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“It’s not the batteries” is not good news for Boeing

This is supposed to be good news for Boeing? It simply means now there are at least two unknown root causes of fires on the 787, not just one.

Image of rear half of the Ethiopian 787 that caught fire at Heathrow

Note the burned out top of the fuselage just ahead of the vertical stabilizer. Photo from the linked New York Times article, originally from Reuters TV.

Remember, they didn’t “fix” the battery problem, because to this day they still don’t know what caused that either. They only enclosed and vented it, so that when if that catches fire, flames go shooting out a new vent on the underbelly. Yes, they threw some software and physical changes at it, to see if any might help, but without any proof of what actually failed in the first place.

In other words, they just spitballed it, hoping something might stick.

Now the same for a new cause of fire? Continue reading »

Boeing: further flights of fantasy on Dreamliner battery problem

Boeing: Dreamliner battery tests should be done soon. From Boeing’s chutzpah-laden pronouncements at Friday’s press briefing in Tokyo:

Boeing says it still doesn’t know why batteries failed, but the fixes they have developed will cover any possible future problem, and the airliner should be back flying shortly.

(emphasis mine)

ANA 787 smokelinerWell, that’s a relief! They know that any possible future failure will not be a problem. No need worrying about those pesky root causes.

Look, I don’t pretend to be an aeronautical engineer. But I was a software engineer (yeah, I know, “not real engineers”), and I’ve been involved in plenty of QA, root cause analysis, risk mitigation, and similar failure post-mortems. Continue reading »

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