United Airlines to return all Boeing 787s to service this week - Yahoo! Finance -
CHICAGO (Reuters) - United Airlines said on Monday it expects to have its entire fleet of Boeing (BA.N) 787 Dreamliners back in service this week, as the airline’s first flight with the new jetliner in four months landed safely in Chicago.
“Every new airplane has issues,” United CEO Jeff Smisek said after the flight landed ahead of schedule. “We’ve worked with Boeing to fix them. We’re very confident.”
Smisek and Boeing CEO Jim McNerney were on the flight from Houston on Monday. Regulators grounded the Dreamliner worldwide on January 16 after batteries burned on two jets, prompting Boeing to redesign the battery system.
The Dreamliner is the first aircraft to use an extensive electrical system to replace hydraulics and to use a carbon fiber composite structure. It is expected to burn 20 percent less fuel, offer more cabin comfort for passengers than traditional jets and is a game-changer for airlines and Boeing’s competition with European plane maker Airbus (EAD.PA).
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a date for the release!
Windows 8.1 is scheduled to be released to the public on June the 26th, 2013.
The news came in the form of a blog post update from the Windows Blog.
Here’s what it said:
Today, there are more devices – and choice – allowing you to pick the right Windows 8 device that meets your needs. Windows 8 provides a great experience for consuming and creating content, for both work and play and on the go. And you’ll immediately benefit from continual updates – whether it’s from app updates through the Windows Store, performance updates through Windows Update or the Windows 8.1 update later this year.
We have much more to share about Windows 8.1 in the coming weeks. We will also be making a public preview of Windows 8.1 available starting on June 26, timed with the Build developer conference in San Francisco. The preview will be available for Windows 8 and Windows RT.
Christmas has come early this year…
(via Public Preview of Windows 8.1 will be available on June 26th | Windows 8.1)
h, boy prepare for a truckload of new details regarding the upcoming upgrade to the Windows platform. Tami Reller is in Boston today speaking at the JP Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom Conference.
The head of the Windows division at Microsoft officially confirmed that Windows Blue will be a free update to Windows 8 that will be available for download from the Windows Store. This should be music to the ears of many who feared that this may be a paid upgrade.
And not just that, Windows Blue is now officially known as Windows 8.1.
Tami Reller also confirmed that the update will also arrive for the company’s Windows RT platform.
There was more than a fair chance that this upgrade would indeed be free, but there were some voices that suggested Microsoft may charge additional money for existing Windows 8 customers. Nevertheless, it is nice to see this rumor quashed into oblivion.
And the fact that it will be available on the Windows Store is just an icing on a very sweet cake.
Regarding release date, Reller stated that the update will arrive by the end of the calendar year. There is a fair chance now that Windows 8.1 will follow the same schedule as Windows 8 — meaning RTM sometime in August and general public release around late October.
Additionally, Microsoft also confirmed that the public preview of the build will be released the first day of its BUILD developer conference, June 26.
(via Windows Blue Is Now Officially Called Windows 8.1, Will Be Free | Windows Blue)
Boeing airplane fuselages roll on the rail through Denver - The Denver Post
Denver commuters were treated to an unusual sight Friday when a trainload of Boeing 737 fuselages passed through the city.
The fuselages, manufactured in Wichita by Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems, were bound for the airplane maker’s assembly plant in Renton, Wash.
Boeing spokeswoman Candace Barron said the BNSF railroad is using a new system to optimize its traffic flow and to avoid bottlenecks.
“This train was routed through Denver due to some issue on the Nebraska route,” she said.
Denver entrepreneur Tom Filippini — president and co-founder of NextGreatPlace, an online business that handles high-end travel planning for its members — was on 20th Street near Coors Field when he spotted the train.
“Don’t see this everyday Denver! 737s on the tracks downtown,”Filippini said in a tweet that included the photo.
Ken Evans, a spokesman for Spirit AeroSystems, said his company, formerly a Boeing division, makes all the 737 fuselages for Boeing and ships them to Washington by rail. He said the company is producing nearly 38 of the fuselages a month this year and expects that to increase to 42 a month in 2014.
“This is the fastest 737s have been produced,” said Evans. “We are at record rates now.”
Read more: Boeing airplane fuselages roll on the rail through Denver - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_23216474/planes-trains-attract-attention-during-morning-commute#ixzz2SxJf8ujW
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(via Boeing airplane fuselages roll on the rail through Denver - The Denver Post)
Cancun Airport - 170 Minutes of Aviation
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has carried passengers for the first time since a battery problem grounded all 50 planes worldwide, and Boeing says it already has modified the battery systems aboard more than 10 airplanes to correct the problem.
The weekend flights came more than three months after the entire Dreamliner fleet was grounded in the wake of the meltdown of the batteries aboard two 787s in January. Although investigators in the United States and Japan have not found the root cause of the problem, the Federal Aviation Administration has approved Boeing’s plan to retrofit the aircraft with a modified system that reduces the risk of a battery fire. The agency’s counterparts in Europe and Japan followed suit last week.
Launch customer All Nippon Airways was first in line for the fix, which includes improved separation of individual lithium-ion cells within the 63-pound battery and installing the battery in a heavy-duty sealed stainless steel box vented directly to the exterior of the fuselage. On Saturday, the airline completed a flight test of the new system with several airline and Boeing executives aboard.
That flight came the same day that Ethiopian Airlines resumed Dreamliner service, carrying a plane full of passengers — including Boeing vice president Randy Tinseth — from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya.
Boeing has deployed 10 teams of elite mechanics known as “aircraft on ground” units to make the modifications. The upgrades have been tested in the air and on the ground with a pair of 787s. Mike Sinnett, Boeing’s chief engineer on the 787, has said the new design eliminates the chance of a battery fire. Should a battery experience a short circuit that leads to overheating and melting, as was seen aboard Dreamliners in Boston and Japan, the venting system will keep the cockpit and cabin free of fumes.
Although the FAA does not require Boeing mechanics to install the new battery systems, the company is making them available and expects most airlines will use them, Sinnett said. Just when each airline will begin flying their updated Dreamliners remains to be seen.
“Different airlines will have different requirements for functional test flights,” according to Sinnett.
Based on the FAA approval, U.S. carriers need only to have the new equipment installed and the aircraft inspected by the FAA before resuming passenger flights. There is no requirement for flight testing, though most airlines are expected to have pilots conduct a shake-down flight much as they do when taking delivery of a new airplane.
Ethiopian Airlines’ return to service came quicker than most. Polish airline LOT, which saw its 787 stranded in Chicago after the FAA grounded the fleet, says it will resume service June 5. All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, which together account for about half of the 50 planes in service, are expected to move more slowly, testing the aircraft thoroughly and assuring the public that its aircraft are safe.
Two days of hearings with the National Transportation Safety Board ended Wednesday with still no declaration of a root cause of the battery meltdowns. Federal investigators have questioned the way in which the FAA and Boeing performed the tests. Sinnett testified that, in retrospect, he would have questioned battery maker GS Yuasa more. He says the tests performed, including driving a nail through some lithium-ion cells to create a short circuit, were state of the art but obviously fell short of what could happen during routine use.
“In retrospect, we may apply tighter test criteria or seek to understand test criteria a little more,” Sinnett said in his opening remarks.
Beyond modifying more than 10 grounded Dreamliners, Boeing says it also has installed the new battery system in nine airplanes awaiting delivery. The company plans to deliver more than 60 Dreamliners in 2013, the same number it planned before the battery fleet was grounded, company officials said in an earnings call. CEO Jim McNerney told analysts and reporters the company will resume deliveries early next month and finish retrofitting current airliners by the middle of the month.
(via Boeing 787 Dreamliner Finally Resumes Passenger Flights | Autopia | Wired.com)
BBC News - Dreamliner: Boeing 'may never find battery fault cause' -
Boeing has admitted that it may never know what caused the battery malfunctions that resulted in all its 787 Dreamliner aircraft being grounded.
The admission came from Boeing’s Larry Loftis, the general manager of the company’s 787 division.
Replacement battery systems are now being fitted to all 50 Dreamliners that had been in operation with airlines around the world.
Boeing expects the planes to resume service in the coming weeks.
On Friday, US aircraft regulators approved a revamped battery design for the aircraft, paving the way for the fleet to return to the skies.
Speaking at a media briefing in London, Mr Loftis said: “It is possible we will never know the root cause.
“It is not uncommon not to have found the single root cause. So industry best practice is to look at all the potential causes and address all of them.”
The groundings of all Dreamliners in January followed two major incidents concerning the plane’s two lithium-ion batteries.
Firstly, on 7 January, a battery overheated and started a fire on a Japan Airlines 787 at Boston’s Logan International Airport.
Nine days later, an All Nippon Airways 787 had to make an emergency landing in Japan after a battery started to give off smoke.
NTSB probes safety testing of Boeing 787 batteries - Yahoo! News -
WASHINGTON (AP) — As airlines prepare to begin flying Boeing’s beleaguered 787 Dreamliners again, federal investigators are looking at how regulators and the company tested and approved the plane’s cutting-edge battery system, and whether the government cedes too much authority to aircraft makers for safety testing.
Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing officials were scheduled to testify at a two-day hearing of the National Transportation Safety Board beginning Tuesday. The board is asking how problems with the aircraft’s lithium-ion battery system that led to a fire aboard one plane and smoke in another escaped the notice of regulators and company officials who certified the plane’s safety.
To save manpower, the FAA designates employees at aircraft makers to oversee the safety testing of new planes. Every item that is part of an airplane, down to its nuts and bolts, must be certified as safe before the FAA approves that type of plane as safe for flight. Boeing won FAA safety certification for the 787 in August 2011.
“In a way, the designee system is admitting the FAA doesn’t have the manpower to do what is required, and also that they may not have the expertise,” said John Goglia, a former NTSB board member and aviation safety expert.
The FAA has used designated company employees to oversee and validate some safety testing for more than two decades, a practice critics complain has inherent conflicts of interest. The agency significantly expanded its use of designees in recent years under pressure from manufacturers, who complained it was taking the agency too long to approve new planes because they didn’t have enough staff.
“If industry had to wait for government employees to be available to do the testing” and to develop enough technical knowledge to assess new aviation technologies, “we would just never get any products certified,” Goglia said.