(Reuters) - Japanese investigators have found problems in equipment that controls a fuel-tank valve on a Boeing Co (BA) 787 Dreamliner jet that was being probed for fuel leaks, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Thursday.
The fuel leak, found in a Japan Airlines Co jet as it taxied to a Boston runway on January 9, came amid battery problems that have since grounded the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet globally.
There were deficiencies in the way electrical-insulating paint was applied to a mechanism that opened and closed the fuel-tank valve, the Nikkei said, citing people familiar with the matter. Transport ministry investigators also found foreign matter on a switch that operated the same mechanism.
The investigators believe that this caused the switch to send a signal that the valve was closed when it was still half open -- causing the leak, the Japanese daily said.
The ministry is in talks with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing about ways to resolve the problem, the newspaper said.
The same 787 involved in the January 9 fuel leak in Boston leaked fuel from its left wing nozzle at Tokyo's Narita International Airport on January 13.
Could be right...but...switching battery makers would not be simple. An upgrade in the entire quality program makes sense and is faster. Obvioulsy the problem lies with basic process controls and lack of understanding dendrites, electromigration and nucleation sites, hotspots and dialectric occlusions leading to runaways. Eventually it will get figured out. In the meantime do not depend on the Japanes to ever admit they screwed up. Even when it is proven they will deny it.
Recent NYT piece"Dr. Brodd said that another possible cause of the battery problems was contamination from errant metallic shavings, which could have been left in one of the cells during manufacturing. Federal officials said Boeing had recently insisted that GS Yuasa, the Japanese company that makes the batteries, strengthen its quality control. "
A modern car can often go 100K with little more than tires, brakes, and is vastly more complex than the model T which claims to fame included being reliable and easy to fix due to simple design, yet there is no way it would over make it over 10K let alone 100K without far more maintenance than a modern vastly more complex car. Fact is despite getting drastically more complex, cars are more reliable than ever, and there is no reason the same can't hold true for aircraft.