US aerospace giant Boeing is set to propose Friday repairs to the battery problems in its grounded 787 Dreamliner jets that could have them fly again within two months, The New York Times said Thursday.
The Times, citing industry and federal officials, said Boeing has narrowed down the ways in which the lithium-ion batteries could fail, concluding that they would be safe to use after making changes such as adding insulation between the battery cells.
Boeing commercial airplane division chief Raymond Corner plans to unveil his plans in a meeting Friday with the head of the Federal Aviation Administration, Michael Huerta, according to the Times.
Although Huerta is unlikely to immediately approve the changes, the meeting is set to launch a "high-level discussion" on the standards Boeing must meet in order to have its planes back in flight, the newspaper said.
According to The Times, federal officials said the aircraft could be back in the air by April "if the fixes check out."
A series of problems with Boeing's next-generation aircraft sparked multiple probes around the world and the grounding of the entire Dreamliner fleet last month.
The 50 Dreamliners in service were grounded on January 16 after a battery fire on a parked Japan Airlines plane and battery smoke on an All Nippon Airways flight forced an emergency landing.
Two days later, Boeing suspended deliveries of the aircraft until further notice, but continued production.
The US National Transportation Safety Board, the FAA, and Japanese and French authorities are investigating the cause of the battery incidents.
The Dreamliner, a long-haul fuel-efficient airliner built using the latest composite materials, is key to Boeing's business strategy as it battles to be top dog in the virtual duopoly it shares with rival Airbus.
by Dan De Luce Â© 2013 AFP
Date: Feb 21, 2013