Boeing defends Dreamliner, but safety questions remain

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  • 1

    alliswellinjapan

    “It’s definitely the most expensive plane program that they’ve ever developed,”

    Where have I heard this before.

  • 5

    FPSRussia

    You have to admit. It's a very handsome plane sitting on the ground.

  • 0

    Thunderbird2

    So the batteries are potentially lethal... yet they have no plans to change them? We are constantly being warned that the wrong materials can make a house fire spread more quickly and more difficult to put out... yet it's okay for Boeing to sell a plane with batteries which, if they caught fire, are very difficult to extinguish. How did that get through the health and safety checks?

  • -3

    Crazedinjapan

    With the number of instances that have happened with the Japan fleet alone I'd be refusing to fly on any one of those planes. Someone's pockets got lined to push these planes through to quick. It's obvious not enough rigorous flight testing was done and unfortunately if any of these issues happens half way across the pacific I wouldn't hope for a happy ending or result.

    Ground them, why take a chance with so many lives at stake.

  • -2

    Antonios_M

    Ground them, why take a chance with so many lives at stake.

    Well said. Or at least, they should be inspected all over again and again and make sure there are no problems before they take them for commercial flights. Otherwise, Boeing must recall all of them.

  • 0

    The_True

    Crazedinjapan!

    obvious not enough rigorous flight testing was done

    You didn't know, that the testing began using ANA and JAL, they still testing, Remember the ANA posters all over the place, WE FIRST!.

    Well that's what happens when you wanna be first.

  • 3

    Matthew Simon

    Thunderbird practically every mobile phone and tablet in the world also uses lithium ion batteries as well.

  • 3

    Yubaru

    It has almost 800 more on order.

    800 on order with a price tag of $200 million each. $160,000,000,000.00. Cripes that's a ton of cash.

    Geez I am surprised the government doesn't "demand" guarantees of safety before allowing them to fly over Japanese airspace and then only in certain areas and restricted flight patterns, oh and during daylight hours only too.

  • 4

    USNinJapan2

    Thunderbird2

    So the batteries are potentially lethal... yet they have no plans to change them? We are constantly being warned that the wrong materials can make a house fire spread more quickly and more difficult to put out... yet it's okay for Boeing to sell a plane with batteries which, if they caught fire, are very difficult to extinguish. How did that get through the health and safety checks?

    So the 35,000+ gallons of 'potentially lethal' Jet A fuel on board doesn't bother you or was going to be your next complaint?

  • 0

    DjMikiRia

    If they choose to go ahead with this, single out this model for an inspection after every flight for at least a year (cost going to Boeing) if they do not want to do a voluntary recall. As for these batteries, I know how they are. Light-weight, high power, fast charging but yes are flammable. This type of battery has proven itself viable in products on the ground in non-life threatening situations. I am a bit "on the fence" in this regard. Consider hurling yourself through the air in a can with wings at several hundred kilometres per hour using flammable batteries difficult to extinguish if caught fire. They are not cheap. I am completely open to advisement on my opinion.

  • 2

    Fadamor

    So the batteries are potentially lethal... yet they have no plans to change them?

    Flip over your laptop, pop out the battery, and take a look at the labeling. If it's like 99% of the laptop batteries out there, it's a LIon (Lithium Ion) battery. Remember the Sony issue where their laptop batteries overheated and caught fire? That happens when metal particles (usually chips and shavings off the assembly machinery) inadvertantly get mixed in with the battery electrolytes during manufacture. So yeah, the batteries are a potential problem. But if they were a serious safety issue, they wouldn't be in every rechargeable device we have.

  • 2

    whiskeysour

    defects + design flaws + passengers paying higher ticket prices + flight risk = Guinea Pigs

    Good Luck !!!! I will fly the older model planes until after 10 years.

    10 years later the design flaws should be corrected !!!!!!

    Sorry to say this but this happens all the time.

  • 1

    gelendestrasse

    Lithium batteries are not allowed as cargo on passenger aircraft because of the potential for a cell damaged in transit to ignite and send the whole lot up. They are allowed in laptops and other electronic devices because they are isolated and a fire would be found and dealt with before it became catastrophic.

    What I don't know is if Boeing has installed the batteries in a way that, if one did catch fire, it would not bring the plane down. I would guess that this is the case but I don't know.

    And yes, jet fuel is quite dangerous in the correct air / fuel ratio, as the TWA flight tragically proved.

    Hopefully nothing similar will ever happen with a 787.

  • 0

    LostinNagoya

    A plane is an engineering wonder: you assembly huge metal parts and make it fly. No easy task, so every big plane has a period of adjustments after it is released to the market. The 747, A380, had their problems. Same will happen with the A350 to be released in the next couple of years.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    What I don't know is if Boeing has installed the batteries in a way that, if one did catch fire, it would not bring the plane down. I would guess that this is the case but I don't know.

    When they were designing the 787, the FAA (the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency) directed Boeing to include protection to prevent thermal runaway for any LIon battery they use in the aircraft. You're typical laptop battery has a thermal protection circuit built-in to prevent overheating, but sometimes they don't work as intended. Seems like Boeing is going to have to beef-up their thermal protection circuit even if it ultimately determined that this battery explosion was caused by a defect in manufacturing.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    Gah! "your", not "you're".

  • 0

    motytrah

    It's politically sensitive for JAL or ANA to go on the record with concerns about the batteries. According to news reports the packs where made by GS Yuasa Corp, a Japanese company.

  • 1

    globalwatcher

    Well, I will be in IT for an innaugural flight on March 31st to Tokyo.

    I have already paid for the tickets and the cancellation fee is very expensive. I am talking with my agent if I can reroute the itenerally. I refuse to fly in it unless the Boeing is willing to check all Dreamliners.

  • -1

    JeffLee

    This is the most jarring factoid of all:

    "He said the nature of lithium ion batteries means no fire extinguisher system will stop them from burning once they start. The NTSB said it took firefighters 40 minutes to put out Mondays fire."

    So much for your inane laptop comparisons. So what happens if this occurs during a flight?

  • -1

    FPSRussia

    @Yubura If you were worried about planes built outside Japan over your airspace then you wouldn't have any planes over your airspace at all.

    Japan's aerospace industry is virtually non-existent. Even Japan's famed Japanese Zero was a design that Howard Hughes put together.

    Maybe you should tone the rhetoric just a bit. Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Airbus, Pratt and Whitney, Rolls Royce....none of it Japanese made, all of it sitting at the boarding gates, Narita, Haneda, Osaka.

    Oh wait, there are a few alternatives to BOEING. You could buy from Russia. Willing to fly your Olympic soccer team in one of their Tupolevs? China produces aircraft too. Of course, I know you won't buy from them. They'd probably throw a monkey wrench in there after the Diayo Islands conflict.

  • -1

    Crazedinjapan

    Flight test without passengers ......because its obvious they are still looking for issues. Did the package cost include comprehensive insurance for customer loss ??? ...as in lost during a mishap .

  • 1

    globalwatcher

    CrazedinjapanJan. 11, 2013 - 09:27AM JST

    Flight test without passengers ......because its obvious they are still looking for issues. Did the package cost include comprehensive insurance for customer loss ??? ...as in lost during a mishap

    Sounds like you are talking about liability or life insurance. Well, if something breaks down in the sky, we will be dead for customer loss. We will be dead to receive any compensation. DEAD.

  • 0

    motytrah

    @FPSRussia Mitsubishi is moving into the regional airline market. They received a rather large order on behalf of a US provider the other month. Speculation is they'll fly for United, American or Delta. Several Japanese companies also contributed quite a bit to the 787 program...although they may have been the cause for a lot of the delays at well.

    You're spot on about those Tupolevs. Ugh.

    Most Chinese use are variants of old US planes. Specifically they got the tools and plans for the DC9 and MD90 and have been making all sorts of variants ever since. They use western engines and control systems. They have been trying to get the Russians to make engines in China for a while but even they know they'll end up getting ripped off in the deal.

    Despite China not exactly being a super power to making planes, many of the largest airplane maintenance facilities are in China. All you need is couple FAA and EASA certified master mechanics to sign off on the work of a couple hundred technicians.

  • 1

    T-Mack

    The Jet is a modern marvel, it will take time to iron out the bug's...fly' n at your own risk...!

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