The Federal Aviation Administration agreed to let Boeing conduct test flights of the troubled 787 Dreamliner less than two weeks ago, and the company may already have some fixes in mind. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Boeing will propose a 10-item suite of temporary fixes to the FAA on Friday that are intended to address problems with the plane's lithium-ion batteries. A new fireproof enclosure, checklists for the cockpit crew, and a different venting system are said to be among the short-term items, while a redesign of the batteries themselves is also included as a long-term solution. The redesign will reportedly utilize measurements of both temperature and voltage changes in the battery cells themselves.
That said, the root cause of the plane's battery problems is still undetermined — leading to the possibility that the full investigation could continue on for years. According to the WSJ, Boeing hopes the fixes will allow it to get the Dreamliner back into the air for commercial flights; the plane has been grounded by the FAA since January. It is expected that the FAA will propose revisions to the initial proposal, and will require that Boeing demonstrate that the fixes actually work before signing off.
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