Bookending the aviation news for the year 2014 is the Dreamliner battery; the sizzling lithium ion-flavored power source that I suggested in January was already being reviewed by the eggheads and pocket protector-wearing engineers at Boeing. The end of the year arrives and the Japan Transport Safety Board is asking for the same thing.
I’m not bragging about being prescient here because any reasonable person can see that the risks outweigh the benefits of using this high-density battery chemistry. It’s the recipe used more than a decade ago for laptops and handheld devices that started to spontaneously combust prompting the world’s largest industrial recall.
In a report issued just before Christmas, the Japanese put coal in Boeing‘s stocking, telling the planemaker that, fire containing box notwithstanding, further improvements of the “battery system are necessary.”