A battery expert and chemistry professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has some suggestions for how Boeing can solve its airplane battery woes, one of which could keep the fleet grounded until 2014.
The problems with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, which was grounded earlier this month by Federal Aviation Administration order, could be solved by switching from the current lithium-ion batteries to nickel metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries, Donald Sadoway told Forbes. However, switching to NiMH batteries, which have a better safety track record, could result in a lengthy certification process that could take up to a year to complete, Forbes … Read more
Boeing's 787 Dreamliner has suffered through a series of high-profile delays and setbacks, culminating in this week's grounding by the U.S. government, but thanks to its cutting-edge technology, it's almost certain the plane will thrive in spite of the repeated body blows.
The Dreamliner -- the much-heralded, next-generation plane that Boeing designed to offer airlines big fuel efficiencies and access to new intercontinental routes -- had already stumbled through more than three years of delays including an onboard electrical fire before the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration grounded the entire U.S.-based fleet this week … Read more
The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered airlines to ground their fleets of Boeing 787 Dreamliners until the plane's onboard batteries are proven safe to operate.
Today's action comes on the heels of Japanese carriers All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines grounding their 787s after a battery fire forced the evacuation of an ANA flight earlier today.
"As a result of an in-flight, Boeing 787 battery incident earlier today in Japan, the FAA will issue an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) to address a potential battery fire risk in the 787 and require operators to temporarily cease operations," … Read more
The Federal Aviation Administration looks to be tightening the screws on what personal devices pilots are allowed to use while in the air.
A new proposal, which the agency published in the Federal Register today, aims to stop pilots from using electronic devices for any type of personal use while in the cockpit. The proposal comes after a handful of incidents gave the FAA cause for concern.
"The personal use of personal wireless communications devices and laptop computers for non-safety related activities is prohibited by the broad restrictions in the current 'Sterile Cockpit' rule during ground operations involving taxi, … Read more
The Federal Aviation Administration today said it is opening a comprehensive review of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner following recent incidents that have raised questions about the innovative aircraft.
Earlier this week, for instance, firefighters had to put out a small blaze on a Japan Airlines 787 on the ground at Boston's Logan International Airport. The cause of the fire, which occurred with no passengers on the plane at the time, was traced back to a battery pack in an auxiliary power unit.
"This review will cover the critical systems of the aircraft, including design, manufacturing and assembly," … Read more
Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill wants you to be able to tweet a photo of St. Louis' famous Gateway Arch while you're soaring above it in your commercial airliner of choice.
At least that might be one option open to you if a letter she sent to the Federal Aviation Administration yesterday has the desired effect.
The Democratic senator said in her letter that she was "prepared to pursue legislative solutions" if the FAA takes too long to loosen its restrictions on the use of portable electronic devices during flights.
"We live in an increasingly connected world, … Read more
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has thrown his agency's support behind the greater use of portable electronic devices on airplanes during flights.
The Federal Aviation Administration should "enable greater use of tablets, e-readers, and other portable devices," the FCC's Julius Genachowski said in a letter today to FAA acting chief Michael Huerta.
The FAA currently prohibits airline passengers from using devices during takeoff and landing for fear that transmissions will interfere with the airplane's equipment, but the FAA recently formed a committee to reconsider its policy on when electronic devices can be turned … Read more
American Airlines will be the first commercial carrier to have all of its pilots replace their paper-based reference flying manuals with Apple's iPad.
The airline announced today that it received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to "to use the Apple iPad in the cockpit during all phases of flight."
All pilots fly with a kitbag that contains necessary flight information, navigation charts, and reference materials for when they're in the air. American is dubbing its new kitbag with the iPad an "Electronic Flight Bag." Switching from paper manuals to the iPad will save … Read more
Keep your seat belt fastened for Tuesday's tech news roundup: