The Boeing Dreamliner, more like the Boeing Nightmare. What a disaster. Smoking batteries, leaking fuel, cracked cockpits windows, at least the emergency slides work. Two major Japanese airlines grounded their fleet of Dreamliners and the FAA has grounded all 787’s in service in the U.S. However, despite the mishaps and concerns, there appears to be widespread international support for the 787 among carriers who fly them and have some on order. A spokesman for Ethiopian Airlines argued that the planes are safe and that it is natural for new products to have some “bugs”. Other carriers that have placed orders for the Dreamliner say they aren’t worried because they expect the mechanical issues to be worked out prior to delivery.
I like flying, always have and would love to fly on one of these, but not before they solve the battery issue. Come on, what’s going on here? Lithium batteries – what are they powering these things on laptop batteries or using those discarded Chevy Volt batteries that caught fire on the test track? Actually, the batteries are manufactured by a Japanese company, as are many of the parts on the bird. Not that this means Boeing is off the hook, but it does raise questions about their contracting practices. It’s like Boeing saying, batteries not included. Maybe Boeing should have looked to Duracell (the copper top) for battery support. Now the cracked cockpit window, that’s pretty serious. I don’t want the captain flying in a depressurized cabin with a mask breathing supplemental oxygen. And if the cockpit window can crack, so too can the passenger windows. I always liked the window seat, but I can do without supplemental fresh air.
At least the wings haven’t fallen off. And that’s good news for the Dreamliner.
- US regulator grounds Dreamliner (bbc.co.uk)
- FAA grounds all US Boeing 787 Dreamliners after second lithium ion battery failure (engadget.com)
- FAA Statement: Boeing 787 Dreamliner Grounded, For Now (blogs.wsj.com)
- Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’ jets grounded in Japan, US (kansascity.com)