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ET / Ethiopian 787 "Dreamliner" catches fire at LHR [12 Jul 2013]

ET / Ethiopian 787 "Dreamliner" catches fire at LHR [12 Jul 2013]

Old Jul 12, 13, 11:58 pm
  #31  
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Originally Posted by stablemate77 View Post
unfortunate of this as sounds like vary good plane....just need to work out a few problems....try to find out out why starts fires....glad usa cleared it to fly again.....at moment not really my goal to get on one of these....sorry
Yeah, they have to being fixed. They didn't do right. No one who responsible for this. They will have repair the entire aircraft in a few weeks or so. The plane will taken out of service.
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Old Jul 13, 13, 7:24 am
  #32  
 
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Awfully quiet for many hours. Do they not know point of origin, if not cause? Or is the UK taking a different tack than the U.S. NTSB w/r/t informing the public of what they know early and often?

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The BBC's current update, which doesn't appear to add much...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23298349

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Reuters...

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/0...96B0NS20130713

Maybe this is something...

Quoting Mark Mangooni, Ethiopian Airlines' senior manager in Britain, the Financial Times reported that airline staff had discovered a problem with the aircraft's air conditioning system during a routine inspection and had seen sparks but no flames.

The report did not make clear when this had happened. Reuters could not reach Mangooni for comment.

Last edited by Firewind; Jul 13, 13 at 7:50 am
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Old Jul 13, 13, 9:06 am
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by tlott View Post
The fire damage looks to be pretty far away from the batteries. The main battery is near the nose, and the APU battery is near the rear of the wing. Galley or some other electrical problem?? Rear crew rest is up there too.

Regardless of the cause, very fortunate this happened on the ground.

Yes, this is nowhere near the batteries as far as I know.
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Old Jul 13, 13, 9:35 am
  #34  
 
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Would someone please explain why it is a relief if/that it's not the batteries? If it is a second flaw, why would that be better? And I know I'm in the dense minority who just don't get it because the huge swing (down then back up) in Boeing share value was attributed specifically to this by expert analysts.

Cards on the table, I'm tentatively thinking that the burn reflects a point of origin within the ceiling, that the Ethiopian official's initial comment sounds authentic, and that a "galley fire" capable of burning through the skin would have communicated further into the cabin as well.
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Old Jul 13, 13, 10:45 am
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by Firewind View Post
Would someone please explain why it is a relief if/that it's not the batteries? If it is a second flaw, why would that be better? And I know I'm in the dense minority who just don't get it because the huge swing (down then back up) in Boeing share value was attributed specifically to this by expert analysts.

Cards on the table, I'm tentatively thinking that the burn reflects a point of origin within the ceiling, that the Ethiopian official's initial comment sounds authentic, and that a "galley fire" capable of burning through the skin would have communicated further into the cabin as well.
IMHO the three most major risks in the 787 design are:
1) Lithium Ion batteries may overheat/explode, especially if short circuited or overcharged. Thermal expansion has been a problem for laptop and cell phone lithium ion batteries for years, and there is no reason to believe it will be any better for airplanes.
2) Aluminum wiring instead of Copper wiring -- saves weight, but aluminum wires need to be handled in a very different way. With copper, you can just screw them in as tight as possible, and it will hold. With aluminum, if it's too tight, the aluminum becomes brittle and may snap, not tight enough, and it may just come loose.
3) Composite material will burn much much easier than aluminum fuselage.

If we can remove the likelihood of "1", we still have 2 and 3. "2" is another major problem that Boeing may have to refit all planes with improved connections for power cabling (major renovation).

If it turns out to be a lit cigarette or a left-on coffee maker, the only issue that remains is "3", which the powers that be seem to believe is a reasonable risk, and therefore makes this an isolated incident. There is still the risk of "2", however, which could be an even bigger challenge than the lithium ion batteries to fix.
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Old Jul 13, 13, 4:35 pm
  #36  
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Interesting. Regarding number three, do you reckon then that we would have seen a much bigger disaster in SFO had the plane been a 787 instead of a 777?

I heard that the 787 isn't as good at handling lightning strikes due to its materials - is that accurate?

And regarding number two, is that something that would happen right away, or is this going to be a case like those crashes where something that was done ages ago (ie the wire being screwed too tightly) is attributed to crashes years down the line?
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Old Jul 13, 13, 5:10 pm
  #37  
 
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Originally Posted by Dan1113 View Post
Interesting. Regarding number three, do you reckon then that we would have seen a much bigger disaster in SFO had the plane been a 787 instead of a 777?

I heard that the 787 isn't as good at handling lightning strikes due to its materials - is that accurate?

And regarding number two, is that something that would happen right away, or is this going to be a case like those crashes where something that was done ages ago (ie the wire being screwed too tightly) is attributed to crashes years down the line?
Regarding 2 - it's related to heat cycles. So, yeah, it may happen over time. Most electricians don't want to touch aluminum wires in a "critical" business installation, but in 787 it was an integral design choice to reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency. In the most extreme case, the lugs are copper and the wire aluminum. They have different rates of thermal expansion, so every time it heat cycles, it causes more stress. This failure can happen even when all components are aluminum, but differing metals increases the risk.

Regarding 3 - When carbon fiber fails, it tends to lose all strength instantly -- think of it like an egg shell -- can be quite strong (try breaking one by squeezing the top and bottom in your hand!), but as soon as a crack forms, it has nearly no strength at all. As far as how that would relate to the Asiana 777 crash @ SFO, it's tough to say, but the bigger risk is that one tiny imperfection while midair, and suddenly you effectively have zero structural integrity. I think @ SFO, most passengers were already off the plane by the time the fire became a serious problem, simply because the fire was clearly so hot that it melted aluminum (very hot!), and no human could survive that environment, and the injury count was too low for a fire like that to be in proximity to humans without injury.

On the flip side, something that will deform will absorb shock, so it's possible that there would be less injuries in a 787 crash.


I think the 787 is probably a wonderful plane as long as nothing is wrong, and probably on par with the 777 in the event of a major emergency (perhaps even safer due to the deformation absorbing shock), but the risk of a major emergency is probably much higher due to so many unreliable components.


I'd personally like to fly a 787 just once. Statistically a low chance that it will be "that" flight, but I think in the long run, they will be deemed unsafe, and scrapped.
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Old Jul 13, 13, 6:05 pm
  #38  
 
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Originally Posted by Cassie55 View Post
The aircraft is at a remote stand so why close the whole airport?
In the US, most commercial airports are required to have one or more emergency trucks on standby to respond to calls. If some or all of the trucks are on a call, the control tower has to shut some or all runways until the trucks are done. I assume the UK has similar rules.
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Old Jul 13, 13, 9:08 pm
  #39  
 
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All that is said officially - although it's interesting to have even this so early in the investigation:

http://www.aaib.gov.uk/latest_news/b...ss_release.cfm

is:

"However, it is clear that this heat damage is remote from the area in which the aircraft main and APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) batteries are located, and, at this stage, there is not evidence of a direct causal relationship"

The NYTimes report says the plane "was connected to an external ground power source" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/13/bu...-heathrow.html).
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Old Jul 13, 13, 11:05 pm
  #40  
 
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787 availability zeroed out

Interesting that some of the 787 flights YYZ-ADD in July and August are showing ony full fare J an Y availabilty today, zeroed out in other classes.
On some dates, equipment swap with 777s on this route show all fare classes are available.

Is ET planning to ground their 787s again ? Why would they zero out availability when the seat maps are showing only 5 per cent seats are occupied ?
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Old Jul 15, 13, 3:58 am
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by belize 1 View Post
Is ET planning to ground their 787s again ?
ET is short of one 787 till further notice. There will be schedule changes and equipment changes to cover for this.
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Old Jul 15, 13, 6:25 am
  #42  
 
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A focus on composite

Reuters's focus on composite and fire...

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...96E03620130715

...absent any more information from the AAIB with regard to precise point of origin or cause.
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Old Jul 15, 13, 7:08 am
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Originally Posted by some dude View Post
I think in the long run, they will be deemed unsafe, and scrapped.
Unfortunately, I think this will ultimately be the 787's fate.
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Old Jul 15, 13, 12:02 pm
  #44  
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WSJ reports: "Investigators are probing Boeing 787's emergency locator transmitter as a potential cause in Heathrow fire."
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Old Jul 15, 13, 12:40 pm
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So, we've completed the business day, and there's no more than that "...it is not the batteries". Two aspects fascinate me at this point.

One is that this would be the one definitive (as definitive as we've gotten in three days) statement from the AAIB. Is there a bias in support of the manufacturer? It certainly sounds as if it's in their defence. Absent such a motive (could there be any other?), the observation stands out as gratuitously tacked on at the end of the AAIB's only statement to date.

Second is that all that apparently seems to matter to the consumers of the information - the public, the media, this thread - is that it's not the batteries. No, it's moreover that the incident appears already to have receded back into the noise of the day.

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[I was overwriting David. I had checked the BBC and Reuters today, and found...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/search/news/?q=...ian%20Airlines

...while Reuters was on to talking about the composite airframe vs. fire.]

Last edited by Firewind; Jul 15, 13 at 12:45 pm
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