WASHINGTON (AP) - Boeing has developed a plan that it intends to propose to federal regulators to temporarily fix problems with the 787 Dreamliner's batteries that have kept the planes on the ground for more than a month, a congressional official told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner is expected to present the plan to Michael Huerta, head of the Federal Aviation Administration, in a meeting on Friday, the official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly.
Boeing Co. spokesman Marc Birtel said the company doesn't talk in advance about meetings with federal official.
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Boeing Co. is reportedly set to present regulators with a redesigned battery for its 787 Dreamliner that they hope will satisfy safety concerns.
The redesign will include insulation made of heat-resistant glass around each of the lithium-ion battery’s cells and a venting mechanism for fumes as well as a harder case to contain fires. Boeing is said to be developing kits so the new batteries can be easily swapped with the old ones in the same space.
A team of Boeing officials are set to meet with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration tomorrow. The FAA must approve any changes before they can occur. Boeing’s fleet of Dreamliner's have been grounded since Jan. 16 following a fire on a Japan Airlines Co. 787 parked in Boston the week before, and a battery fault that forced an emergency landing in Japan of a All Nippon Airways Co. jet.
What one can follow here is the attempt by Boeing of placing a patch on the bigger problem, making the 787 safe to fly.
First thing Boeing is trying to establish is a quantification of the battery problem, followed by a permanent remedy or solution called a "fix". However, there are some show stopping points on the way to a "fix", as Boeing is still in a fix, and but it hasn't made significant strides of making it right when it comes to the actual battery instability. Boeing is faced with a dilemma that an electrical/battery patch makes the aircraft safe enough to fly, but does not have a permanent resolution on the battery to satisfy the FAA completely. Boeing made significant alterations to ensure thermal runaway problems from spreading but has not stopped a condition for thermal runaways from happening in the first place.
What Boeing is doing is buying time with safety margins adequate enough to fly the 787.  The current battery scenario is that, the aircraft flew safely 99.9 percent of the time when considering battery problems. FAA needs a 100% assurances from Boeing.  Boeing needs time to get it 100% right all the time for its batteries, but once again with improved systems, Boeing mitigates the risks of an event of thermal runaway. Boeing and FAA are chasing each other tails in a circle without either one making  progress of breaking the problem once and for-all. 
What is in play is that Boeing would like to show progress with this patch in test flights, they have made the Battery problem safe without solving the rare occurrence of thermal runaway.  They would like to present this condition as controlling step in its design. If a thermal runaway does occur, it does not put the aircraft in any kind of operational danger while in service.  It will have the ability to shut down a cell and protect the pack from any threat, and then upon service call plug and play a new battery into the pack if ever it did occur.  A plan like that would buy Boeing time to resolve the battery inconsistencies over the next six months.