JAL Boeing 787 fire breaks out at Boston Logan Airport
Dear Captain Lim,
I found out on the Boeing 787 website that states how safe and innovative the aircraft is, then I heard from the news that 2 Boeing 787s of Japan Airlines had problems!
One of the aircraft had fuel leak before air-borne while the other one had fire in the cabin on the ground?
Is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner safe?
Anthony (Hong Kong)
These are some of the teething problems and they are foreseen with any new aircraft program. It happened on the Airbus A330, A380 and Boeing 777 as well. Does it mean that all these planes are unsafe to fly on too?
Commercially, all manufacturers would claim that their new planes are very safe. Indeed they have designed them with all the best and safest features available but all such defects do have some element of human or manufacturing errors that are sometimes difficult to foresee.
For instance, the fire incidence above was attributed to the introduction of the lithium ion battery which has higher energy than previous ones used on the Boeing 777s. The battery was used to start the APU (auxillary power unit) which also provides the back up lightings. It is believed that it has problems in the charging and discharging processes that wasn't foreseen. That resulted in the fire that apparently was caused by some electrical arcing whilst the plane was on the ground after all the passengers have left the plane.
Meanwhile ANA, JAL and Qatar Airways are among the largest customers of the Dreamliners out of the 800 plus firm orders worldwide. As far as I know, none of these airlines has made any cancellations because of the current problems yet.
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