Boeing 787 Screamliner
The Boeing 787 – the first of which took to the skies in September 2011 – is said to be one of the most advanced, quietest and most fuel efficient airliners ever. On paper its specifications fitted the “Dreamliner” tag perfectly, prompting the most pre-launch orders ever for a wide-body passenger jet, 677. But it hasn’t been all plain sailing.
Production of the 787 Dreamliner has suffered a number of setbacks since its inception in 2003. Several design and logistical problems led to a number of delivery delays. And to add insult to injury, the few 787s that has been delivered has been grounded for various manufacturing faults, turning the Dreamliner into a “Screamliner.”
Who’s to blame? Business Insider points out that American companies only make the front and the rear of the 787. The rest – including the avionics, centre fuselage, wings and engines – are produced in other countries. Is it a case of too many cooks spoil the broth?
To date, only 49 of the 848 Dreamliners ordered have been delivered. Perhaps just as well. Reports of battery explosions, leaking fuel, leaking oil, electrical failures, computer glitches and even a cracked cockpit window took the air out of the wings. Japan’s two biggest airlines – All Nipon Airways (17 x 787) and Japan Airlines (7 x 787) – grounded all the Dreamliners after ANA flight NH 692 had to make an emergency landing.
The $200 million Dreamliner is a very attractive piece of flight engineering. On paper it looks unbeatable. Boeing insists that the reported issues are “teething problems.” Tell that to screaming passengers!