Boeing has ‘extreme confidence’ in troubled 787

Boeing said Wednesday it has “extreme confidence” in its 787 Dreamliner even as federal investigators try to determine the cause of a fire that has prompted new worries about the plane.

The fire happened Monday in one of the plane’s lithium ion batteries. Mike Sinnett, Boeing’s chief engineer for 787, wouldn’t comment on that specific incident, but told reporters that the battery is designed to avoid overheating and the area around the battery is designed to withstand a fire.

But questions remain about the high-profile jet, which has a lot riding on it both for Boeing and its airline customers. After a nearly three-year delay, Boeing has delivered 49 of the 787s so far, and has about 800 more on order.

Investors rallied behind the company Wednesday. Boeing shares gained 3.2 per cent to $76.47, after dropping 4.6 per cent the two previous days.

The Dreamliner has had a rough stretch. Besides Monday’s fire aboard an empty Japan Airlines plane in Boston, a separate JAL 787 experienced a fuel leak on Tuesday. And All Nippon Airways cancelled a domestic 787 flight in Japan Wednesday when a computer system indicated a problem with the plane’s brakes. Last month, a United Airlines 787 flying from Houston to Newark, N.J., diverted to New Orleans because of an electrical problem with a power distribution panel.

Sinnett says the problems Boeing has seen so far with the 787 are similar to early issues with the Boeing 777, which was introduced in the mid-1990s.

The battery fire is of particular interest because lithium batteries generally have not been used on large planes before the 787. Sinnett says 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 Monday’s fire.




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Boeing has ‘extreme confidence’ in troubled 787

  1. I guess the problem I have with Harper’s renewal of the aerospace CERI subsidy ($250M), is it likely focuses on convential or nearer-term-new, aerospace products. We will have a lot of competition from the developing world here. The safest way to stay ahead of the curve, and admittedly we are handicapped as a nation by having big oil lobby for low corporate taxes and no resource/carbon pricing (preserving P.Martin-S.Harper era Gini forever)…we could stay ahead of Brazil and China by focusing more on basic aerospace R+D applications. This is basic materials science R+D and hopefully comemrcialization. UAVs can distribute fertilizer or plant clippings (or poison). Textiles in the form of nano-fibres are being used by NASA to fund air filtration and finally PPE technologies. This is the cheapest way to prepare for pandemics where the technologies aren’t dual use. Airports always involve a carbon intensive commute.

  2. “Boeing said Wednesday it has “extreme confidence” in its 787 Dreamliner”
    This must be one of the most disingenuous statements ever uttered.

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