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Boeing proposing redesign of green battery

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger

Boeing executives are presenting a proposal today to get the company’s grounded 787 Dreamliner fleet off the ground, including a redesign of its troubled lithium ion battery.

Executives were schedule to meet with Michael Huerta, head of the Federal Aviation Administration, to seek approval for their plan, the Associated Press reports. The FAA grounded all of Boeing’s Dreamliners in January after incidents with one battery fire and one smoking battery.

The battery redesign will ensure any short-circuiting that could cause fires does not spread from one battery cell to the others, according to AP. Once the redesign is complete, the batteries will have to be tested and partially re-certified before the 787s can fly again.

Boeing touted its battery design leading up to the 787′s October 2011 debut, noting the Dreamliner runs on 20 percent less fuel than other airplanes in its class. The Dreamliner’s lithium ion battery technology stores electricity and allows the aircraft to run “cleaner.”

The battery is expected to keep Dreamliners grounded until at least April, AP reported. Yesterday United Airlines, which is the only American carrier with Dreamliners in its fleet, dropped 787 flights from its plans at least until June.

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