The Federal Aviation Administration says a software problem with Boeing 787 Dreamliners could lead to one of the advanced jetliners losing electrical power in flight, which could lead to loss of control.
The FAA notified operators of the airplane Friday that if a 787 is powered continuously for 248 days, the plane will automatically shut down its alternating current (AC) electrical power. The trigger is written into the airplane’s software.
“We have been advised by Boeing of an issue identified during laboratory testing,” the FAA said in its official notice, called an airworthiness directive, to operators. “The software counter internal to the generator control units (GCUs) will overflow after 248 days of continuous power, causing that GCU to go into failsafe mode. If the four main GCUs (associated with the engine mounted generators) were powered up at the same time, after 248 days of continuous power, all four GCUs will go into failsafe mode at the same time, resulting in a loss of all AC electrical power regardless of flight phase”
Boeing is working on a long-term solution, according to the FAA.
The aerospace giant has delivered 258 Dreamliners.
Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454; email@example.com; Twitter: @dcatchpole.