Print 22 comment(s) - last by nafhan.. on Jan 11 at 11:27 AM

  (Source: Boston Herald)
The first was an electrical fire, the second was a fuel leak

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner jet ran into more troubles Tuesday after experiencing an electrical fire just the day before.

On Tuesday, a Boeing 787 operated by Japan Airlines suffered a fuel leak at Boston's Logan International Airport. The fuel leak was discovered at 12:25 p.m. ET right after the 787 left the gate for a trip to Tokyo. The flight was cancelled, and the plane was towed back to the gate where passengers were instructed to exit and stay in the airport. No one was injured.

As it turns out, about 40 gallons of fuel had leaked from the 787. The plane ended up being delayed four hours before leaving for Tokyo.

Just one day before, another 787 in the same exact airport by the same airline had experienced an electrical fire after coming in from Tokyo. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, a battery in the auxiliary power unit suffered severe fire damage.

With two incidents in just two days, an obvious worry would be customers' views of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and whether the safety of these planes would now be questioned.

However, airlines are standing behind the 787s and insist these planes are safe. Japanese carries like JAL and All Nippon Airways (ANA) said they will not change orders to receive more 787s. In fact, JAL has an order for another 38 787s and ANA has an order for another 49.

Air China will also be keeping its order of 15 new 787s while Hainan Airlines will maintain its order of 10. Air India will continue its current order of Boeing's Dreamliner as well.

In addition to loyalty from airlines, Boeing also has experts on its side to ensure customers that the planes are safe to fly.

"I think we're dealing here with a situation where this aircraft is over-scrutinized for a number of reasons, including the birth difficulties," said Michel Merluzeau, managing partner at G2 Solutions, a boutique defense and aerospace consulting firm in Seattle.
"Don't get me wrong. A battery fire is a very, very serious event. Especially a lithium-ion battery. And we don't know what the problem is. But the 787s is still a very safe aircraft to fly."

The 787 Dreamliner was delayed for years before this official debut, mainly due to manufacturing and cost-related issues. Delays have dated back as far as 2008.

The first 787 Dreamliner made its maiden flight in December 2009.

The 787 Dreamliner is an efficient airplane made of lightweight carbon composites, which features a whole new passenger experience with dimmable windows, LED lights, reclining business class seats and even higher humidity. These lighter materials mean airlines can use less fuel. The Dreamliners have 36 first-class seats, 70 premium-economy seats and 113 economy seats. United said it ordered 50 787s.

In November 2012, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner made its first domestic flight from Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston to Chicago.

Source: Reuters

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By Ammohunt on 1/9/2013 9:40:15 PM , Rating: 2
Electrical Fire != to tailfin coming off in mid flight...

RE: Wow
By Samus on 1/10/2013 12:00:24 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, an electrical fire is serious, so lets just hope the batteries weren't manufactured by A123...

Boeing is on the forefront of aerospace technology here. This thing is way beyond mainstream air-frame structures (which are aluminum) and the amount of technology in the plane makes it extremely complicated. It was delayed for years because of this complication, and no matter how long you delay something, there will still be problems in the production run.

Granted, this isn't a vehicle that can be simply "recalled" because the risk is too great. The failure rate must be 0. Had this fire occurred in flight, it might have crashed, so I'm pretty sure they are taking it seriously.

RE: Wow
By RufusM on 1/10/2013 9:51:25 AM , Rating: 3
You said it. The Boeing 787 is at the leading edge of design and has been operating very well for a while now. It's competitor, the Airbus A350, still has yet to officially launch.

RE: Wow
By knutjb on 1/10/2013 10:55:44 PM , Rating: 3
Granted, this isn't a vehicle that can be simply "recalled"
You haven't worked on aircraft, it is easy to ground an aircraft or fleet of a particular type for a design or maintenance issue.

It happened years ago with the DC-10 for one airline's criminally bad maintenance practices and killed Freddy Lakes' airline. It wasn't even a design flaw, just bad mechanics.

Boeing said the area was designed with fire in mind as a safety feature. I expect they tested a mock up for that purpose. I haven't heard enough about the fuel leak to comment, too many variables. And yes there are acceptable fuel leak limits depending on location for every aircraft.

RE: Wow
By Amiga500 on 1/10/2013 10:29:09 AM , Rating: 2
True, such a catastrophic structural failure is highly unlikely.

However, it can burn through the wiring looms, leading to loss of control over the rudder/elevators.

[Yes, the looms do incorporate redundancy and the backups are not co-located, but battery fires are very persistent and current fire suppression systems (Halon or 3M Novec based) don't knockdown the fire as it is a chemical reaction rather than a conventional oxygen fed 'fire'.]

RE: Wow
By cochy on 1/10/2013 11:10:19 AM , Rating: 2
While I would imagine losing the tailfin midflight would undoubtly result is a catastrophic event.

Electrical fires midflight have resulted in many casualties and high profile disasters for example:

RE: Wow
By theapparition on 1/10/2013 12:05:02 PM , Rating: 3
Losing the tailfin isn't that bad.

You get to be on a tropical island, have adventures every week and only have to worry about an occasional smoke monster or polar bear.

RE: Wow
By Ammohunt on 1/10/2013 2:04:56 PM , Rating: 2
American Airlines Flight 587...;-)

RE: Wow
By johnsmith9875 on 1/10/2013 3:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
Or JAL 123...

RE: Wow
By drycrust3 on 1/10/2013 4:17:26 PM , Rating: 2
While you are, in one sense, right, that the tail may not actually fall off in flight, that doesn't mean the plane wouldn't have crashed had this happened at 60,000 feet half way across the Pacific. The problem is aircraft, especially one this expensive, are designed absolutely to a spec. Every bit of it unnecessary weight is removed, which means your "over engineered" is cut to a minimum.

RE: Wow
By avxo on 1/10/2013 6:44:50 PM , Rating: 2
Well... if it was flying at 60,000 feet there would be other issues too seeing how the aircraft is only certified up to 45,000 feet.

RE: Wow
By drycrust3 on 1/10/2013 8:47:26 PM , Rating: 2
is only certified up to 45,000 feet.

Thanks for correcting me, I should have checked.
Wikipedia has a slightly different figure, but your figure is much more correct than my wild guess.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Automaker Porsche may expand range of Panamera Coupe design.
September 18, 2016, 11:00 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
No More Turtlenecks - Try Snakables
September 19, 2016, 7:44 AM
ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment in Children: Problem or Paranoia?
September 19, 2016, 5:30 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki