I know a lot of you have questions about the status of the 787 as we continue to work with our customers and the various regulatory and investigative authorities. Our team has answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. We’ll continue to update you here as things develop.
Q: What actions are you taking to ensure the safety of the 787?
A: There is no higher priority than the safety of passengers and crew members flying onboard our airplanes. Boeing is committed to supporting the FAA and finding answers as quickly as possible. The company is working around the clock with its customers and the various regulatory and investigative authorities. We will make available the entire resources of The Boeing Company to assist. We are confident the 787 is safe and we stand behind its overall integrity. We will be taking every necessary step in the coming days to assure our customers and the traveling public of the 787’s safety and to return the airplanes to service.
Q: What is an airworthiness directive?
A: Airworthiness Directives (ADs) are rules issued by the FAA to mandate actions such as inspections, repairs, data collection, and other operational changes.
Q: How long will 787s be grounded?
A: According to the FAA’s recent announcement, operations can resume once airlines have demonstrated the batteries are safe. Boeing is working with the FAA to define that process and timeline.
Q: What are you doing to help your customers?
A: We are in ongoing conversations with our customers - those who operate the airplane as well as those who have not yet received their first 787 - to ensure they understand the progress being made to define the plan to return to flight. Once that plan is defined we will assist in completing the actions required.
Q: What is the issue with the batteries?
A: We are supporting the investigations that will determine the cause of the recent incidents involving 787 batteries. Until those investigations conclude, we can’t speculate on what the results might be.
Q: What protections do you apply for the lithium ion batteries on the 787?
A: There are multiple backups to ensure the system is safe. These include protections against over-charging and over-discharging.
Q: Why didn’t this battery issue show up in the flight test?
A. We are supporting the investigations that will determine the cause of the recent incidents involving 787 batteries. Until those investigations conclude, we can’t speculate on what the results might be.
Q: The 787 uses electric motors and electric controls in places where earlier designs used mechanical linkages and hydraulic systems, does this have anything to do with batteries?
A: No. All modern jetliners have batteries. The 787’s more-electric architecture has very little to do with batteries. The key innovation that enables the improved efficiency is the generation of more electrical power and the elimination of the high-pressure bleed air (pneumatic) system. The functions that were formerly powered pneumatically are now powered electrically