The 787 news – perspective pleaseBy IAG | December 14th, 2012 | Posted in Aviation News | 2 Comments
You got to hand it to Boeing – few companies have had to go a baptism of fire like they have. The 787 has brought one headache after another. Yesterday was especially trying. Qatar flew its first 787 service to Heathrow. But, Qatar's most recent 787 on a delivery flight a few days before, experienced an electric event and had to land in the UK for repairs. At the time of the airline's flight to London, with its ever opinionated boss on board, the new airplane was still grounded pending repairs.
So while Boeing has a black eye from the electrical events on the 787 over the past few weeks, it took U-Turn Al to kick them in the face. Talk about bad luck – worse than the event was the customer it happened to. Nothing seems to make him happier than ripping into an OEM vendor. Look at the difference in reaction between United and Qatar to their events. Guess who Boeing is going to be happy to be working with to overcome these issues? And who can blame them?
The 787 is an all electric airplane. No airplane before has been as sophisticated – its systems are ground breaking. Yes Boeing, and its customers, don't like these "events". But the airplane has landed every time – safely. There are so many backup systems that the airplane remains fundamentally safe. Just as the various government certification agencies said it is. We can expect more events as the airplane's hours and customers grow. That's what happens. And its OK.
Provided of course that there are no fatalities and Boeing solves each problem quickly, the 787 program is just fine and in better shape than its been since the start.