Federal officials say they are temporarily grounding Boeing’s 787 Dreamliners until the risk of possible battery fires is addressed.
The Dreamliner is one of Boeing’s most critical products. It has been praised for its high-tech design and fuel efficiency. Airlines set record orders for the jet, and Boeing has almost 800 more Dreamliners on order.
The 787 uses two lithium ion batteries — including one for the auxiliary power unit. The rechargeable batteries, widely used in consumer devices, have some pilots worried because batteries being shipped as cargo are suspected to have caused or contributed to the severity of fires in cargo planes.
When Boeing proposed using the batteries in the 787, the Federal Aviation Administration issued special rules, including a requirement that they be designed to prevent overheating. The severity of overheating is higher in larger batteries, the FAA said in the rule.