Boeing’s 787 under review

WASHINGTON — United States regulators have ordered a review of the 787 Dreamliner plane after a series of incidents put a question mark over the safety of Boeing’s flagship plane.

The review by the Federal Aviation Administration will look at the design and manufacture of the planes.

It is not clear whether the planes in the air at the moment will be grounded.

An electrical fire, a brake problem, a fuel spill and cracks in the cockpit’s windshield have affected Dreamliner flights in the past week.

“We are absolutely confident in the reliability and performance of the 787,” Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel said. “We are working with the FAA and our customers to ensure we thoroughly understand any introductory issues that arise.

“While we take each issue seriously, nothing we’ve seen in service causes us to doubt the capabilities of the airplane.”

Painful process

Getting the Dreamliner to market was a slow and painful process.

Although it completed its first test flight back in December 2009, it was the autumn of 2011 before the plane was delivered to launch customer All Nippon Airways – more than four years late.

Conflicts with Boeing’s suppliers contributed to the delay in making the world’s first carbon-composite aircraft, but there were also plenty of technological hurdles.

Now it seems many of them have not yet been overcome, with ever more airline customers questioning whether the planes are sufficiently reliable, and indeed, whether they are even safe.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is one of the most advanced aeroplanes ever created. Much of it is made from very strong, light carbon-fibre composite material. (BBC)

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