Boeing is currently dealing with a bit of a disaster as the company’s 787 Dreamliner has been grounded due to safety concerns. The problem stems from rechargeable batteries aboard the aircraft overheating and potentially setting on fire. Such an incident happened earlier this month when a Japan Airlines Dreamliner caught on fire soon after landing in Boston.
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.
Musk is already talking to Boeing’s chief 787 engineer Mike Sinnett. He has also pointed out the high capacity lithium ion batteries used aboard the SpaceX spacecraft have never experienced any issues, regardless of altitude. They even function flawlessly in space.
While this may be seen as great PR for SpaceX and Musk, it’s also a genuine offer to Boeing and what could be a quick fix for the 787. Every day the 50 Dreamliners in service are grounded must be costing the company and the airlines a small fortune, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Boeing take a shipment of SpaceX batteries and get them installed swiftly. That is, unless they’ve already come up with a solution the FAA will be happy with.
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