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The Boston Globe

Business

Boeing says battery tests underestimated fire risk

Hearing focuses on explaining Dreamliner woes

WASHINGTON — Boeing acknowledged on Tuesday that its original tests of lithium-ion batteries on its 787 Dreamliner planes underestimated the risks of fire, though it defended its previous assessment that such a hazard was unlikely.

At the start of a two-day hearing held by the National Safety Transportation Board, Boeing’s chief engineer on the 787, Mike Sinnett, said the calculation that a battery would fail once every 10 million flight-hours applied to the design of the battery and did not include possible manufacturing flaws. The testimony seemed to point to GS Yuasa, the Japanese manufacturer of the battery.

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