Boeing Dreamliner fire: Just a bunch of smoke?

The new Boeing Dreamliner 787 sits on the tarmac at Manchester Airport during it's tour of the world on April 24, 2012 in Manchester, England.

Boeing has suffered another setback with its new Dreamliner 787  aircraft.  A fire broke out on a Japan Airlines plane after it landed  in Boston, following a flight from Tokyo. The fire, which started after passengers and crew had disembarked, is believed to have been caused by an overheated battery in the jet’s auxiliary power  system.

This is the latest in a series of technical problems for the Dreamliner. Last year, a United Airlines flight was forced to make  an emergency landing because of an electrical fault. Qatar Airways grounded one of its 787’s for the same reason. And the U.S. aviation regulator has identified errors in the plane’s fuel line coupling.

Laurie Price of consulting firm Mott MacDonald says the latest fire is a major blow for Boeing but not entirely unexpected:

“Most new aircraft coming in will have some teething problems at some stage during the introductory phase and we’re still in that phase with this aircraft," says Price.

At least one other Dreamliner flight from Japan to the U.S.  is reported to have been cancelled today.

 

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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