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Thread: More 787 issues

  1. #1
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    More 787 issues

    Seems that the 787 is continuing to have more issues, with a JAL jet reporting a fire in Boston today (pictures of the smoke on the link below)

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    Hopefully I quick fix solution can be found, JAL have announced they've grounded their 787 fleet.
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    Haven't there been electrical problems before with the 787 before? I seem to remember there being some electrical system issues during the final stages of the flight test programme. Be solved soon I'm sure.
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    There was a problem with metal shavings on a power distribution board causing a short out on one of the test beds. The problem was identified and rectified with fixes rolled out across the parked fleet and now incorporated into production birds. This is something else. My bet is a faulty part in the auxiliary battery pack. Probably not a fleet wide issue, just bad luck.
    Last edited by Bmused55; 8th January 2013 at 17:50. Reason: correcting some technobabble
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt-100 View Post
    Hopefully I quick fix solution can be found, JAL have announced they've grounded their 787 fleet.
    I think that was bad media reporting - No one has grounded the 787, I am also pretty sure there is a JAL 787 up in the air right this minute.

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    It does read as very alarming, but as Bmused55 points out it is different components failing. It could very well be they fix one item, which moves to the next weakest link.

    It goes without saying that all aircraft experience teething difficulties, but I seriously hope the B787 doesn't continue teething.

    It seems that allowing marketing to hype up these projects during design has allowed any failures to be magnified to the public.

    Fix it Boeing, the B787 has grown on me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattGarner View Post
    I think that was bad media reporting - No one has grounded the 787, I am also pretty sure there is a JAL 787 up in the air right this minute.
    You are 100% correct, as today JAL flight 7 (BOS-NRT) had to return to the gate after a fuel leak.

    This route is fast becoming unlucky!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20950287
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    Perhaps the B787 is going to be like one of those old Aston Martins of the seventies and eighties, where the cars were released to customers only partly developed, leaving said customers to finish the process.

    That said, the B787's problems are becoming more serious and need to be sorted before any airline/consumer resistance builds against them.

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    787 has been in commercial service for 15 months now... Teething problems should be ironed out by now...
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    The A380 has been in service for years, yet they only just found out about the wing rib cracking last year. Your point?
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    Wing cracks on the A380 aren't teething problems - they are an in-service fatigue problem that have been discovered as the fleet accumulates hours and cycles. Almost every airframe has issues that arise as the fleet ages in service.

    On the other hand, exploding batteries on a Boeing Plastic Pig that is less than two months old, allied to United finding wiring issues associated with the batteries on one of its 787s, is indicative of something somewhat different. I wonder whether the manufacturing challenges that have plagued the Plastic Pig still haven't all been ironed out...? Such issues are teething problems and they should be gone by this stage of the airframe's maturity
    Last edited by Skymonster; 9th January 2013 at 10:58.
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    The airframe has only been in service for a few months. Traditionally, an airframe is only considered mature after 24 to 36 months. At which point most variables of in line service have been encountered, issues found and resolved. Even then, no airframe is really ever completely mature. ADs are published almost daily for nigs and nags on he A320 and 737. Some big, some small. But I'm sure you are aware of that.

    IMO, you are letting your personal opinion cloud your judgement on this. Naming it "Plastic Pig" does not exactly lend your comments any credibility.

    I do agree however, that an exploding battery is not something I'd expect to see at this stage.
    Last edited by Bmused55; 9th January 2013 at 12:25.
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    Today a domestic ANA flight was cancelled after the operating 787 experienced braking problems...
    http://www.news.com.au/world/all-nip...-1226550756632

    If Boeing and the operators don't do something fast - they're going to have a run-away-train or snowball effect on their hands. Where every single day there's a news article about a 787 fault.
    This is every airline's worst nightmare; as passengers (and more importantly business passengers who have schedules to keep) will potentially be actively seeking to avoid flying on the, brand new, aircraft.

    It will also be interesting to see if airlines defer delivery of the 787 and wait for the teething troubles to sort themselves out before committing to accepting the jets. Last year I was talking to the head of the power-plant division at BA engineering, he said every airline that had ordered the 787 was looking very closely at ANA and JAL (the then operators of the aircraft) to see what issues arise. I'm not saying they will, but it is possible BA will defer the 787. They've already deferred the A380 until after the wing-fix is available.
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    The Dreamliner witch hunt has begun.

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    As a passenger I have no particular `axe` to grind for either Boeing or Airbus other than the plane I'm on does not crash (and as a brit Rolls sell engines to both of them). However at this point in time the Dreamliner sounds a tad safer to me. The A380 had engine failures and wing cracking. The dreamliner a shorting battery and a bad brake. Sounds easier to rectify the Dreamliner than the 380 to my untrained and non technical eye ?

    BTW anyone care to list the faults of the 747 against a typical airbus of similar vintage?
    Last edited by hampden98; 9th January 2013 at 15:48.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hampden98 View Post
    However at this point in time the Dreamliner sounds a tad safer to me.
    The A380 may appear to have more reported issues - but then, that's only because of the statistics. There are almost 2x as many delivered A380s than 787s, plus the A380 has been flying far longer than the 787.

    As a passenger, I want to know whether or not I'll get to my destination on time. The 787 just can't guarantee that at the moment. I don't think there's a single operator who hasn't had to cancel multiple flights due to the 787.
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    The RR Trent probs are not confined to the A380. I've often wondered when teething problems become in service ones. Having flown on the A380 twice now, both Emirates machines, I've never felt unsafe on one, and would happily fly on another tomorrow. Having flown on both the A330, and the 777, from a passengers perspective, I noticed very little difference between the two, although my partner is convinced, that the 777 is noisier

    BTW, I understand from a friend of mine, who works as a technician for a based carrier at LHR, that their shortly to be delivered 787s are already tagged by some there as the 'Plastic Pig' A term of endearment I presume. I'd still like to fly on one, none the less.
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    Originally "Plastic Pig" was the nickname for the Reliant Robin three-wheeler car - body made of fibreglass... Hence the connection to the 787... I've flown on a United Airlines 787 and the flight didn't have any problems, though with the spate of problems the type is having I do wonder whether Boeing have yet to get over their production problems with the airframe
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    Both the aircraft (A380 and 787) are having seemingly difficult introduction to service ( the Qantas Engine 'explosion', wing ribs, wiring). However, with the A380 had less competition (with the 748 being smaller), Boeing must wonder how this will help the A350.

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    I too would quite like to fly on the 787, assuming there's not an important meeting/gathering I need to get to

    What I find most alarming and worrying about the 787, are the composites themselves.
    Studies have shown that composites fatigue exponentially after 10,000 airframe cycles (equivalent to 2 flights a day for 13 years). That life-span can be further reduced by rapid heating of the composite frame, eg from flying at -60 to being on the ground at +10 in the space of 30 minutes.

    Although, even though the materials do fatigue exponentially after 10k cycles, it may take as many as another 10,000 cycles before the effects begin to be felt. By which time (assuming it's not Aloha Airlines) it will probably be collecting dust in a desert.

    The A350 is far worse; as it's more of a mix of composites, fibreglass and conventional metals there are far more lines of weakness in the frame.

    One example of what can happen to stress overloaded composites, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqEccgR0q-o
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    The A320 flies about with composite primary structure and isn't parked after 20,000 cycles.

    I fail to see the relevance of the failure mode depicted in the video to the B787?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmused55 View Post
    My bet is a faulty part in the auxiliary battery pack. Probably not a fleet wide issue, just bad luck.
    You seem to know a lot about the B787. Or did you perhaps just read about it in a news article ?

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    I read an awful lot on aircraft
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmused55 View Post
    IMO, you are letting your personal opinion cloud your judgement on this. Naming it "Plastic Pig" does not exactly lend your comments any credibility.
    It's been called the plastic pig ever since it rolled out of the assembly shed.

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    As has the A380 been called the Whalejet, but I don't use it as it's disrespectful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThreeSpool View Post
    The A320 flies about with composite primary structure and isn't parked after 20,000 cycles.

    I fail to see the relevance of the failure mode depicted in the video to the B787?
    The A320 only has select composite parts (e.g. doors & nose cone), the fuselage is a dull aluminium alloy which may look like a composite on the production line but isn't (it's the same 'non-shiny' aluminium alloy used on the A330 and A380). On the A320, it's the aluminium (rather than the composites) that takes the strain of the pressurisation cycles. Because aluminium has some give in it (like all metals) it can stretch and contract as the pressure builds, this is not the case with the full composite 787 fuselage. After tens of thousands of cycles, small hairline cracks will appear in the composite.

    The blades of a wind turbine are made of similar composites to the 787, although the 787 will have been baked for longer and of course be laminated.
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    Name:  n_rf_000000_1_a320000_02_00.jpg
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    I don't understand? Your picture confirms the A320 fuselage is not made out of composites? There are select parts, yes, such as the vertical and horizontal stabilizers, the under-fuselage wing join and the undercarriage doors. But most of the strain from pressurisation will be felt by the aluminium alloys (shown in pale yellow).
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    Matt, these composite structures have been tested, tested and tested again. The FAA made Boeing jump through many more hoops to gain certification than they would have with a traditional aluminium frame and skin construction.

    In that video you posted, those blades would have been going supersonic. An impact at that speed would turn an aluminium fuselage into mincemeat as much as it would with a carbon composite fuselage.

    A more like for like comparison (although still not really relevant) would be the GOL 1907 crash.
    A brand new Embraer Legacy collided with a brand new Boeing 737-800.
    The Embraer's carbon composite wing tip impacted and sliced clean through the aluminium wing of the 737.

    The Embraer landed, the 737 spiralled to earth and broke apart with the stresses.
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