Fifty of the most advanced commercial aircraft in the world are still grounded this week as Boeing continues to investigate an alarming battery malfunction that affected two Japanese carriers, forcing one All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight to make an emergency landing earlier this month.
Since entering service in 2011, the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing’s newest widebody aircraft, has suffered a number of “teething problems” such as fuel leaks and electrical issues. But a severe battery fire on an ANA Dreamliner has led authorities to scrutinize the plane’s design and Boeing’s production techniques. A Senate committee is schedule to probe the FAA’s decision to allow Boeing to use such a highly-flammable lithium-ion battery on the Dreamliner.
Considering all of the problems that have plagued the Dreamliner; is it possible the aircraft is almost too advanced for its own good, especially if the technology aboard the plane outstrips sensible safety protocols?
If you ask Boeing CTO John Tracy, he would most likely express confidence in the plane’s safety. At last year’s Big Science Summit, Tracy discussed the rigorous concept studies that go into designing an aircraft like the 787 Dreamliner.