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Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleets grounded around the world

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#1 +zhiVago

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:52

Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleets grounded around the world

Boeing’s Dreamliner turning into a PR nightmare

Goldman downgrades Boeing as Dreamliner mishaps pile up


On November 25, 2012, it was reported that Air India had requested a team of Boeing engineers come to India to address issues described as "teething problems" with its aircraft.

Early on the aircraft suffered from a cracked cockpit window and brake problems. On January 7, 2013, a battery overheated and started a fire in an empty 787 operated by Japan Airlines (JAL) at Boston's Logan International Airport.

A second 787 also operated by JAL experienced a fuel leak on January 8, and its flight from Boston was canceled.

On January 9, United Airlines reported a problem in one of its six 787s with the wiring in the same area as the battery fire on JAL's airliner; the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board subsequently opened a safety probe.

On January 11, 2013, a cockpit window cracked and another engine was found to have a fuel leak.

On January 11, 2013, the FAA announced a comprehensive review of the 787's critical systems, including the design, manufacture and assembly. US transportation secretary Ray LaHood stated the administration was "looking for the root causes" behind the recent issues. The head of the FAA, Michael Huerta said that so far nothing found "suggests it [787] is not safe".

On January 13, 2013, a Japan Airlines 787 at Narita International Airport outside of Tokyo, was found to have a fuel leak of 100 liters (26.5 U.S. gallons) during an inspection. The aircraft reportedly was the same one that had a fuel leak in Boston on January 8. This leak however was caused by a different valve; the causes of the leaks are unknown. Japan's transport ministry have also launched an investigation.

On January 16, 2013, an All Nippon Airways 787 made an emergency landing at Takamatsu Airport on Shikoku Island after the flight crew received a computer warning that there was smoke inside one of the electrical compartments. ANA said that there was an error message in the cockpit citing a battery malfunction. Passengers and crew were evacuated using emergency slides




#2 Nashy

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:01

Boeing need to get their **** together, and really fast with this. I can't see all of their ordering airlines staying on board for more delays.

They are way too close to the A350 expected first flight to be dealing with a major issue like this. When was the last grounding of this nature? DC-10? (I could be way off).

#3 DocM

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:40

Wonder if the leaky engines are the Trent 1000's or the GEnx? That and a hot Lithium Ion battery are fairly easy fixes by substitution (including switching LiION chemistries.) OTOH, with the continuing Airbus A380 soap opera the problem is structural, a continuing series of cracks in the wings, and more difficult - just 4-5 sales of those big $$$$ birds for all of 2012.

Both Boeing and Airbus had better watch out for the coming onslaught of new, very modern and well priced birds from China's Comac (Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China.) The narrowbody C919 is due next year, and widebodies can't be far behind.

#4 AnotherITguy

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:58

Docm, the Chinese models are cheap, but its kind of along the lines of, how safe are they compared to your typical 737? and I was wondering isn't a C919 like a copy of an MD-95 or a 737?

#5 AdamLC

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:07

Boeing will definitely be in trouble if they keep going like this. As for Comac their website looks terrible, lets hope they spend more time on building their planes than they did on their website!

#6 sjms

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:13

I take it you are all very familiar with the commercial aviation industry?

#7 Nashy

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:19

I take it you are all very familiar with the commercial aviation industry?


Yes, actually. I hope this doesn't in anyway impede me reading other people's opinions on the matter.

#8 Enron

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:30

Docm, the Chinese models are cheap, but its kind of along the lines of, how safe are they compared to your typical 737? and I was wondering isn't a C919 like a copy of an MD-95 or a 737?


So the Chinese now have the ability to clone airplanes? I don't know if I'd trust it though.

#9 Biohead

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:44

A380 and B787 - two brand new aircraft. Basically the first completely new aircraft from either company in around 15 years or so. Of course they're going to have teething problems. Both aircraft used new design and construction techniques. Fatigue is always difficult to model, hence we're seeing the A380 problems only just showing up, and the 787 problems can arguably be pointed at individual systems failing - not a sign that it's a problem with the actual aircraft.

I can't see any western airlines willingly purchasing Chinese made planes... yet. It just wouldn't go down well with the public. They actually recognise the Boeing and Airbus names. Unfortunately one certain UK airline has been marketing it's 787 launch heavily to the general public - somehow I think that campaign may be quietly pulled today if it's not already been.

#10 DocM

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 13:22

Docm, the Chinese models are cheap, but its kind of along the lines of, how safe are they compared to your typical 737? and I was wondering isn't a C919 like a copy of an MD-95 or a 737?


Same class as those, but Comac is going to use a lot of mainstream components; GE engines, Honeywell and other major company electronics etc. They bear serious watching by Airbus and Boeing because most planes are not sold to US operators but to the international markets.

I'd rather have Boeing's problem - as noted it's either components, like batteries that can be re-sourced, or installation/maintenance etc. As for the cabin windscreen breakage, I asked a pilot friend and he's had several break over the years so that's probably a 'so what?' Hit a bird or hailstone at 300+ knots and what do you expect?

With the A380 it sounds like a fundamental airframe issue.

#11 articuno1au

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 13:25

My reaction to the cracked windscreen was /careface, but it depends on how it failed.. Cracked windscreens are not uncommon.

With the exception of the fire/smoke issues, it all sounds like general teething issues.

The fuel line issue is kind of surprising though.

Boeing and Airbus issue hundreds of safety advisement documents a year. The aircraft with these issues will be put on higher maintenance checking or will be issued with a fix (assuming one is warranted).

#12 UseLess

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 13:38

Problems aside....i think this plane looks amazing! I mean, in terms of its features and whatnot. Good steps forward - lower cabin pressure, more quiet/efficient engines, better air quality, etc.

I can't (couldn't?) want to fly on one! =)

#13 sjms

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 13:57

Yes, actually. I hope this doesn't in anyway impede me reading other people's opinions on the matter.


good, tell me about it.

it's the opinions given and their sources that make a big difference in their validity.

I too have been in the industry for the past 25 years. in addition I have 6 of them to work with currently. yes, as with any other new aircraft (and this one is very much science fiction for many) it is painful. were you around for the first 777's you should have heard the gory details about them in the early days.

I will say that this being the first major paradigm shift in commercial aviation in many years and its going to hurt for awhile. hey, I might be wrong.

#14 Nashy

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 00:14

good, tell me about it.

it's the opinions given and their sources that make a big difference in their validity.

I too have been in the industry for the past 25 years. in addition I have 6 of them to work with currently. yes, as with any other new aircraft (and this one is very much science fiction for many) it is painful. were you around for the first 777's you should have heard the gory details about them in the early days.

I will say that this being the first major paradigm shift in commercial aviation in many years and its going to hurt for awhile. hey, I might be wrong.


Absolutely, no one is disputing that all new aircraft have teething problems. And your experience with these new aircraft really doesn't weigh much into the debate that is happening. I'm not in anyway saying this is a bad plane. However, in the scheme of things, and the huge delays already faced, further delays will mean more cancellations, and certainly a lot more money in compensation.

In the interest of not putting all of my personal life on the internet for a complete stranger to read, all I will say is that my knowledge of the commercial airliners is vast. I don't see this thread as an exclusive thread for aviation nuts either. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and unfortunately for Boeing, it doesn't matter if every jet since the Dash 80 have had issues. The flying public see one thing, a grounding of a brand new plane.

Some of the damage in the public's eyes is already done.

And a big shift in the way planes are made is absolutely no excuse. None at all. These things need to be safe out of the box. And yes, I would say they are still safe. Buit there is a very major safety issue occurring on the aircraft. The FAA doesn't just ground aeroplanes for nothing.

Same class as those, but Comac is going to use a lot of mainstream components; GE engines, Honeywell and other major company electronics etc. They bear serious watching by Airbus and Boeing because most planes are not sold to US operators but to the international markets.

I'd rather have Boeing's problem - as noted it's either components, like batteries that can be re-sourced, or installation/maintenance etc. As for the cabin windscreen breakage, I asked a pilot friend and he's had several break over the years so that's probably a 'so what?' Hit a bird or hailstone at 300+ knots and what do you expect?

With the A380 it sounds like a fundamental airframe issue.


I honestly can't see any airline that wants a good image operating anything except Airbus or Boeing. I see Aeroflot using them, purely because they're used to operating unsafe heaps of ****.

#15 Growled

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 00:26

I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and say this is teething problems for a new plane, but I wonder how much is just poor design?