SEATTLE -- Ray Conner, chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes expressed confidence in the fix for the 787’s battery, an issue that has grounded the fleet of 50 jets since January 16th.
Conner spoke in New York at the J.P. Morgan Aviation, Transportation & Defense Conference. While media were barred from attending the conference, the event was webcast.
“We feel good about the fix,” said Conner.
Boeing plans to make changes to the plane’s lithium-ion battery, and containment and venting system, in case of future smoking or fires in battery cells.
“We would not go forward unless we thought we had it nailed, which I think we do,” he added.
The battery fix involves wider separation of the individual cells inside the battery to prevent an overheating cell from affecting the one another and better monitoring of the cell temperature and charging status.
Conner gave no indication when he expects the FAA to approve or disapprove the repair, which was officially presented to the FAA’s new permanent chief Michael Huerta on February 22nd. There’s no word yet from the FAA on a decision time frame.
If the FAA is receptive, test flights would come first. If those are successful, then the plan would be implemented.
“We’re prepared, we’re ready go to.” Conner said. He said once the retrofit kits in place, “We’re off and running.”
“Once we get through, this will move really fast.”