FAA grounds Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The order came after several incidents involving Japanese operated aircraft

Topics: 787, dreamliner, 787 Dreamliner, Japan, Boeing, Manufacturing, aviation, , ,

The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered the grounding of Boeing 787 Dreamliners following a battery fire in Japan:

The agency said it would:

Issue an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) to address a potential battery fire risk in the 787 and require operators to temporarily cease operations.  Before further flight, operators of U.S.-registered, Boeing 787 aircraft must demonstrate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that the batteries are safe…

“The battery failures resulted in release of flammable electrolytes, heat damage, and smoke on two Model 787 airplanes. The root cause of these failures is currently under investigation. These conditions, if not corrected, could result in damage to critical systems and structures, and the potential for fire in the electrical compartment.Last Friday, the FAA announced a comprehensive review of the 787’s critical systems with the possibility of further action pending new data and information.

There was another on-the-ground battery fire earlier this month in Boston.

The planes, which have been hailed as the future of commercial aviation because of their low fuel consumption, represent a huge bet for Boeing against its primary rival Airbus. Boeing is one of corporate America’s largest exporters by value.

United is currently the only U.S. airline operating the Dreamliner.

Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.

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