Don't stop believin'

There’s no greater sense of accomplishment than completing a true technical challenge. The 787 battery issue was indeed a challenge, and having the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration give its approval of our improvements today is welcome news.

But we’re not taking time to celebrate just yet. That won’t happen until we get the fleet back up in the air. We’ve already deployed teams to install the battery improvements on our customers’ airplanes. More than 300 Boeing employees have been sent to assist our customers. They’ll be installing new battery systems on the airplanes we’ve already delivered.

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Joseph Gettings (left), team leader for kit assembly at the Boeing Spares Distribution Center, and Chad Howell, shipping facilitator, prepare a battery containment kit for shipping to a 787 customer. (Katie Lomax photo)

We’ll also begin installing the changes on new airplanes at our two 787 final assembly plants, with deliveries expected to resume soon. In fact, we expect to complete all of our planned 2013 deliveries by the end of the year as scheduled. You can learn more about our teams on the ground in this video.

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Mike Jeffries, a 787 flight line mechanic, secures a battery inside its stainless steel containment box in a 787 electronic equipment bay. The modification was performed on an airplane in Everett as part of the certification process. (Ed Turner photo)

We know this has been a challenging period for our customers as well. We can’t thank them enough for their support and look forward to getting their airplanes back in service as soon as possible.

The hard work isn’t done just yet—but the future of the 787 looks bright. We never stopped believing in this airplane and I can’t wait to get back on the Dreamliner.

Comments (11)

Andrew (Boise, ID USA):

I don't want to seem patronizing of this issue, but I am excited to see everything aligning again during this testing time. The resolve, and focus are two words that carry deep in a professional's heart and mind, when tasked with coming up with a solution. One that effort by-passes the stumbling blocks found in a perplexing situation, the sound reasoning and technical expertise take over. The FAA is an important partner giving oversight in behalf of the traveling public. Boeing has recognised this importance, and did not spare the the horses while engaging the challenge. It seems Boeing has thrown itself on the sword of honest dialogue about what "should be" as in any review. It appears that Boeing identified every area within its control and reduced findings of faults with a plan that mitigates risks of the seen and those of possibility.
I would be eager to fly on the 787 with my family If I were able, but my flying days are done, but I still have that dream, since the team of Boeing put 100,000 hours towards that dream.

V V (Montreal, Quebec):

Not only you must not stop believing, I think you also must continue working to improve the battery. The current battery solution is safe and good enough to put the 787 back in the air, but I suspect it is not the most optimized solution.

I am sure Boeing and its partners can design better and lighter battery for the next aircraft development.

In the bus back home from work, I imagined a light containment system although I am not at all sure it could work, but it seems to reduce the weight of the overall battery pack compared to the huge containment box (click here).

Edward (Orlando):

This is a fine day for Boeing and all aviation enthusiasts. Congratulations on all the long hours and getting the 787 back on track. I look forward to flying very soon. The song says it all Randy! Don't stop believing ever.

Jozsef Meszaros (Gyomro, Hungary):

dear Randy, I can hardly await your reports from your journeys on the 787 Dreamliner - with the delicious pieces of food from all around the world... I wonder if the Dreamliner has the best onboard passenger tables as well? Joe

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

I think one of the most fascinating aspects of the 787 has been watching solutions rapidly being devised as some or other unexpected issues crept up - especially through the former Flightglobal blog Flightblogger. The solutions make for an incredibly robust aircraft, certainly for a solid platform from which to launch growth variants of the Dreamliner. The 787 development coincided with an explosion of social networks, at a time of increased interest in making things - especially in the US. It's been an incredible poster child for manufacturing in general.

The journey for this aircraft has been tough. But it's a reality, its real, and there has been a solution for every kink along the way, such is the nature of the industry and cleansheet boundary-pushing designs such as the 787. Good choice!

Thiagarajan K Rengasamy (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia):

Congratulations Boeing!

Vaidya Sethuraman (CHICAGO):

Randy, job well done by Boeing team . We are delighted to see the 787 ready to fly again.
The new protection system looks very good and has been well tested.
I am sure you will improvise the system as we go along, including weight reduction of the steel box/ change in electrolyte et al.
We look forward to fast delivery of the back log and the assembly of the -9 later this year.
all the best.

Tim (Ont Can.):

I am a little confused here, didn't the Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood say that the Dreamliner won't return to the skies until regulators are "1,000 percent sure" of its safety. Unless I missed something the "root cause" still has to be resolved so how could it be 1,000% let alone 100%

Is the 787 really ready to return to the skies?

James Ford (GA):

Randy, great article! I'll never stop believing. I would love for you to post similar articles on our site www.skychattr.com a site for aviation professionals and travelers worldwide. Please join us soon!

J

Norman (Long Beach, CA):

This is great news, the plane will soon be back in the air. With this I hope to see more orders made as the grounded 787s go back into the air. I hope the construction of the 787-9 starts soon and the 787-10X program is launched shortly. Congrats to all of those who worked on fixing the issues of the 787, well done.

Neel (Calcutta, India):

Not for a nano second did we stop believing in you, Boeing. In fact, I'd tweeted long ago that everything was going to be all right. We love you very much, Boeing.

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