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US Grounds Boeing 787, The Anatomy of a 20 Year Denial, and a Bubble of Self-Confidence

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323301104578257862879948292.html

An almost sad tribute to Boeing’s 787 above, attributes the recent Infernal Batteries problem of two 787 a week apart from each other, both while in normal operations, to the growing pain of “innovation”.

Except, this was not “innovation”.  Using such batteries in airplanes perhaps, but the battery technology, Lithium Cobalt Oxide type, is not new.  It was invented in the late 1970’s, and have been in prolific use in cell phones and laptops since 1990’s.

Back in the early 2000, there began rumors around the world of incidents where cell phones exploded.  First, it became an urban legend attributing such explosion to sparks generated by an operating cell phone near a gas refilling station.  But this was quickly denounced as “urban legend”.  https://canadasafetycouncil.org/safety-canada-online/article/cell-phones-risks-and-rumour

Then some users noticed that it was actually the batteries that were exploding or bursting into flames (even in laptops).  Companies attributed and blamed the problem on “counterfeit batteries” from China.   http://web.archive.org/web/20060109013055/http://www.kyocera-wireless.com/news/20041028_2.htm, recalling proactively batteries to look for “counterfeit”, but unfortunately, no report was ever made on the search.

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