Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Boeing 787 Dreamliner catches fire in Boston airport
A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Japan Airlines caught fire at Logan Airport in Boston after it landed following a flight from Tokyo.
The cause of the fire was an explosion of a battery used to power the plane's electric systems. Besides the mechanic, no one else was onboard when the smoke was discovered.
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.
According to Boeing, the 787 consumes 20% less fuel than the similarly-sized 767. 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. (Wikipedia)
It relies heavily on electrical power to drive onboard systems that in other jet models are run by air pressure generated by the engines. During testing, it also suffered electrical problems that prompted a redesign.
The Dreamliner has suffered a string of mishaps with electrical systems in recent weeks. On December 4, a United Airlines flight from Houston to Newark, New Jersey, made an emergency landing after it appeared that one of its power generators failed. On December 13, Qatar Airways said it had grounded one of its three 787 jets because of the same problem United had experienced. On December 17, United said that a second 787 in its fleet had developed electrical issues. (The Star)
According to Wikipedia, the primary users of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner are All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, United Airlines and Qatar Airlines.
Analysts said this latest incident was a major blow to Boeing. What if the fire happened in the air? Scary thought, huh?
Image source: The Star