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Boeing 787 Dreamliner Grounding and Updates and Opinions

5:02 pm in Uncategorized by Crane-Station

As we now know, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner entire in-service fleet is grounded for full NTSB inspection, an action pretty much unexpected, given that every new airplane takes years and years and years to perfect. Speculation abounds, perhaps with the problematic lithium batteries in the lead of the airplane’s “teething problems,” a term which, some shareholder dentists came up with. Or, better yet, “glitches,” those short-term, transient problems in products. Marketers prefer ‘glitches’ because it is comforting to a passing traveler to say to another, regarding the plane engulfed in flames on the tarmac, “Oh. That’s just a glitch.” The term “teething problems” is now called “real concern” (see video). It is not a cracked engine. It is a glitch. Those are not flames. Those are teething problems.Lithium battery fires? Glitch-teething problems.

This is by no means the first of the list of problems for the 787 Dreamliner. In 2009, regarding multiple production delays, the following problems were reported:

“Out of screws”

“Drink cart didn’t have enough room for Sprite”

“Fired the guy who knew how to make the engines” (note: There is always some bit of truth in satire)

“Seats weren’t that comfortable”

“Lost keys to room that has all the wings”

“Had to start over from scratch when someone noticed that all the stenciling read “Boring 787″”

Safety inspectors were able to see the strings”

In a more recent Onion article titled, American Voices, what do you think (about the Dreamliner), random statements include:

“What a piece of shit.”

Sherryl Parmelee –

“It’s a shame they don’t get that the so-called defects are Boeing’s deeper statement about the fragile nature of dreams and aircraft.”

Clayton Sanchez –
Rug Designer

“Why are they doing this? If they just let Sully fly those planes everything would be fine.”

Carlos Dixon –
Pearl Stringer

To be fair, here is the text of Boeing’s official statement on the current status and FAA investigation of the 787 Dreamliner:

BOEING SEATTLE, Jan. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Boeing (NYSE: BA) welcomes the progress being made in the 787 investigation discussed today by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in Washington, D.C. The regulatory and investigative agencies in the U.S. and Japan have dedicated substantial resources to these investigations, and we appreciate their effort and leadership.

Boeing continues to assist the NTSB and the other government agencies in the U.S. and Japan responsible for investigating two recent 787 incidents. The company has formed teams consisting of hundreds of engineering and technical experts who are working around the clock with the sole focus of resolving the issue and returning the 787 fleet to flight status. We are working this issue tirelessly in cooperation with our customers and the appropriate regulatory and investigative authorities. The safety of passengers and crew members who fly aboard Boeing airplanes is our highest priority.

In order to ensure the integrity of the process and in adherence to international protocols that govern safety investigations, we are not permitted to comment directly on the ongoing investigations. Boeing is eager to see both investigative groups continue their work and determine the cause of these events, and we support their thorough resolution.
Boeing deeply regrets the impact that recent events have had on the operating schedules of our customers and their passengers.
Marc Birtel
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
+1 425-266-5822

Christian Science Monitor:

Boeing 787 batteries seemed to clear a hurdle this week as US and Japanese officials came up with few answers in their initial probes into the Boeing 787′s battery fires. Some blame the company’s outsourcing strategy and a weak permitting process for the Boeing 787′s woes.


Dreamliner Flew Thanks To Lowered Safety Standards

Air India puts Boeing’s Dreamliner planes up for sale, leaseback

JAL 787 caught fire in Boston just 18 days after delivery from Boeing

The Japan Airlines (JAL) Boeing 787 that caught fire Jan. 7 in Boston had been in the airline’s possession for just 18 days.

More details about the fire and the aircraft are emerging as the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) provides further updates, but finding a cause for the blaze continues to be elusive for investigators.

The Science Behind Dreamliner’s Batteries
Jet’s Power Units Store a Lot of Energy in Small Package; Risks of Fire During Recharging

When I last posted about the 787 Dreamliner, I posed the hypothetical “Would the rich stockholders fly on a Dreamliner today?” Well, now, for the moment any way, the question is moot. Again, my opinion about this is the outsourcing. I believe in the 787, I really do. I see it as a ‘green,’ light and fuel efficient plane with great potential. But, quality control simply cannot hail from so many different sources, factories, and countries, because the regulations all vary, so no, I do not believe that selling work product to the lowest bidder to turn a huge profit for a very few is viable or ethical. We need the jobs to remain here.

Problems Continue with Boeing 787 Dreamliner

11:33 am in Uncategorized by Crane-Station

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s maiden flight from Boeing’s Everett, WA assembly plant.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a case study in what happens with outsourcing and what happens when corporate management takes the view that labor is a widget that can be replaced.

Reuters reports today that a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner was grounded earlier this week in Boston, due to a faulty fuel valve. Fuel shifted from the center tank to the left tank, and when the left tank filled, fuel “overflowed into a surge tank and out through a vent.” Passengers deplaned, and then the jet broke out in flames, ABC reported on Tuesday. Flames on an airplane sounds more Nightmareliner than Dreamliner. Analysts are now saying that the fire was related to lithium batteries and not the fuel leak. Still other reports clarify further and describe two different problems on two different JAL B-787 planes at around the same time. One analyst saying this and at the same time describing a completely separate problem describes the batteries, the fuel and the fire as “little glitches.” Others are calling it “teething problems.” At any rate, according to the Twitter feed, the FAA will investigate the 787′s electrical system, for starters.

“The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a long-range, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Its variants seat 210 to 290 passengers. Boeing states that it is the company’s most fuel-efficient airliner and the world’s first major airliner to use composite materials for most of its construction.[4] According to Boeing, the 787 consumes 20% less fuel than the similarly-sized 767.[5] Its distinguishing features include a four-panel windshield, noise-reducing chevrons on its engine nacelles, and a smoother nose contour. The 787 shares a common type rating with the larger 777 twinjet, allowing qualified pilots to operate both models, due to related design features.[6]” Source.

The troubled DreamlinerThe Boeing 787 heavy jet has been years in the making. Boeing was involved in contract negotiations with the union workers at the Everett plant several years ago, but the negotiations broke down. Boeing announced a decision to build a new assembly plant and relocate to another state. Everett and Boeing’s workers feared the worst: further economic depression and job loss for the town and community. The union workers responded with a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board NLRB, alleging that Boeing’s decision to move was in retaliation to the union workers and was outside the guidelines of labor relations. There was a hearing before the NLRB. The Boeing Company claimed otherwise, citing merely economic strategy, nothing more. The NLRB ruled against the Boeing Company, and foreclosed Boeing from the move.

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