* Boeing's Conner says no dispute with GS Yuasa
* Boeing says proposed 787 fix permanent, not just interim
* Proposal takes into account battery fire, overheating risk
SAN FRANCISCO/TOKYO, Feb 28 Boeing Co and
the Japanese firm that makes lithium-ion batteries for the 787
Dreamliner disagree about what should be included in a package
of measures aimed at getting the airliner back in the air, the
Wall Street Journal reported.
But Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner told
reporters in Tokyo that there was no dispute with GS Yuasa Corp
about the proposed solution, adding the planemaker has
"a great partnership" with the Kyoto-based battery maker.
All 50 of the technologically-advanced Dreamliners in
service have been grounded since mid-January after a battery
fire on a Japan Airlines Co Ltd 787 at Boston airport
and a second battery incident on an All Nippon Airways Co Ltd
flight in Japan.
GS Yuasa believes the battery fix should include a voltage
regulator that could stop electricity from entering the battery,
the Journal said, citing government and industry officials.
Boeing proposed its fix to the U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) last Friday. The previous day, GS Yuasa
told the FAA that its laboratory tests indicated a power surge
outside the battery, or other external problem, started the
failures on the two batteries, according to the newspaper.
Boeing's solution included a stronger containment box, a
battery with greater cooling capacity and other changes.
The FAA confirmed the meeting with GS Yuasa, but gave no
details. A GS Yuasa spokesman declined to comment.
Following talks with Japan's transport minister Akihiro Ota
on Thursday, Boeing's Conner said the company's proposal to the
FAA was a permanent solution, not an interim fix.
"We see nothing in the technology that tells us that it is
not the appropriate thing to do. The solution set we put in
place provides three layers of protection," he said in response
to a reporter's question on whether Boeing would consider
dropping the lithium-ion battery from the lightweight,
"We feel this solution takes into account any possible
incident that may occur, any casual factor that could cause an
event, and we are very confident we have a fix that will be
permanent and allow us to continue with the technology."
Earlier, Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel said investigations
had not shown that overcharging was a factor, and he noted the
787 had quadruple-redundant protection against overcharging. He
did not respond directly to comments about GS Yuasa, but said
Boeing was coordinating with key suppliers.
No comment was immediately available from Securaplane
Technologies Inc, a U.S. unit of Britain's Meggitt Plc,
which makes the charger for the 787 batteries.
All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines operate nearly half of
the Dreamliners that Boeing has delivered to date.