Print 27 comment(s) - last by lexluthermiest.. on Jan 20 at 6:19 PM

Air India said that regulators in India have grounded Boeing's 787 Dreamliners, too

After a series of issues with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner over the last week (including today), Japan decided to gound the planes until further notice. Now, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that all 787s will be grounded in the U.S. as well.

The FAA made this decision today after a 787, which was an All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight to Tokyo, had an issue with its main battery only 15 minutes into a 90-minute flight. After 40 minutes, a burning smell made its way into the cabin and cockpit, and the plane made an emergency landing at Takamatsu Airport on the southern island of Shikoku. Thankfully, all passengers and staff evacuated safely.

"We are very sorry to have caused passengers and their family members so much concern," said ANA Senior Executive Vice President Osamu Shinobe.

Even later, Air India said that regulators in India have grounded Boeing's 787 Dreamliners, too.

"Boeing deeply regrets the impact that recent events have had on the operating schedules of our customers and the inconvenience to them and their passengers," said Jim McNerney, Boeing chairman, president and CEO.

Unfortunately, this wasn't the only incident that Boeing's 787 Dreamliner experienced lately. Early last week, a 787 operated by Japan Airlines had experienced an electrical fire at Boston's Logan International Airport after coming in from Tokyo. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, a battery in the auxiliary power unit suffered severe fire damage.

Just one day later, a Boeing 787 operated by the same airline at the same airport suffered a fuel leak. 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.

On Friday of last week, two more issues occurred.
It was discovered that a 787 Dreamliner with All Nippon Airways (ANA), which had arrived at the Matsuyama airport in western Japan from Tokyo on Friday, developed a web-like crack in the cockpit window. The pilot found it about 70 minutes into the flight, but no one was injured. In a separate incident on Friday, but also with ANA, another 787 Dreamliner had an oil leak after traveling to the Miyazaki airport in southern Japan. It is unclear how much oil had leaked.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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they'll get it sorted
By Bubbacub on 1/17/2013 6:46:39 AM , Rating: 4
its a complex plane, manufactured and designed in a novel complex way.

they'll sort this out.

the a380 was a similarly complex project and had its uncontained engine explosion issue (also potentially very serious) which has been resolved.

RE: they'll get it sorted
By inperfectdarkness on 1/17/2013 7:06:23 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. You can look at most airliners and see similar trends during the "growing pains" phase. I suspect that in 5 years or so, the 787 will be as reliable and trouble-free as the 707 was in its hey-day.

RE: they'll get it sorted
By GulWestfale on 1/17/2013 8:37:28 AM , Rating: 5

"Vince Weldon's experience in the use of composite materials led to him being asked by Boeing to research how advanced composites could be used to build its next generation passenger airliner, the 787 Dreamliner.[1] Weldon told Boeing management that the carbon fiber-reinforced plastic material which was being used to construct the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was unsafe, less safe than a conventional aluminium aircraft, and that in the event of a crash the composite fuselage would "shatter too easily and burn with toxic fumes".[7] Boeing fired Weldon in July 2006.[8]"

unrelated to the battery problems, but still worth reading.

RE: they'll get it sorted
By martin5000 on 1/17/13, Rating: 0
RE: they'll get it sorted
By Masospaghetti on 1/17/2013 9:17:10 AM , Rating: 2, that's not the logic that is used.

RE: they'll get it sorted
By martin5000 on 1/17/2013 10:42:29 AM , Rating: 2
So they do crach test them? Or is performance in crash based on theory?

RE: they'll get it sorted
By Amiga500 on 1/17/2013 1:40:55 PM , Rating: 2
Have they ever actually crash tested this plane? As far as I know they don't normally, but it would seem like a sensible thing to do especially when using new materials.

15 ft drop test (of a fuselage section).

RE: they'll get it sorted
By Keeir on 1/17/2013 3:10:01 PM , Rating: 1
Well that doesn't entirely tell the story

New aircraft are Statically and Fatigue Tested as well as interior things such as seat tracks, galleys, etc tested to near "crash" conditions.

The 15 foot drop test was a hard belly landing test specifically designed for the 787.

Most telling is that Boeing decided not to test the 787 wings to failure (as it had on previous models), in part due to safety concerns over composite dust.

Clearly composites are not safe on fracture in a controlled lab enviroment, why would they be safe in an actually accident.

Offsetting this is the massive amount of deflection required to actually fracture composites. If I am in a plane that hit the ground with enough force to shatter the composites...

RE: they'll get it sorted
By Dorkyman on 1/17/2013 6:19:43 PM , Rating: 3
Don't think that's correct.

787 wing test to failure (which happened at 150% of design limit):

RE: they'll get it sorted
By Keeir on 1/17/2013 8:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
Hah, that's not a real wing break test.

That's a very small part of the wing being tested to failure. Lots of the parts/components were tested to failure

This is a wing failure test. Done full scale. Notice all the people watching in the same building? Notice that you don't see the same thing on the component failure test?

RE: they'll get it sorted
By lexluthermiester on 1/19/2013 10:24:05 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, that IS the whole wing. The FAA and other authorities world wide would not accept the test validation without a whole wing test. Further, the test can not be done with a prototype wing it must be a "ready for production" unit.

RE: they'll get it sorted
By wempa on 1/17/2013 9:36:41 AM , Rating: 3
Were there any major issues with the 777 the first few years after it was introduced ? I don't remember any.

RE: they'll get it sorted
By Beenthere on 1/17/2013 12:14:16 PM , Rating: 2
The 777 didn't have all of the technological changes that the 787 has, so it was more an evolution of prior models.

RE: they'll get it sorted
By BigDH01 on 1/18/2013 12:17:04 PM , Rating: 2
The Trent engines on the 777 did have issues although I'm not sure if you'd call that a problem with the airplane.

RE: they'll get it sorted
By lexluthermiester on 1/19/2013 10:41:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'll second that. And this is not a problem with the aircraft structure, but rather it's batteries. The batteries in question are made by a contractor. Boeing is taking a great deal of flak for a problem they are not fully in control of. However, grounding the aircraft world wide was a recommendation made by Boeing themselves to the FAA and other authorities. This, to me, seems like the act of a company that is taking safety seriously. Grounding the aircraft is the right thing to do until the fire hazard can be solved. I personally applaud the actions taken. These issues will solved and the aircraft will be cleared to fly again.

Every aircraft ever to fly has had growing pains and problems to be worked out. This kind of thing is not new. But public over-reactionism can be a real problem. So folks how about you all keep a cool head and let the experts work the problem, eh? I speak to the hot-heads making irrational posts.

RE: they'll get it sorted
By Ushio01 on 1/17/2013 3:02:45 PM , Rating: 3
The A380 has had 2 incidents which were both caused by there engines, which is NOT an Airbus issue but an engine manufacturer issue in this case Rolls-Royce.

RE: they'll get it sorted
By DennisB on 1/17/2013 3:42:15 PM , Rating: 3
These are issues that should have been addressed during construction, quality testing and design, and should not be in a production aircraft. This is simply sloppy quick work to get it to customers. Airbus spend two years to address cable issues. In fact, in the industry these are one of the most experienced issues in complex machinery that should be fixed before delivery.

Besides, electric wiring problems have been going on for months and Qatar Airways had grounded their 787 since December. The recent Japanese accident were only the first serious events.

RE: they'll get it sorted
By lexluthermiester on 1/20/2013 4:45:31 PM , Rating: 2
Once again, the BATTERIES are made by a contractor. Your "sloppy" comment would be like blaming Ford for fires caused by the batteries installed in them, or for crashes resulting from failed tires put on the wheels. Boeing is being blamed for something beyond their complete control.

HOWEVER, they are being responsible and working the problem. I wouldn't want to be the maker of those batteries at this moment...

By Beenthere on 1/17/2013 9:59:49 AM , Rating: 1
Just as they caused issues in laptops and EV's, lithium-ion batteries are causing issues for the 787 auxilary power generator system. Fix that and some other minor issues and the 787's will be pretty damn reliable considering all the tech upgrades. At least their wings don't crack at the fuselage like the A380's do...

By PrinceGaz on 1/17/2013 1:14:24 PM , Rating: 3
The wing damage was progressive and noticed long before it could ever have caused any possible failure. Not good, but not dangerous either.

Over-heating batteries, or batteries catching fire without warning is a far more serious issue as it could knock out many systems without any previous warning.

Given the choice, I'd prefer to travel by train, but between those two planes, I'd choose the A380. That way I wouldn't be gambling against a fire-risk on every flight.

By lexluthermiester on 1/20/2013 5:07:51 PM , Rating: 2
Not good, but not dangerous either.

Really? I disagree most strongly! ANYONE who knows anything about metallurgy can tell you that under stress, ANY small crack can turn into a great big one very quickly. Such a thing is just as serious as the battery problem.

This is why the effected A380's were grounded until the repair could be made. Unlike the current 787 battery problem, the wing cracks were not present in all A380's and thus only the ones effected needed grounding. In this situation with the 787's, no one knows for sure which batteries are effected and safety being a primary concern grounding the fleet was the wise and responsible thing to do. Both Boeing and Airbus are working the problems in the correct way.

By Amiga500 on 1/17/2013 1:44:02 PM , Rating: 2
At least their wings don't crack at the fuselage like the A380's do...

Do they?

News to me.

Now, cracks on the wing rib feet (which are in the wing and connect the ribs to the skin) have been observed.

Cracks at the wingbox would be a much bigger concern than some small cracks on a few rib feet.

By lexluthermiester on 1/20/2013 6:19:11 PM , Rating: 2
Yes they do. Cracks on a piece of metal that deals with tension and torsion loads by design is a serious problem. No less serious than a fire hazard caused by faulty batteries.

Not a fuel leak?
By CZroe on 1/17/2013 3:51:55 PM , Rating: 2
From what I heard from the last DailyTech article on it, it was not a fuel leak that spilled 40 gallons. Someone left a valve open. If true, it was not a problem with the plane at all and very irresponsible to keep reporting it as such.

RE: Not a fuel leak?
By DennisB on 1/17/2013 7:06:39 PM , Rating: 2
the US Federal Aviation Administration said in December that it had identified errors in the assembly of fuel line couplings in the Dreamliner.

By KingConker on 1/17/2013 3:28:17 PM , Rating: 1
Should have gone to Airbus...

I'm a Brit living in North America - before someone shoots me down.

2 Fat 2 Fly
By EricMartello on 1/17/13, Rating: 0
"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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