Airline safety inspectors have found no faults with the battery used on Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, Japan’s transport ministry has said, according to a BBC report.
The battery was initially considered the likely source of problems on B787s owned by ANA and Japan Airlines, but attention has now shifted to the electrical system that monitors battery voltage, charging and temperature.
Transport ministry official Shigeru Takano said: “We have found no major quality or technical problem with the lithium-ion batteries. We are looking into affiliated parts makers. We are looking into possibilities.”
All 50 Dreamliners currently operated by eight airlines have been grounded while various investigations continue.
Keith Hayward, Head of Research at the Royal Aeronautical Society, said that if the issue is no longer about replacing a faulty battery, it raised the prospect of Boeing having to do a major re-design. “I think people had their fingers crossed that it was a battery fault… it looks more systemic and serious to me. I suspect it could be difficult to identify the cause,” he said.
He added that aviation regulators will have to put the B787 through another airworthiness certification process, which itself could become a complicated and lengthy process depending on the final cause of the problem.