787 update

This afternoon, our Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney provided a statement after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency airworthiness directive that requires U.S. 787 operators to temporarily cease operations and recommends other regulatory agencies to follow suit. I wanted to share his comments with you.

The safety of passengers and crew members who fly aboard Boeing airplanes is our highest priority.

Boeing is committed to supporting the FAA and finding answers as quickly as possible. The company is working around the clock with its customers and the various regulatory and investigative authorities. We will make available the entire resources of The Boeing Company to assist.

We are confident the 787 is safe and we stand behind its overall integrity. We will be taking every necessary step in the coming days to assure our customers and the traveling public of the 787’s safety and to return the airplanes to service.

Boeing deeply regrets the impact that recent events have had on the operating schedules of our customers and the inconvenience to them and their passengers.

Comments (9)

Tim K (Ont Can):

What I don't understand is this battery issue. A plane must go through a rigorous flight test program before it gets certified for flight, you spend years designing, developing and testing every component of a plane but somehow this battery issue only pops up during normal flight operations of a commercial airliner.

I think the big question we all have is how was this missed?

V V (Montréal, Québec):

I think there is not any fundamental flaw in the design and guessed the following possible cause:

- a discharging-recharging cycle that is not properly defined. A software adjustment might be needed to 1- have better charging sequence (or management) to protect the battery 2- manage better the aircraft electrical load (load balancing). I don't like to see an aircraft using the battery in flight.

- a rogue batch of battery. That's bad luck or needs better quality control.

Recently, I also heard about a variant of the Li-ion battery, it is called Lithium-Titanate. It seems that this kind of battery behaves better in term of discharging and recharging. It can also generate more amperage. However, the energy density is lower than Li-ion battery.

In any case, I hope you will be able to solve the issue quickly.

Corey A (Honolulu, Hawaii, USA):

I think I speak for a lot of aviation fans when I say we are disappointed and hurt by the news of the grounding by the FAA.

Speaking for myself as an avid fan of Boeing, I really wanted to love this airplane and the program behind it. It was a painful, laborious process just to get plane 1 assembled and flying. Its EIS was 3 years behind, and there were so many concerns during construction that Boeing may have bitten off more than it could chew. I was thrilled to see Dreamliner 1 take off on that December day and thought the tough part was behind us. I am really surprised and taken aback that systems testing did not catch the problems related to the batteries that have grounded the fleet. I want this bird to be in the skies where it belongs, but my heart sank when I saw those emergency slides deploy on Japanese TV.

Please Boeing, your credibility with the flying public is at an all time low. I've never seen an entire fleet of airplanes grounded and I hope this time will be the last. Please make sure there are no more problems with the Dreamliner. Please use all your engineering resources to bring this program back to life. BCA can't afford anymore set backs and if the Dreamliner fails, I fear BCA may not be too far behind.

Jozsef Meszaros (Gyomro, Hungary):

I am heart-broken because of this issue with the Dreamliner... on the other hand, technical failures are no surprise with any machine (and the starter battery of the auxiliary power unit seems to be only a little weakness of the 787)... in the coming decades it will be always an interesting challenge to improve the Dreamliner...

Jon Grams (Colorado Springs):

Definitely some growing pains here with the 787, but not surprising given the advanced nature of the aircraft. However,I did want to post this recent, glowing passenger review of the 747-8 Intercontinental, which should give every Boeing fan a boost at this time: (from A-net) Quote by NA from Germany:

"Came back from Delhi yesterday. And I must say that the 748I is awesome, the best plane I have ever been on. I had a seat on the upper deck, 84C just behind the emergency exits, and no seatmate next to me...

The plane is quiet except the ac on altitude being noisy, during takeoff and landing its very quiet, the most quiet plane I´ve ever been on. On the upper deck I didnt hear the engines at all except a distant hum during takeoff...

Sum-up: A shame that not more airlines get the 748 as it offers so much more than a 77W ever could. Ok, I am a 747 fan, buts thats only half the reason of why I say so. Its just the pure truth that the 748I offers the high-yield passenger superior cabin options a 77W or the future A351 by concept just cant. The 748I has made me even more of a 747 supporter than I ever was."

I'm looking forward to increased sales of the 748!

Thiagarajan K Rengasamy (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia):

Felt sad on this issue but I have the full confidence in Boeing to address this area of concern.

Edwin B. Shykind (Silver Spring, MD (Washington, DC)):

As a formers science advisor in severall administratiions, the problem of Li battery fires came up related to emergency transponders powered by Li batteries. The only battery which was not affected in flight was a battery made by Tadrian (An Israeli company). Perhaps there is something in their batteries that may give a clue to the solving the present situation. I suspect that it is related to the pressure change. In any case it may be something to look a.

Norman (Long Beach, CA):

It looks like the teething problems are significant when it comes to the 787 and the strangest thing is that it has been over a year since the the 787 came into service so I don't know why the battery problems are happening right now with about 50 787s in service. I certainly have faith that the situation will be resolved by the Boeing engineers right away and for good.

Freddy Hagens (Kirkland, WA):

Boeing has been around since 1916. We have solved the most difficult problems imaginable in aviation and have an incredibly legacy as a safety first aircraft company. I am sure we will overcome this slight hurdle of a battery issue with flying colors. Experts from all around the company are tackling it 24/7 as you read this.

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