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Boeing 787 ANA Information Inquiries

  • From the Launch until January 2013
  • Electrical System and Battery
  • Battery Modification Investigation and Details
  • Ensuring Safety
  • Results Following Modification
  • Q&A

Thank you very much for flying with ANA.

A year has passed since the emergency landing of ANA Flight 692 at Takamatsu Airport on January 16 of last year. We cooperated with aircraft makers to put together a comprehensive battery strategy, and recommenced regular flights of Boeing 787 on June 1. Since then all flights have gone smoothly, and up until the end of December we have operated approximately 14,600 flights with over 2.7 million passengers with these aircraft. Regarding the renovated batteries, we have monitored their operating conditions on a daily basis and regularly removed them from the aircraft for inspection. We have confirmed that they are operating normally.

The ANA Group is making every effort to ensure safe flight operations in order to provide peace of mind to our customers. We look forward to serving you on board the comfortable and environmentally friendly 787.

Osamu Shinobe
President & CEO
All Nippon Airways, Co. Ltd.

January 15, 2014

From the Launch until January 2013

ANA launched Boeing 787 (B787) operations on October 26, 2011, and the aircraft achieved consistent service results in the same manner as other passenger aircraft types.

On-Time Operation Results
Sep 2011 Delivery of the first B787 to ANA
Oct 2011 Service started with Narita-Hong Kong charter flight
(along with the operation of other promotional flights)
Nov Start of the Haneda-Okayama and
Haneda-Hiroshima routes
Jan 2012 Start of Haneda-Yamaguchi Ube,
Haneda-Itami Haneda-Frankufurt
and Haneda-Beijing routes
Mar Start of the Haneda-Matsuyama route
May Start of the Haneda-Kagoshima, and
Haneda-Fukuoka routes
Jun Start of the Haneda-Kumamoto route
Aug Start of Haneda-Naha Cargo flights
Oct Start of Itami-Kagoshima, Haneda-
Miyazaki, Haneda-Chitose, and Narita
-Seattle routes
Dec Start of the Haneda-Takamatsu route
Jan 2013 Start of Narita-San Jose route

However, on January 16, 2013, a B787 aircraft (ANA flight NH692) made an emergency landing at Takamatsu Airport due to a battery malfunction during the flight. We sincerely apologize for the concern and inconvenience caused to everyone affected by this serious incident, especially to the passengers who were onboard this flight. We also apologize for the inconvenience caused by the resulting flight cancellations and changes of operated aircraft type on certain flights.

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Electrical System and Battery

Explanation of a Passenger Aircraft’s Electrical System

Engine Electric Generators - Main Power Source
Operation of the computers, cabin lighting, in-flight entertainment systems, etc. of an aircraft all require electricity, which is normally generated by generators in the engines. The B787 is equipped with two generators in each engine, plus another two generators in the APU* which serve as a backup system, for a total of 6 onboard electric generators.
*Auxiliary Power Unit: This small jet engine is located at the rear of the aircraft and is mainly used to power aircraft systems when the aircraft is on the ground. On the B787, the APU is only used to provide electricity.
Aircraft Batteries - Not Used in Normal Flight
Passenger aircraft, including the B787, are generally equipped with two batteries, a Main Battery and an APU Battery. These batteries perform the roles shown below.
During normal flight situations, these two batteries are not used.
<Main Battery>
1) Power source to start up aircraft power when on the ground
2) Power source during refueling operations on the ground
3) Backup power source for electrical system
<APU Battery>
1) Power source for APU’s starter motor
Click here for details

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Battery Modification Investigation and Details

Outline of the battery-related investigation and technical solution development process.

Expert Investigation Team
In conjunction with the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism’s on-going investigation of the root cause of the battery malfunction, Boeing is also leading efforts to find technical solutions. Boeing formed a team which consisted of their own battery specialists as well as experts from the American automobile industry, battery manufacturers, academic institutions, etc. to thoroughly investigate the root cause of the battery malfunction. ANA also took part in the investigation.
Identifying All Possibilities
Boeing’s investigation team studied all possible causes of the battery malfunction and concluded that, since it did not originate from outside the battery (on the aircraft side), it had originated from within the battery system. It is believed that the malfunction was the result of the process below.

Boeing’s investigation team thus identified every possible cause that could trigger overheating of the battery cells. These causes can be classified into the following four categories.

Creating the Solution
While the root cause of the malfunction is being pinpointed, Boeing developed a set of comprehensive technical solutions which would cover all of the possible causes that were identified. Consequently, the battery system modification package includes solutions for all four groups of causes that were just mentioned.
The triple-layered protection scheme not only prevents the initial cell from overheating, it also includes measures to prevent it from spreading in the first place, and isolate it if it occurs.
More specifically, battery and charger modifications protect against the initiation and propagation of any malfunction, and a battery enclosure acts as a containment vessel for any effects of unforeseen malfunctions.

<Concept of Triple-Layered Protection >

Details of the Modifications
The three main points of the modifications are described below.
Battery Modifications PAGETOP Charger Modifications
To prevent battery overheating as well as propagation of heat to the surroundings in the event of overheating, the design and manufacturing processes were improved.
Click here for details
To decrease the burden on the battery, the battery charging method and the instruments used to monitor battery conditions have been improved.
Click here for details
Enclosure Installation
In the event that a battery malfunction does occur, this newly installed battery enclosure would confine it within the battery. The metal enclosure prevents smoke, etc. from affecting other aircraft systems, thereby ensuring flight safety.
Click here for details
ANA’s Opinion
Regarding these modifications:
・ANA worked together with Boeing during the investigation and the modifications reflect our experience and knowledge as an airline.
・ANA also independently verified the modifications with over ten domestic battery, electronics, and material manufacturers, research organizations, etc. As a result, ANA determines that the modifications are sufficient to allow B787 operations to resume and provide safe service to our passengers.

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Ensuring Safety

In order to ensure the safety of our passengers, the following program will be implemented both prior to and after resumption of B787 passenger service.

1 Test Flights
After the completion of battery system modifications, test flights were conducted for each aircraft.
All test flights were accompanied by engineers who confirmed that the aircraft was fit for passenger service.
2 Crew Familiarization Flights
After modifications and test flights were completed, crew familiarization flights were conducted for the purpose of confirming flight crew proficiency. Simulator training have been conducted while B787 operations were suspended, but familiarization flights with actual aircraft would serve as final proficiency confirmation in preparation for the resumption of passenger service.
3 Confirming the Effectiveness of Battery Modification
To confirm battery performance after the batteries have been in use for a specified period of time, the batteries will be removed and checked at designated intervals. This confirmation will be conducted in cooperation with Boeing and other manufacturers.
Click here for details
4 Monitoring Battery Performance
To maintain safety, battery performance is monitored during flight operations. ANA has implemented a system that alerts engineers on the ground as soon as any signs of irregularities are detected.

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Results Following Modification

Information regarding the progress of the modifications and post-modification service results will be updated below.

Modification Progress
details
Post-Modification Service Results
details

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Q & A

Is it safe to resume passenger service when the root cause of the malfunction has not yet been pinpointed?

Every conceivable cause which could lead to battery overheating was identified and the modifications include comprehensive solutions to cover all of them.

What types of modifications are involved?

1) Battery Modifications: Prevention of battery overheating.
2) Charger Modifications: Improvement of the battery charging system.
3) Enclosure Installation: In the event a battery overheats, it will be contained within the enclosure.

What is the process for confirming safety and implementing the modifications?

The modification program developed by Boeing is reviewed and approved by the Federal Aviation Administration(FAA) in the United States. The Japan Transport Safety Board then also review and approved this program. ANA will implement the required modifications in accordance with the modification program.

Is it safe for aircraft that have not been used for several months to quickly return to service?

Even when flight operations are suspended, aircraft undergo maintenance in order to maintain and confirm its performance. ANA will also conduct test flights before allowing the B787 to be used for passenger service.

Are the details of the modifications the same as other companies?

Yes. All airlines will follow the same modification order.

What would happen if the battery becomes inoperable during a flight?

The two generators in each engine provide electricity during flight, so the safety of flight operations will not be affected even if battery system functions are lost.

What about other malfunctions which ANA has reported in the past?

With regards to previously-reported malfunctions related to fuel leakage, oil leakage, brakes, cockpit glass, etc., modifications and inspection procedures are already in place.

When will passengers be able to fly on the B787?

Regular scheduled service will resume from June 1st.

Where can other related questions be directed?

Please refer to“Inquiries”.

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Inquiries

For inquiries from Japan

ANA Customer Relations:
Tel: 0120-029-787
  0570-029-787 (from Mobile Phone)
  03-5756-7109 (from PHS)
Time: 09:00 - 17:00 JST
ANA Call Center:
Tel: Japan domestic flights 0120-029-662 (06:30-22:00 JST)
  International flights 0120-029-663 (08:00-20:00 JST)

For inquiries outside from Japan:

Please contact the ANA International Reservation and Information Center in your respective area.

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