Print 13 comment(s) - last by haihuynh.. on Aug 14 at 12:13 AM

Both happened today and are being investigated

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner jet is proving to be the problem child of the bunch as two new issues occurred today.

A 787 operated by Ethiopian Airlines at the Heathrow Airport in London suffered an internal onboard fire around 4:30 p.m. local time. The jet was parked and had no passengers onboard. 

Fire crews rushed to the scene, as did Boeing and Heathrow officials. They are currently investigating the situation to see why it happened, but allowed flights to resume a little before 6 p.m.

Damage was found at the top-rear of the 787's body near the passenger doors when officials and emergency crews made it to the scene. 

In a separate incident today, a Boeing 787 operated by Thomson Airways was forced to return to Manchester, England after attempting to fly to Florida in the U.S. Reports say it was sent back due to technical issues. 

This is bad news for Boeing, considering it had so many technical and battery issues earlier this year that grounded its 787s in airports around the world. 

It started with a 787 operated by Japan Airlines, which had experienced an electrical fire at Boston's Logan International Airport after coming in from Tokyo in January of this year. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, a battery in the auxiliary power unit suffered severe fire damage.

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

a 787 Dreamliner with All Nippon Airways (ANA), which had arrived at the Matsuyama airport in western Japan from Tokyo, developed a web-like crack in the cockpit window. That same day, another 787 Dreamliner with ANA had an oil leak after traveling to the Miyazaki airport in southern Japan. 

Finally, an ANA 787 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. This issue caused all 787s to be grounded in Japan, the U.S. and India until a safety investigation was conducted and the problems were corrected.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) finally approved of the idea to encase 787 lithium ion batteries in a steel box, add a duct to vent gases outside the aircraft and install new battery chargers. In April, Boeing installed the batteries on five ANA jets and started test flights in May. 

ANA, Japan Airlines Co. and LOT Polish Airlines SA started flying 787s commercially the first week of June. 

Boeing's stock took a hard beating today due to the two fires. According to The Wall Street Journal, Boeing stock hit a 52-week high earlier today of $108.13. After the two fires, it dropped 6 percent.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, BBC News

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By Dorkyman on 7/15/2013 11:17:55 AM , Rating: 2
So the Thomson plane also had a fire? I'd not heard that, only that it had "technical issues."

It makes a big difference to the story. One plane has a fire unrelated to the battery issue, something to track down and fix. TWO planes have fires on the same day, Whoa! Something really wrong with the design.

RE: What?
By TerranMagistrate on 7/15/2013 12:59:11 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention the 787 is Boeing's most outsourced commercial jet ever. I guess they're now reaping what they have sown.

RE: What?
By ElFenix on 7/15/2013 4:19:09 PM , Rating: 2
actually the dispatch reliability for the 787 is very high for a new model.

so, it's actually more reliable. but, it's under a microscope, in part due to boeing marketing it directly to regular people and in part due to the intense level of media nowadays.

RE: What?
By dsumanik on 7/16/2013 8:49:36 PM , Rating: 1
I disagree, a plane shouldn't catch fire under any circumstance, this doesn't have anything to to do with media scrutiny..... or how new it is.

if you can't build a plane without it catching on fire, you need to go back to the drawing board and stop gambling with people lives.

This isn't a military test program, its public commercial transport. Reliability and safety has to be paramount above all other factors, ill pay another 100 bucks to ride a slower more cramped plane that wont burn up mid flight.

I'd ground em all again, just not worth the risk....peeps can ride in 737's for few months.

RE: What?
By Chaser on 7/17/2013 2:41:58 PM , Rating: 2
when you have 787's full of passengers it tends to draw slightly more scrutiny than the engineering and maintenance statistics on the record books.

RE: What?
By haihuynh on 8/14/2013 12:13:05 AM , Rating: 2

RE: What?
By TacticalTrading on 7/17/2013 5:38:45 PM , Rating: 2
Is it really doing better? I don't know.
How many 787's are now in service? What is the "problem" rate on average per plane, per flight, and or per flight hour?

What is the average of this or whatever the correct metric is, for all passenger aircraft over their Model lifetimes?

One should expect it to start high and falls as the the kinks are worked out and the new model design matures.
Then at some point it probably rises as the fleet ages, reaching a critical point that tapers as the end of the aircraft model life approaches.

Looking at statistics without a solid frame of reference is pointless. It IS a great way to make sensational headlines. And that is exactly what the modern day media machine is all about.

Anyone know the numbers?

RE: What?
By Danger3000 on 7/18/2013 3:35:36 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly an airframe should last a LONG time with zero failures. B-52's are expected to be around 90 years old when they're retired; obviously this requires proper maintenance and quick correction of any issues found. For example, one of the aircraft models I fly has a stress point by an aileron hinge. With no periodic checks for cracks that could cause a problem if the aileron were to go uninspected and eventually depart the aircraft. However, the FAA mandates through Airworthiness Directives that that hinge is inspected every 100 hours of flight time. There is a permanent structural fix for the aileron if a crack is found as well (i.e. no more 100-hour inspections required). Read below to see how the system works. Ideally you should *never* have a failure in-flight. Anything greater than zero results in a lot of attention.

There are several other documents on the FAA website that address the procedures for finding and correcting aircraft issues as well.

Also with today's litigious climate, manufacturers of aircraft components do everything they can to make sure parts won't fail before their rated lifespan has expired.

RE: What?
By KeithP on 8/12/2013 5:44:39 PM , Rating: 2
Probably union shills sabotaging planes. Organized labor is getting more desperate as they are getting whittled away.

RE: What?
By robert5c on 7/22/2013 2:34:15 PM , Rating: 2
No No No,

The problem here is the lack of professionalism by the journalist, no let me take that back, author.

The title reads “Two More Boeing 787 Dreamliners Catch Fire, Suffer Technical Issues”

But it should read “Two More Boeing 787 Dreamliners Suffer Issues, one Catches Fire.

The author, no let me take that back, instigator, worded the sentence so to sensationalize the article for profit.

RE: What?
By phxfreddy on 7/29/13, Rating: 0
RE: What?
By johnsmith9875 on 7/22/2013 4:02:10 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like the only person who would be truly comfortable flying on the 787 would be Ghost Rider.

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