Photos From The Dreamliner Investigation Reveal Major Damage To The Jet's Battery

NTSB boeing dreamliner investigation battery

Photo: NTSB

This morning, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman provided an update on the investigation into the cause of the fire in a parked Boeing Dreamliner jet in Boston on January 7.Photos from her presentation, along with others released by the NTSB over the past month, show just how badly the “thermal event” damaged the 787’s lithium-ion battery, which was the likely cause of the problem.

Here’s how NTSB investigators figured out exactly where the fire started, the first step on the way to fixing the problem and getting the grounded Dreamliner back in the air.

First of all, here's what the battery should look like, after a successful flight.

And here's the photo of the battery the NTSB removed from the Japan Airlines 787 at Logan Airport.

The fire occurred in the auxiliary power unit battery, one of two batteries on the Dreamliner.

The day after the Boston fire, the investigation began.

Here, Joseph Panagiotou of the NTSB examines a battery cell.

And Materials Engineer Matt Fox looks at the battery's casing.

Investigators, including Mike Bauer, examined the inside of the 787 itself, too.

And they looked at the battery charger unit, a possible source of problems.

In a presentation Thursday, NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman explained how investigators narrowed down the cell that started the 'thermal event.'

They ruled out the idea that the short circuit started outside the battery.

And that mechanical damage was to blame: All impact damage happened after the fire started, some of it the result of firefighting efforts.

A CT scan of the battery in question showed cells on one half of the battery were especially misshapen afterward.

The probe narrowed its focus to cell number six, where the most damage had occurred.

The burned 'hot spot' in that cell seems to confirm the finding.

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