Greetings, readers. The big airplane fan (me) is here to give you his point of view on Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. I have been keeping up with the production progress in the news for the last several years now. A recent documentary confirms that delivery was at least three years behind schedule. That in itself for a new aircraft is not unheard of. Let’s jump two or three years forward, to January 9, 2013, when I read a USA Today newspaper article listing all the problems that this brand new wonderful aircraft is experiencing. Today, I found a timeline of the USA Today reports for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on their website, but could not find the exact article to link for you. I hope the link I did add will work for you to get you to the timeline.
An abbreviated list of its woes include battery malfunctions that cause toxic fumes to be released into the cabin, debris falling onto the tarmac, a power generator failed during a flight, electronic system problems, and it can be a fire hazard. To me this is not a dream but a nightmare. As of Wednesday, the 17th of January, the whole fleet, I do believe, was grounded by the FAA so that all problems could be checked and fixed. Has the Boeing company built a modern version of the Ford Edsel; something that was supposed to be slightly ahead of its time but turned out to be a complete flop?
No doubt the fleets of 747 aircraft are aging and need to be replaced. The 757 was a very good craft, but no new ones are being produced. A good chunk of them are still being flown, but the 767 and 777 wide-body can fly more passengers at a time and earn more money per flight.
According to IMAX’s 45 minute film, Legends of Flight from 2010, which I viewed on Netflix, both the Boeing 787 and Boeing’s competition, the Airbus A380, had their growing pains. Airbus seemed to have come out on top faster than Boeing. To me this film was very entertaining and I got my first glimpse of the interiors of these two wonderful aircrafts. The whole idea was to get back to the glamorous days of air travel with bigger, more luxurious, seats some of which could be pulled out into a bed.
When my family in the 70s and 80s traveled by airplane, the 747 was in its glory. That was the airliner to take overseas. French company Airbus followed suit in the 90s with their A330 and A340 models. Those were Airbus’s long distance machines.
Do I think that air travel has become unsafe? Well, I’ve heard it said many times that you have more of a chance dying walking across a busy street than you do dying from an airplane crash. I still believe that is the case. Just like all new electronic things, there are bound to be kinks and gremlins, and of course the bigger the machine is, the more problems can arise. I’ve no doubt that Boeing will solve the 787’s woes quickly. If they don’t, Airbus could be poised to swoop in (no pun intended) and put our once mighty American plane manufacturer out of business.
Until next time, have a great day, take care, and happy reading.