The National Transportation Safety Board is looking for a company to perform computed tomography (CT) scans on selected Boeing 787 lithium-ion batteries. "[The tests] must also be completed within the shortest timeframe possible to provide the fastest possible receipt of this information to avoid potential future accidents involving this type of aircraft battery," the NTSB said in a notice.
Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board questioned Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration about the process of approving lithium-ion batteries for the 787. "One thing we can't do is wait until we know everything before we field a new technology," said Steve Boyd, manager of the FAA's airplane and flight-crew interface branch. The FAA largely relied on authorized representatives from Boeing to conduct testing.
The National Transportation Safety Board is looking at microscopic dendrites as a source of battery failure for the Boeing 787. Dendrites are small deposits of lithium that can grow inside lithium-ion batteries from rapid or uneven charging, experts say. Boeing declined to comment.
Deborah Hersman, head of the National Transportation Safety Board, said the agency would not "categorically" rule out lithium-ion batteries for aviation. The U.S. safety agency is investigating the cause of a battery fire aboard the Dreamliner 787.
The National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday that it was working on a detailed investigation of the causes of the lithium-ion battery fire that took place aboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Boston but does not have any answers yet. The board also said that U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center are examining a second, undamaged battery taken from the same plane.