After last week’s FAA approval of Boeing’s new battery design for its 787 Dreamliner, the organization has finally lifted the flight ban on the new planes, allowing airlines to decide for themselves when to send the new Boeing birds back up in the air. The ban on the 787 lasted over three months starting in January when multiple batteries on different flights caught on fire.
However, before airlines can get the planes back up in the air, Boeing first needs to replace all the batteries in the fleet of around 50 planes, something that probably should’ve been done before the FAA lifted the official ban, but either way, the aircraft manufacturer says the project will be done in a couple of weeks.
The FAA says that repairs to just United Airlines’ six 787 Dreamliners will cost around $2.8 million, which means that fixing the entire Boeing 787 fleet could cost as much as $23.5 million. However, it seems Boeing will be footing the bill, as it’s technically their problem and not the airlines’ per se.
Plans for a new battery design for the 787 began in February shortly after the defunct ones were discovered, and the first test flights following the incident occurred later that month. It was later announced that Airbus would go back to using the traditional nickel-cadmium batteries found in most planes after they heard about Boeing’s fiasco with the new lithuim-ion batteries. In short, we’re not surprised by Airbus’s decision.