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Elon Musk Offers Boeing SpaceX Batteries For the 787 Dreamliner 163

Posted by timothy
from the borry-a-cup-o'-sugar dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Boeing is currently dealing with a bit of a disaster as the company's 787 Dreamliner has been grounded due to safety concerns. Boeing is currently investigating the situation, but they aren't alone. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has stepped in to offer his help and technology if Boeing wants it. Musk has had to harness battery tech not only to run his Tesla Motors, but also to function flawlessly aboard SpaceX spacecraft as they travel both in and out of the Earth's atmosphere. If you need a battery to work at any altitude, you'd trust Musk to supply one, and that's exactly what he's offering Boeing."
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Elon Musk Offers Boeing SpaceX Batteries For the 787 Dreamliner

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @10:33AM (#42725599)

    Have to admire the guy.

  • Won't work... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TimeandMaterials (2826493) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @10:35AM (#42725621)
    Great idea...but this won't work. A new battery would require some redesign. All of this would need FAA & EU (forget the agency name) approval. That would take at least 8-12 months. Boeing wants the 787 flying in weeks.
  • Thanks, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardpriceNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @10:39AM (#42725697)

    As noted the issue was not the batteries, which have passed muster after inspection by the FAA and the NTSB - the focus now is on the charging systems and monitoring systems, as well as the related failure of the containment system.

    SpaceX may have a fantastic battery, but they still need to use a charging system designed for charging from a power source that is fairly unreliable in consistency (the four generators on the 787s engines, and the generator on the APU), a power source that is reliable but completely different in power characteristics (ground power), and be FAA certified. Not to mention that it needs to be charged and discharged on a much regular basis than that of a battery used on a booster.

    I rather think SpaceX's solution to the charging system is not compatible with that required by regular service usage of the Boeing 787.

  • Publicity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sepultura (150245) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @10:41AM (#42725717)

    The batteries have already been ruled out as the cause of the problems. It's most likely in the charging or temp monitoring systems.

    This is just Elon Musk being a bit of an asshole and drumming up publicity.

  • by trout007 (975317) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @10:52AM (#42725827)

    I'm pretty sure he wants to sell the whole package. You know he has to manage the batteries as well.

  • Publicity stunt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MetalliQaZ (539913) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @11:05AM (#42725967)

    Elon knows very well that you can't simply swap out batteries on a passenger jet. The entire system is subject to rigorous (and expensive) certification that would be tossed out the window if you simply started swapping parts. That's to say nothing of the supplier issues.

    In any case yesterday I believe Japanese investigators announced that no fault whatsoever was found with the battery, and instead they were looking into the electronics.

    This is just a stunt to bolster is company's profile.

  • by berashith (222128) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @11:14AM (#42726087)

    I have a strong feeling that Mr Musk has one of those too...

  • by PortHaven (242123) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @11:15AM (#42726093) Homepage

    When I first heard of the battery/charging issues. I thought they should contact Tesla Motors and GM's Volt team. Between the three companies they'd work it out.

  • by mattr (78516) <mattr AT telebody DOT com> on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @11:16AM (#42726121) Homepage Journal

    Elon Musk's actual tweet: "Desire to help Boeing is real & am corresponding w 787 chief engineer. Junod's Esquire article had high fiction content." 3 days ago

    All the rest about whoring, nothing if not a PR wiz, it's the wiring and control not the batteries, etc. is all a huge raft of solid bullshit, thanks Slashdot I don't get enough in my day job!!

    Look, IANAEE but temperature and voltage control is apparently an integral part of these batteries. Even if the circuit is a 100m away and not inside the battery pack itself, or You can't just say it is the battery he's whoring, etc. Elon Musk has a huge amount of practical experience with this technology and nothing bad can come from offering to talk over their problems with Boeing, as he is doing. Nothing bad except of course, all this crazy dipshit hater stuff, starting apparently with an Esquire article and continuing into slashdot. Probably he could give them an idea of what to look for, or offer an alternate circuit design that is already FAA approved, etc. You'd have to be an idiot to turn down an offer to at least talk. Honestly it is amazing how the crap-fest volume approaches infinity immediately after a rare tweet from Mr. Musk. Who is a guy who actually accomplishes things.

  • Re:Publicity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @11:43AM (#42726545)

    The batteries have already been ruled out as the cause of the problems. It's most likely in the charging or temp monitoring systems.

    This is just Elon Musk being a bit of an asshole and drumming up publicity.

    No, he made the offer before it was publicized that the problem wasn't batteries. We've been the victim of Slashdot being slow and posting things in the wrong order. Maybe he is an assole (don't know) and I'm sure he wanted publicity out of it. However, I don't see anything wrong with his offering to help.

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