13. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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    Rack, not pack. Boeing wouldn't have designed the battery pack.

    The rack/compartment contained the fire and there is apparently only minor damage.
     
  14. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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    Boeing didn't say that about the wire bundle, and the United problem is apparently unrelated to the JAL battery fire.
     
  15. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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    The photo doesn't seem to support the report of a lot of flames, but the fire may have flared up when a cover was removed.
     
  16. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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    The air in this bay is vented to the outside in flight while the plane is pressurized, so it's very unlikely that any smoke would have entered the cabin in flight.
     
  17. skyking

    skyking Lifer

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    I think they had extinguished it, and it popped. They describe the fire/smoke and battery explosion as two discrete events.
     
  18. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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    If it was the LiIon battery, it would be a Class D fire. You put those out by burying them.

    The photo doesn't appear to show evidence of a Class D extinguisher/agent being used to smother the battery.

    The pop would be typical with a battery.

    Calling it an explosion seems a bit much.

    My money would be on there being no visible flames before actions were taken to find the source of the smoke.
     
  19. Number1

    Number1 Diamond Member

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    You sound so alarmed. The cabin is indeed pressurised but tell us, where is the air intake?

    I don't know what's in it for you, maybe it's like that sig of yours. For me, I buy Intel when it's the best, I buy AMD when it's the best just like any rational person SHOULD!
    Check my sig for details.
     
  20. techs

    techs Lifer

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    I don't recall when they started certifying twin engine jets for ETOPs, specifically trans Pacific flights, but I think it was less than twenty years ago?

    It seems strange to allow new planes to fly long distances from any landing field before there has been some amount of history for a brand new plane.
    It sounds like they are far too trusting of technology. Especially when we have examples of fires that might doom a plane that was too far from a landing field.

    Just my 2 cents but I would like to see them fly 6 months non ETOPS just to work out the bugs.
     
  21. slayernine

    slayernine Senior member

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    Obviously it's foreigners sabotaging quality 'mercian products.
     
  22. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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    The 787's bleedless system is well documented on the net. It's pretty easy to learn how it works. It does not use bleed air for the cabin.

    http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine/articles/qtr_4_07/AERO_Q407_article2.pdf

    Here is the airflow description from a fellow Airliners.net member:



    My sig is a joke created when nick said I might be mentally unstable for sticking with intel chips way back when AMD was the upstart price/performance leader. I compared it to being used to driving a Chevy, even though you know a Honda is a better deal.

    The chemtrail bit is because I have been battling them ever since they showed up on the net.
     
  23. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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    Yeah, with them spontaneously combusting mid-air all the time like that, it's a wonder Boeing is still in business. :D

    As far as I can tell, there has been exactly one fire on a 787 in service, and we get this thread title. They've been in service more than a year, too.

    Airliners have all sorts of incidents daily. Even small fires and big fires.

    http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2009/aair/ao-2009-027.aspx

    http://avherald.com/h?article=44078aa7

    Avherald has daily running reports of all the problems:

    http://avherald.com/

    Note the number of smoke incidents.

    Don't read all the reports if you are a little skittish about flying. :D
     
    #48 LTC8K6, Jan 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  24. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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  25. TangoJuliet

    TangoJuliet Diamond Member

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    A buddy said this best - Either Turnaround Or Passengers Swim