Dreamliner Reliability Still Not Satisfactory, Boeing Says

Boeing says Dreamliner reliability still not satisfactory
Bruce Smith/AP
OSLO, Norway -- The reliability of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner is slowly improving but it is still not at a satisfactory level and the firm is working to improve the jet's performance, Mike Fleming, Boeing's (BA) vice president for 787 support and services said.

The Dreamliner's reliability rate is now around 98 percent, meaning that two out of every 100 flights is delayed, above the 97 percent reported in October but still short of the firm's target, Fleming told a news conference in Oslo.

"I'll tell you that's not where we want the airplane to be, we're not satisfied with that reliability level of the airplane, the 777 today flies at 99.4 percent ... and that's the benchmark that the 787 needs to attain," Fleming said.

The Dreamliner was supposed to be a game-changer for the aviation industry as its lightweight body and sophisticated engines cut fuel consumption by 20 percent.

But it has been beset by problems, including a battery fire that grounded the model for three months last year and forced Boeing to redesign the battery.

Norwegian Air, the only European budget carrier to fly long haul, has been especially badly hit after a long string of breakdowns last year left passengers stranded around the world.

Also, this month Japan Airlines' maintenance crew noticed white smoke coming from the main battery of a Dreamliner with a battery cell showing signs of melting just two hours before the plane was due to fly.


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jnjnvegas

NEVER NEVER NEVER APPROVE ANY AIRPLANE FOR SERVOCE UNLESS ALL "BUGS" ARE SHAKEN OUT AND THAT CERTAINLY INCLUDES BATTERIES.

January 24 2014 at 3:50 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
progressivehoax

Hopefully they can correct these reliability/safety issues.

January 24 2014 at 11:30 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to progressivehoax's comment
Ed Gains

Very insightful comment, Commander Obvious.

January 26 2014 at 10:12 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
SPQR

I hope they carry spares on board

January 24 2014 at 10:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
doclowell

The lithium ion batteries are made by Yuasa in japan. They can internaly react and short. They produce very high current density when working properly and can not be easily replaced with much heavier and larger lead acid batteries.

January 24 2014 at 10:03 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to doclowell's comment
rgkarasiewicz

Well, those lithium ion batteries unfortunately are not working properly. As far as the much heavier and larger lead acid types, they will just have to make accomodations. They're not getting anywhere fast this way.

January 24 2014 at 10:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rgkarasiewicz's comment
bakeland

Lead-acid batteries are no longer used in anything but automobiles and ground equipment.

NiMH is the earlier but heavier battery technology most used.

Lithion ion batteries develop "dendrites" that penetrate the mesh containing the electrolyte, These "dendrites" grow like crystals and eventually short out the cell. This is the cause of overheating.

January 24 2014 at 10:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down
rgkarasiewicz

Get an ampmeter and check the current draw! Is there a ground in the system? If not, then get on the horn and replace that main battery with a standard one! Good grief! Such obstinate management!

January 24 2014 at 9:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan Daily

Still battery melt downs? Huh, maybe the engineer they fired was right. eh? Imagine that.

January 24 2014 at 9:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply