AP Airlines Writer
NEW YORK (AP) – Boeing’s Dreamliner has had a nightmare of a week, capped off Friday with a decision by the Federal Aviation Administration to review everything from the design to manufacturing of the new airplane.
Government officials were quick to say that the plane is safe _ nearly 50 of them are in the skies now. However, a fire Monday and subsequent spate of technical problems raised enough questions to prompt this highly unusual review. None of the airlines using the 787, nicknamed by Boeing the Dreamliner, have plans to stop flying it during the government’s inquiry.
The technologically advanced plane was delayed for more than three years. Boeing delivered the first one in late 2011. The company is ramping up production to build 10 787s per month in Washington state and South Carolina by the end of the year.
The Dreamliner promises passengers a more comfortable travel experience. For the airlines, the plane’s fuel-efficiency allows them to economically connect secondary cities.
Below are questions and answers about the 787 and the issues that led to the FAA’s action Friday.
Q: Why is the FAA reviewing the 787?
A: The battery pack on a Japan Airlines 787 ignited Monday shortly after the flight landed at Boston’s Logan International Airport. Passengers had already left the plane but it took firefighters 40 minutes to put out the blaze. There were separate issues on other planes this week _ fuel and oil leaks, a cracked cockpit window and a computer glitch that erroneously indicated a brake problem.
Q: Is the plane safe?
A: “I believe this plane is safe and I would have absolutely no reservations about boarding one of these planes and taking a flight,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Friday. Boeing insists that the 787’s problems are no worse than what it experienced when its 777 was new in the mid-1990s. That plane is now one of its top-sellers and is well-liked by airlines.
Q: What’s different about the 787?
A: Half of the 787 is made from carbon fiber composites which are lighter but stronger than the aluminum used in traditional planes. That means the plane burns less fuel, a big selling point because fuel is an airline’s biggest expense. The extra strength allows for larger windows and a more comfortable cabin pressure. Composites don’t rust like aluminum, so the humidity in the cabin humidity can be up to 16 percent, double a typical aircraft. That means fewer dry throats and stuffy noses.
Q: Does any other plane use composites?
A: Composites are used in smaller amounts on most modern planes. Rival plane maker Airbus is designing its own lightweight composite jet, the A350, but that jet is still several years away from flying.
Q: How many 787s are there?
A: Boeing has delivered 50 planes so far. Another 798 are on order. The company plans to be building 10 each month by the end of this year.
Q: Who flies the 787?
A: Japan’s All Nippon Airways is the largest operator of the plane. United is the first U.S. airline customer with six. Air India, Ethiopian Airlines, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines and Qatar Airways also fly the plane.
AP writers Joshua Freed in Minneapolis and Joan Lowy in Washington contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon