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Boeing 787 faces new risk: limits on ETOPS

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Boeing 787 faces new risk: limits on ETOPS

Old 27th Mar 2013, 15:13
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Boeing 787 faces new risk: limits on ETOPS

Reuters has this article on possible ETOPS consequences of FAA findings. In the past aircraft needed a good reliability record to apply for longer ETOPS.

(Reuters)
As Boeing works to regain permission for its 787 Dreamliner to resume flights, the company faces what could be a costly new challenge: a temporary ban on some of the long-distance, trans-ocean journeys that the jet was intended to fly.

Aviation experts and government officials say the Federal Aviation Administration may shorten the permitted flying time of the 787 on certain routes when it approves a revamped battery system.
Boeing 787 faces new risk: limits on extended range: sources | Reuters

Not so long ago Boeing was working towards 787 ETOPS330. Boeing nears 787 GEnx and 330min ETOPS certification

For illustration I generated an indicative ETOPS90 chart from Great Circle Mapper. I have no idea what limitation the FAA would apply, if at all, for the 787 to re-enter service.
http://www.gcmap.com/map?P=LAX-NRT,+...X=720x360&PM=*

Last edited by keesje; 27th Mar 2013 at 17:02.
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Old 27th Mar 2013, 19:33
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ETOPS 90 looks hard but ETOPS 120 might be ok for a while as most routes would be possible(?), except the Pacific.
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Old 27th Mar 2013, 20:56
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Transpac would be it's main market by the way.
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Old 27th Mar 2013, 21:15
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From a New Zealand perspective, this is of course a BFD. But how bad a hit would it be for routes between, say, USA and northern Pacific Rim countries?
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 12:04
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From a New Zealand perspective, this is of course a BFD.
Downunder-USA would be an issue..



I guess QF and ANZ hoped for ETOPS 240 at least.

QF now has -9 options only, ANZ is committed.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 12:36
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60 mins more than enough!

Well I wouldn't want to go very far from an alternate in the thing until it has got a few trouble free miles under its belt.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 13:46
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There is no regulatory basis to reduce the 787's current ETOPS-180 certification as that allows for a flight to depart with an inoperative APU battery or APU.

So if regulators are going to assume that the APU battery is still likely to fail and inop the APU, that would still allow ETOPS-180.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 14:24
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There is no regulatory basis to reduce the 787's current ETOPS-180 certification as that allows for a flight to depart with an inoperative APU battery or APU.
Was the battery operative during the JAL platform incident?

Is the battery charged during flight?
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 14:46
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Was the battery operative during the JAL platform incident?
Only if you leave it on.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 15:00
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There is no regulatory basis to reduce the 787's current ETOPS-180 certification as that allows for a flight to depart with an inoperative APU battery or APU.

So if regulators are going to assume that the APU battery is still likely to fail and inop the APU, that would still allow ETOPS-180.
What about the main battery failing?

AFAIK there is no MEL item for dispatch with a main battery inop.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 15:06
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Originally Posted by Kiskaloo
There is no regulatory basis to reduce the 787's current ETOPS-180 certification as that allows for a flight to depart with an inoperative APU battery or APU.

So if regulators are going to assume that the APU battery is still likely to fail and inop the APU, that would still allow ETOPS-180.
I understand that you are from Seattle and keen to bat for the home team, but even there it is surely understood that the recent issues with the battery were not due to it being inoperative - the thing caught FIRE !!!
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 16:03
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Probably that recently published addition by AvHerald tells a bit more about facts and reasons

On Mar 27th 2013 the JTSB released another interim report in Japanese summarizing, that a "smoking gun" has still not been identified, the investigation so far has not yet led to "elucidation of the underlying cause". The JTSB reported that the puzzle about the navigation strobe lights has been solved however (see sketch below), with both APU and main batteries showing balanced voltages neither relay would be powered with the related switches off, however, with the main battery's voltage dropping to 1V a current flow from the APU battery via both relays to ground became possible, both relays activated and the wing tip and strobe lights activated despite being switched off. The wire connecting the battery case to ground was broken and showed evidence of having been blown (editorial note: implicitely suggesting prior to the battery event), however, the aircraft had no history of a lightning strike. There is no evidence, that battery charger, bus power control unit, generator control unit or battery diode module did not perform to specifications. Battery cells 1-8, especially 3 and 6, showed extensive internal damage, there is evidence that a large current flow occurred on the output of the battery towards the hot battery bus.
The bold letters is my addition.
Was quoted repeatedly in the other B787 thread, if a lithium battery is discharged to such a level, no re-charging should occur ! Wether it happened in these cases under investigation is not yet clear. But it should also be clear itīs not only the APU battery that is in jeopardy, the ANA case was the main back up battery.
Regardless what those Boeing PR people release to the public, as long as the real cause is not found the whole set up is not safe. So no release to normal ops should be allowed.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 18:48
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The ETOPS time doesn't matter if your airplane is burning! SR111 couldn't stay in the air for 35 minutes after the cockpit crew reported smoke. AC 797 had a lavatory fire over the heartland of the USA and couldn't land in time to avoid mass casualties.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 18:55
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@ keesje

at what single engine speed was that map created?
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 03:14
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RobertS975:

The ETOPS time doesn't matter if your airplane is burning!
That's the point of the metal box.

Look at it this way: Without the box, a battery fire is a critical safety issue. Because it has the potential for bringing down the plane, it must be extremely improbable (< 10E-9 per flight hour). Since it appears that this is not the case, we get the fireproof box. The sales pitch for the box doesn't appear to have a time limit for withstanding a fire (at least none that I've heard). So that means diversion range in the event of a fire will be based on the remaining system capabilities. If you had ETOPS-180 before the battery caught fire, you still have it. That's the position we will be in if the FAA buys the battery in a box solution.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 03:36
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TURIN
What about the main battery failing?

AFAIK there is no MEL item for dispatch with a main battery inop.
If the engines and APU are dead and you are fortunate enough to make it to a runway, the Ship's Battery job is to power the brakes. And if you, and your Ship's Battery is dead, then you're probably going to have a runway overrun. But at least you'll have emergency equipment present and CFRP is strong.


WHBM
I understand that you are from Seattle and keen to bat for the home team, but even there it is surely understood that the recent issues with the battery were not due to it being inoperative - the thing caught FIRE !!!
And I understand that being from the UK, you must love all things Airbus since they design and build the wings for their commercial airplane families there.

Yes, the cabling caught fire on JA829J. And in response, Boeing has switched to cabling that is far more resistant to fire and is capable of withstanding significantly higher temperatures (many hundreds of degrees Centigrade).

They've also encased the battery in a fireproof titanium container and shown that there is insufficient oxygen present within to sustain combustion for a few thousandths of a second even with thermal runaway and electrolyte leakage.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 03:40
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ETOPS Limit

As a matter of interest, can someone please confirm the current limit on the B777 thanks. Just wonder, if very unfortunately the 787 saga lingers on & with operating restrictions as well, could more 777s fill the gap?

Cheers
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 04:52
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777 ETOPS limit is normally 180 mins....however in a previous Airline we had approval to go to 207 mins...From what I remember we had to have a serviceable APU for 207 mins......Distance is normally determined by the airline with regulatory approval...current operation is 1293 nm S/E still air.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 07:29
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The ETOPS time doesn't matter if your airplane is burning!

Indeed, and once on the ground you'll have the comfort of knowing that the polar bears won't attack a blazing 787.
.

Last edited by toffeez; 29th Mar 2013 at 08:19.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 09:43
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Kiskaloo, are you sure that you can dispatch an ETOPS flight with the APU inop? if so it's the first I have heard of any aircraft being allowed to do this indeed in my experience we had to have an ETOPS compliant APU which in essence meant that it had to be able to start in flight even having been cold soaked.
You also mention above about the main battery powering the brakes am I to take that the B787 does not have a RAT?

Last edited by matkat; 29th Mar 2013 at 09:57.
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