The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

January 30, 2013

US investigators ask Boeing for battery history

(Continued)

GS Yuasa, the Kyoto, Japan-based manufacturer of the batteries, said it could not comment.

With 17 of the jets, ANA was Boeing's launch customer for the technologically advanced airliner. The airline has had to cancel hundreds of flights, affecting tens of thousands of people, but has sought to minimize disruptions by switching to other aircraft as much as possible. ANA and Japan Airlines are among the biggest customers for the 787 and Japanese manufacturers make about 35 percent of the aircraft.

Boeing said batteries on the 787s were returned because of safety mechanisms that make sure the batteries can't be used if they have been deeply-discharged or improperly disconnected.

Some batteries have also been returned because they exceeded their shelf life, the company said.

The battery problems experienced by ANA before the emergency landing were first reported by The New York Times.

Japanese and U.S. investigators looking into the Boeing 787's battery problems shifted their attention this week from GS Yuasa to the manufacturer of a monitoring system. That company, Kanto Aircraft Instrument Co., makes a system that monitors voltage, charging and temperature of the lithium-ion batteries.

On Tuesday, the NTSB said it was conducting a chemical analysis of internal short circuiting and thermal damage of the battery that caught fire in Boston.

The probe is also analyzing data from flight data recorders on the aircraft, the NTSB said in a statement on its website.

LOT Polish Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines, two of the eight international carriers that fly the 787, said in separate statements Wednesday that they had not experienced any problems with the plane's lithium ion batteries.

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