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Dreamliner suffers another setback

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posted on Aug, 15 2013 @ 07:24 PM
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The saga of the 787 continues with another setback for Boeing. Fortunately not as major as the battery, or the ELT fire, but potentially as dangerous. An ANA preflight check, on a Dreamliner preparing to depart Haneda airport yesterday was found to have the wiring for the engine fire extinguishers miswired. They were wired to the opposite fire handles, so the right handle would operate the left extinguisher, and vice versa.

After announcing they found the problem, Japan Airlines ordered a 787 enroute to Helsinki to return to Tokyo as a precaution. That aircraft was replaced with another one, and left again for Helsinki with a different aircraft, after a 7 hour delay.

ANA has rewired two of the three aircraft the problem was found in (which had to have occurred during manufacture), with the third to be completed by the end of the day. Japan inspected all 10 aircraft without any problems being found. LOT, Qatar, and Norwegian Air Shuttle have all continued to operate their aircraft normally. United is inspecting their aircraft after preliminary instructions from Boeing.


Boeing Co. (BA)’s 787 Dreamliner suffered a fresh setback after ANA Holdings Inc. (9202), the model’s biggest operator, said it discovered wiring defects in the fire-suppression system on three aircraft.
The fault, first detected on a 787 due to depart Tokyo’s Haneda airport today, would trigger the wrong extinguisher in the event of a blaze in one of the two engines, ANA said. Japan Airlines Co. recalled a 787 flying to Helsinki from Tokyo as a precaution, and Boeing said it was investigating the flaw.

“These things happen with a new aircraft,” said Robert Stallard, an analyst at RBC Capital in London with an “outperform” rating on Chicago-based Boeing. “When the airlines ground the plane or regulators start becoming involved, then it becomes something to watch out for.”

www.bloomberg.com...

airguideonline.com...
edit on 8/15/2013 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 15 2013 @ 08:51 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


How do you think this mis-wiring happened? Fire extinguishing capabilities seem like something that would be tested before a craft leaves the assembly line. Do you think there may be corporate sabotage involved? I know that Boeing and Airbus have been recently involved in negotiating similar products to prospective buyers.



posted on Aug, 15 2013 @ 08:54 PM
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reply to post by luxordelphi
 


I've heard of it happening (and worse). They don't necessarily test the fire extinguishers, but they're supposed to sign off on the wiring. If it's done late at night, or near the end of the shift, then it can be pencil whipped and signed off as checked when it's not.

This is nothing compared to some of the horror stories I've seen and heard with military aircraft coming out of the depot after PDM.



posted on Aug, 15 2013 @ 11:22 PM
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Zaphod58
reply to post by luxordelphi
 



This is nothing compared to some of the horror stories I've seen and heard with military aircraft coming out of the depot after PDM.


Shhh. Remeber we don't talk about those things...lol



posted on Aug, 16 2013 @ 02:38 PM
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Boeing traces faulty fire extinguishers to supplier: WSJ


(Reuters) - Boeing Co has traced the incorrectly assembled engine fire extinguishers on 787 Dreamliners to the manufacturing of bottles at a supplier's facility while saying there were no risks to flight safety, the Wall Street Journal reported.


Bottles?!? The manufacturing of bottles? Many questions remain. Were these all first flights for these three craft, then, and that's why routine pre-flight maintenance discovered them? Unlikely.

Do the 'bottles' come with their own wires? Are the 'bottles' stamped with 'L' or 'R' and they were mis-stamped? Are they not interchangeable? Not really clear at all on how a 'bottle' could get hooked-up to the wrong engine.



posted on Aug, 16 2013 @ 04:59 PM
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reply to post by luxordelphi
 


You'd be amazed at how easy it is to screw something like this up. I've seen cases where planes came out of major maintenance, and almost all the bolts holding the wing on were missing. Or where they worked on a fuel tank, and left the plugs in place. Things that you would think were really important, and would be double and triple checked get missed a lot more than they should.



posted on Aug, 16 2013 @ 05:58 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


I guess, then, that the mechanics, in this instance, were not overly fatigued, dyslexic or color blind (assuming here that wiring on a jet is somewhat color coded like any other wiring) and that was how they were able to detect this problem. I don't know...taken as an isolated incident - ok, but, there were three craft like this.

If we believe Boeing when they tell us that this was just a small part of an elaborate redundant system and so would have created no harm anyway: the explanation of human error makes sense. But it really doesn't hold up when one considers that they found three instances. On the other hand, it could have been unfamiliarity with new equipment. And on a third hand, it could have been someone familiar with the redundancy. (I'm still leaning toward corporate wars on this.)



posted on Aug, 16 2013 @ 06:54 PM
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reply to post by luxordelphi
 


I can think of five separate instances of simple human error leading to the loss of an aircraft (one with all hands, and the suicide of the QA inspector), one to cause such serious damage to the aircraft that it was almost written off, and two or three instances of the aircraft just "not being right" anymore. All after coming out of major maintenance, and being checked by at least two to three people before being signed off on.

Depot level maintenance is similar to building a plane. You have to crank out so many a month to get ahead of schedule, and with three shifts working on them, mistakes happen. You don't check to see where the last shift left off, its' the end of your shift and you don't do a tool check, someone distracts you and you miswire something....

Three aircraft out of roughly 73 is a blip on the radar. But with the history of teething problems this aircraft has had to date, it's a blip on the radar that Boeing doesn't need right now.



posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 03:53 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Newly discovered wiring problems with the 787 don't seem to have anything to do with bottles.

Air India's latest Dreamliner develops serious snag


The problems with Boeing Dreamliner continue as the eighth aircraft which was to be delivered earlier this month to Air India has developed some serious snag in its electrical circuit. Its back up system too was not functioning, sources said.


Have to say that there seem to be a lot of players here.

Corporations in today's world have become like countries and when they go to war with each other things can get crafty.

Boeing and Airbus Step Up Their War of Words


Recently, the competition between Boeing (NYSE: BA ) and Airbus -- the two largest commercial aircraft makers in the world by far -- has become increasingly cutthroat.


But, back to the wires - what about those ultra thin copper wires?



posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 11:52 PM
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reply to post by luxordelphi
 


Ultra thin copper wires are nothing new. There is a wiring set for the anti-skid on the F-16 that requires a mirror, a magnifying glass, and a flashlight just to see the wire.

As for Boeing and Airbus sabotaging each other, it'll never happen. They may sue, they may go to the respective trade commissions, but they'd never do something like that.



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 02:46 AM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


I don't know about this wiring that you describe for the F-16. All I could find on the internet was some corrosion problem with wiring prior to 2003 and a solution going forward involving teflon. Was this a small part of the entire system? I had read about materials used in the Raptor and on some Dassault planes that seemed similar to or like materials used on the 787. But the ultra-thin copper-aluminum wire seems to have been specified for the 787 exclusively.

A BRAND-NEW WIRING SYSTEM FOR THE DREAMLINER


The widespread use of composites in the 787 structure implies major changes from conventional wiring layouts. Designers also had to pay particular attention to electromagnetic interference, because there is no longer a metallic structure that acts as a protective Faraday cage.



According to Jorge Ortega, Vice-President of Labinal North America Wiring Division, “The main differences between the 787 and previous-generation planes are lighter weight and new electrical systems, which take on a predominant role.”


Condensation was reported in previous (previous to these latest two) wiring problems with the 787. I'm certainly no expert on ultra-thin copper-aluminum wire but given all the problems so far, it seems like we are learning as we go anyway.

Condensation between carbon composite layers has also been a problem in past composites. It's difficult to judge whether or not this was solved for this plane when it is touted as the same as previous military models. I tend to believe that improvements were made and that these improvements have not been used forever etc. and so are, in a sense, experimental.



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 03:58 AM
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reply to post by luxordelphi
 


It's part of the anti-skid system in the landing gear of the Viper. It was only a problem when the jet had a brake issue, but it was a royal pain in the ass when it did.

Airbus and Boeing both have learned a lot over the years about working with composites. Most Airbus aircraft have a decent amount of composites (off the top of my head I want to say 15-20%), and Boeing through military contacts.



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 06:07 AM
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Originally posted by luxordelphi
Boeing traces faulty fire extinguishers to supplier: WSJ


(Reuters) - Boeing Co has traced the incorrectly assembled engine fire extinguishers on 787 Dreamliners to the manufacturing of bottles at a supplier's facility while saying there were no risks to flight safety, the Wall Street Journal reported.


Bottles?!? The manufacturing of bottles? Many questions remain. Were these all first flights for these three craft, then, and that's why routine pre-flight maintenance discovered them? Unlikely.

Do the 'bottles' come with their own wires? Are the 'bottles' stamped with 'L' or 'R' and they were mis-stamped? Are they not interchangeable? Not really clear at all on how a 'bottle' could get hooked-up to the wrong engine.



The bottle is under pressure and usually has a guage which will show a green arc of about 350/450/up to 800 psi. at 70 degrees F. (depending on the aircraft) of fire retardant if my memory serves me. A fire warning causes a light in the fire handle and a bell to go off for the engine the fire handle is supposedly connect too.??.. When the fire handle is pulled in the cockpit it does several things to include shutting off fuel valves, hydraulic valves, and arms a squib...Squib is a fancy name for a mini charge that penetrates a seal and allows the pressurized fire retardant to go through a tube to various parts of the engine or the auxiliary power unit (APU)...When the handle is turned it fires the Squib...

If your right engine (2) caught on fire or had a fire warning for number (2) and you pulled the firehandle (for that engine) rotated the handle to release the retardant...... depending on the altitude you could probably get the engine restarted if you could figure out what was going on...It really is a big deal in my opinion...

Very few people realize regardless of what the companies say when a new aircraft comes out it is not bug free and there are many stories about some new Airbus and or Boeing aircraft having weird teething problems. The DC-10 was another POS when it first came out and I used to think of all the people who would have been alive if that bird's issues would have been fixed before released for passenger flight...Some things just take time in service to figure out where the engineers screwed up..

The Airbus computer system was a major cause for concern when it first came out due to some weird pilot reports where the flight crew needed or wanted to do something but the computer would not take the command...Computer was number one and pilots were number 2....Boeing= pilots were always number one and computer was number two...With the Deamliner I do not know what they have done for I never flew one.... Regardless I would have expected more from them
edit on 18-8-2013 by 727Sky because: u



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 11:03 AM
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reply to post by 727Sky
 


If you remove the battery grounding, and the ELT fire (the ELT was out of Boeing's control), the problems that have occurred have been pretty much what I would expect to see from any new aircraft. The 777 had a lot of problems to begin with as well.



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 09:11 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Composite in the 787 is 50% by weight and 70-80% by volume. I originally became interested in Dassaults' use of composite because of an incident with one of their business jets. That's why this link is their website - it was handy.

What We're Made Of


Now, however, aluminum alloy is increasingly sharing its workload with man-made composites based on carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). Consisting of carbon fibers set into an epoxy resin matrix and made into cloth-like sheets which are cut, shaped and cured to form the final component, CFRPs offer lighter weight coupled with high strength, good rigidity, and resistance to corrosion. Pioneered in combat aircraft, where superior performance and low-observability are the main design criteria, they quickly found other applications. The first manufacturer of passenger aircraft to incorporate large composite structures into the airframe was Airbus, and Boeing has followed suit. Gliders and light aircraft are often constructed entirely of CFRP, and have proven extremely resilient in service. The material is increasingly used in helicopters, the all-CFRP NH Industries NH-90 transport helicopter being one example.



Often, advances in the civil arena are led by developments in military aircraft, where structural demands can be tougher, although lifetimes are shorter and military aircraft are free of the day-to-day pressurization cycles that drive airliner fatigue requirements.



Dassault Aviation has been using composite materials for its business jets since 1979, when the Falcon 50 was fitted with composite ailerons. A more significant milestone came in 1985, when the first all-composite wing for a civil aircraft, and the first to achieve FAR Part 25 certification, was joined to a Falcon 10 fuselage, remaining in service for 20 years. The company has also made full use of its many years of combat aircraft experience. Its Rafale omni-role fighter, for example, contains 30% carbon composites, while the new Falcon 7X, with its all-CFRP vertical fin and horizontal tailplane, has around 20%. By comparison, the new Airbus A350 XWB and Boeing 787 will contain 50% by weight of CFRP.


Particularly interesting is this statement:


Furthermore, the technology of aluminum manufacture is thoroughly understood, says Vautey, whereas CFRP chemistry changes every four or five years as epoxies, catalysts and so on are modified to further improve performance. "The industry has to re-certify the material every time the formulation changes," says Vautey. "It is a real concern. I never have to spend a single euro on re-qualifying aluminum."


So I guess that each advance that is then used in an aircraft needs to be certified and the certification history would provide an idea of new materials.

The Airbus with similar amounts of composite to the 787 - the A350 XWB - is still in process.

The A350 XWB makes its first commercial flight - virtually

The Dassault website describes some of the differences between passenger and military craft not the least of which is the amount of flying one craft is expected to do.

Haven't been able to find anything more detailed on the 787 wire than the link I previously put up. The problems with copper-aluminum wire are well known and condensation is one factor. In any event, if the carbon composite condensation issues have been resolved and if the copper-aluminum wire corrosion issues have been resolved - these are new materials. Sheer quantity is also new. Environment is a big deal for new materials as the Dassault website also mentions.

IMHO, the 787 hasn't been done before.



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 09:30 PM
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reply to post by luxordelphi
 


Of course it hasn't, that's why it's so revolutionary. But the testing program included a massive environmental regimen. They went to the Mojave and tested in extreme heat, put it into an environmental hangar that could simulate massive rainfall, and used the hangar at Eglin AFB, in Florida to both snap freeze, and slow freeze it far beyond temperatures it will normally see.

It passed all the environmental testing with flying colors (get it?).

Airbus had ea huge advantage with the A350 (which just made it's first flight last month). They've had years to watch Boeing struggle with the 787, and have been able to make decisions based on Boeings mistakes, including dropping plans to use lithium ion batteries on it.
edit on 8/18/2013 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 09:46 PM
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reply to post by 727Sky
 


Thankyou for so clearly explaining the fire extinguisher wiring and workings. I think it's a big deal too when the first line of defense malfunctions and precious seconds are lost. From what I've read of the 787, many contractors from many countires contributed components. It would seem that within an environment like that, there would be some losses in translation. At the same time, Boeing had essentially dismantled their previous system of contractor liason. This was supposedly done to save money but the timing is odd because they were involved in something really brand new and the many years of experience from these people should have seemed essential. On the other hand, this new system gives Boeing an isolated entity to throw under the bus if things go wrong.

The entire ultra-fine and ultra-thin and ultra-light production system seems to me to be a runaway train in that materials are thrown together without any long term understanding of how these materials will behave, not only together, but within the environment. And, particularly, within the tampered with environment.



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 10:02 PM
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reply to post by luxordelphi
 


In some cases Boeing flat out bought a supplier, when there were problems with components (Spirit Aerosystems), in others they took production of components away from companies and moved them to a company under their control.

There is zero evidence that there has been any deliberate tampering on any Dreamliner. Composites have been in use for a long time. The only thing not understood is the amount used. This is the first large scale composite commercial aircraft, but Boeing simulated the hell out of it with computer models, and then when they had real components, they tested them to destruction in all kinds of environments. They had to have predeveloped repair plans in place for almost anything you could think of.



posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 12:55 AM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 




Airbus had ea huge advantage with the A350 (which just made it's first flight last month). They've had years to watch Boeing struggle with the 787, and have been able to make decisions based on Boeings mistakes, including dropping plans to use lithium ion batteries on it.


Are you saying that I should wait for the Airbus to try 50% composites at 30,000 ft.? Actually, the A350 is not really the same as the 787. It uses a lot more aluminum and the fuselage composition is completely different. You mentioned tests and the A350 needed tests too because of the amount of carbon composite. This is how those tests go:

Confirming A350 XWB safety with lightning strike evaluations


Lightning strike testing has been performed for the A350 XWB, completing a key required step in preparations for this next-generation Airbus jetliner’s maiden flight.



The A350 XWB’s aerostructure is made primarily of composite materials (carbon fibre reinforced plastic), providing more electrical resistance than an aerostructure consisting mostly of metallics.



The A350 XWB “electromagnetic hazard” testing on MSN3 lasted around three days, consisting of lightning strike simulations and follow-up measurements of induced voltage/current levels on selected harnesses.



These evaluations use a low-level current injection rather than the actual electrical current level generated by a lightning strike, with the measured voltages and current then extrapolated to the real threat of 200,000 amperes.


In other words, they're done on paper.



posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 01:11 AM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 




Composites have been in use for a long time. The only thing not understood is the amount used.


If this were true then why would you have to re-certify every time an element of the composite is changed? What the aircraft manufacturing industry fondly call advanced composites (as in advanced Titanium) are not a whole the way that historical aluminum is. In these composites, the same elements, differently combined and differently manufactured exhibit wildly different behaviors.






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