Boeing Responds to Al Jazeera English Documentary on 787

Boeing issued the following statement prior to the airing of the television program on Al Jazeera English. The company will not be providing any further comment.

We have not been afforded the opportunity to view the full program, but the promotional trailer and published media reviews suggest that what has been produced is as biased a production as we have seen in some time. It is unfortunate that the producers of this television program appear to have fallen into the trap of distorting facts, relying on claims rejected by courts of law, breathlessly rehashing as “news” stories that have been covered exhaustively in the past and relying on anonymous sources who appear intent only on harming The Boeing Company.
When first contacted by the producers, we accommodated them in order for them to produce a fair and objective report including facilitating factory access, interviews and providing full and open responses to their questions. The 787 is an outstanding airplane delivering value to our customers, but we have also talked candidly in public about its challenging development process. There are no tougher critics about our early performance than Boeing.

Unfortunately, the reporting team appears to have chosen to take advantage of our trust and openness and abused their position from the outset by deliberately misrepresenting the purpose, objective and scope of their planned coverage.

This specious production appears to have ignored the factual information provided by Boeing and instead based the majority of its reporting on unnamed sources pursuing their own agendas and a disgruntled former employee engaged in a legal dispute with Boeing. In one instance, the producers resorted to ambush tactics normally seen only in tabloid-style TV news. The anonymous sources the TV program depends on are clearly working with those who seek to harm Boeing and its workers. They appear to have no real interest in truth, safety or better informing the public.

Even on-the-record sources seem to have changed their stories for the producers. For example, former Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) President Cynthia Cole said this about the 787’s first flight in 2009: “Today’s flight is a testament to the skill, hard work and diligence Boeing employees put in to get this airplane ready to fly,” SPEEA President Cynthia Cole said in a news release. “Boeing returned to engineering, and that’s what made today possible and successful.” Now, she states in the documentary trailer that Boeing “shortchanged the engineering process.”

Instead of an objective view of the 787’s development, viewers and our employees will see a television program that is neither balanced nor accurate in its portrayal of the airplane, our employees, or our suppliers. This program and those involved with it do a disservice to the hard-working men and women of Boeing and our supplier partners who designed and build the 787.

Furthermore, the program presents a false impression of Boeing South Carolina and the quality of work performed there. Airplanes, whether delivered from South Carolina or Washington, meet the highest safety and quality standards that are verified through robust test, verification and inspection processes. Our data of the current 787 fleet in service show parity in the quality and performance of airplanes manufactured in both locations.

Source:  Boeing Media Room

 

Boeing 787 – Broken Dreams?

Exclusive: Safety concerns dog Boeing 787
Al Jazeera Investigative Unit finds some workers with quality concerns, alleging drug use and fearing to fly the plane.

Al Jazeera has found that some Boeing workers have serious concerns about the safety of the 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft.

In a new documentary, Broken Dreams: The Boeing 787, current and retired Boeing employees discuss their worries about quality control with Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit.

Boeing’s 787 “Dreamliner”, which made its first commercial flight in late 2011, has been dogged with problems since plans for its launch were announced in 2003.
Two battery failures in January 2013 sparked safety fears and led to fleets being temporarily grounded worldwide for over three months.

Boeing says it does not compromise on product safety or quality.

Whistleblower
A worker at one of two Boeing 787 assembly lines in Charleston, in the US state of South Carolina, contacted Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit to share his worries about the “Dreamliner”.
The worker, speaking on condition of anonymity, says “with all the problems reported on the 787, there’s 90 percent that’s getting swept away”.

He describes the troubles with the plane as “an iceberg”. He claims only 10 percent of problems are visible to the flying public, with the rest “hushed up”.
“I’ve seen a lot of things that should not go on at an airplane plant,” the worker says. “It’s been eating me alive to know what I know, and have no avenue, no venue to say anything.”

In a statement to Al Jazeera, Boeing says that “787 airplanes delivered from both South Carolina and Washington final assembly and delivery operations meet the highest safety and quality standards that are verified through robust test, verification and inspection processes”.

Ten of 15 ‘wouldn’t fly’

Using a concealed camera, the worker films inside the Boeing South Carolina plant, recording his discussions with colleagues.

He randomly asks 15 of his co-workers who assemble the 787 “Dreamliner” if they would fly on the plane. Ten say they would not.

“I wouldn’t fly on one of these planes,” one worker tells him, “because I see the quality of the fu**ing sh*t going down around here”.
Another worker replies, “it’s sketchy”. Asked what he means, the worker adds, “yeah I probably would, but I kind of have a death wish too”.

A third says of the 787s assembled at South Carolina, “we’re not building them to fly. We’re building them to sell. You know what I’m saying?”

Larry Loftis, Boeing Vice President and General Manager of the 787 “Dreamliner” Program, told Al Jazeera, “The number one focus that we have at Boeing is ensuring the continued safe airworthiness of an airplane, the integrity of the airplane and the quality of the airplane going out”.

Drugs
The Boeing worker also says that he is concerned that some of his colleagues are on drugs, saying he has seen “people talking about doing drugs, looking for drugs”, specifically marijuana, cocaine and prescription painkillers.
In the footage, he records one man saying: “It’s all coke and painkillers” at the plant, adding, “you can get weed here, you can get some really good weed here”.

Another complains that Boeing “don’t drug test nobody”, adding that “there’s people that go out there on lunch and smoke one up”.

In 2011, US federal agents raided a separate Boeing plant in Philadelphia as part of a drugs investigation. They arrested dozens of workers at the facility, which builds aircraft including the H-47 Chinook helicopter and the V-22 Osprey.

In a statement to Al Jazeera, Boeing says “drug testing of employees is done in accordance with Boeing policy and procedures across all facilities in accordance with applicable laws. Boeing thoroughly investigates any employee reports of policy deviation, and appropriate corrective action is taken if needed.”

Memo
A memo obtained by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit also shows that in 2010, Boeing altered its quality standards at a time when the 787 was already two years delayed.

The source of the memo, a veteran Boeing engineer, says it reveals that the company “changed basic engineering principles to meet schedule”.

On seeing the document, another long-time Boeing engineer says “they’re short-changing the engineering process to meet a schedule… I find that reprehensible”.

Cynthia Cole, former president of Boeing’s engineers union SPEEA, adds that she would no longer fly on a Boeing 787. “I’ve been kind of avoiding flying on a 787 and seeing this, I would definitely avoid flying on a 787.”
Boeing says its memo is fully consistent with the company’s robust quality assurance system. “While we will not discuss in detail our proprietary production processes, we note that the document itself concludes by saying that the process changes ‘do not signify authorisation to ship or accept parts which do not meet engineering and quality requirements.’ ”

The company also says that it uses one, FAA-approved quality system for the 787 in both of its assembly plants.

Source:  Al Jazeera

Boeing Rolls Out First Dreamliner at Increased Production Rate

Boeing has rolled out the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner built at the rate of 10 airplanes per month. The airplane, a 787-8 and the 155th Dreamliner built, will be delivered to International Lease Finance Corp. for operation by Aeromexico.

The new 10 per month rate is the highest ever for a twin-aisle airplane. The 787 program has now increased its production rate three times in just over a year, including to five airplanes per month in November 2012 and seven per month in May 2013.

“This rate increase reflects the continued strong demand for the 787,” said Larry Loftis, vice president and general manager, 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “A disciplined approach that combined employee teamwork with technology was key to achieving the higher rate.”

Boeing assembles and delivers 787s in two locations: Everett, Wash., and North Charleston, S.C.

To date, 115 787s have been delivered to 16 customers. The program has 1,030 total orders from 60 customers worldwide.

This airplane will be the fourth 787 operated by Aeromexico and will be used on the airline’s Mexico City – London Heathrow route.

Source:  Debbie Heathers – Boeing Media Room.

 

And this time….The Dreamliner, almost landed at the wrong airport.

The incident occurred last Jan 14th, with an Air India Boeing 787-800 performing flight AI-301 from Sydney to Melbourne – Australia.  The Dreamliner was descending towards Melbourne when the crew requested a VOR approach to runway 34 but was cleared for a visual approach to runway 34. The aircraft aligned with Melbourne’s Essendon Airport’s runway 35 (1,500 meters/4930 feet length) and descended towards that runway when the air traffic controller interevened instructing the crew to turn left and subsequently telling the crew their runway was in their 2 o’clock position, they were still cleared for the visual approach runway 34. The aircraft turned towards the correct runway, climbed slightly from about 1300 to 1500 feet and landed safely on Melbourne’s runway 34 (length 3660 meters / 12.000 feet).

Following the Air India, air traffic control repeatedly asked approaches whether they were able to see the aerodrome beacon.

The ATSB did not open an investigation stating the system worked as it was supposed to do.

air_india_b788_vt-anm_melbourne_140114_mapymml_lizzi7_u_v_star

Source:  The Aviation Heraldymml_lizzi7_u_v_star

Boeing Brings the 787-9 to Kiwi Soil.

Boeing picked the ideal location for the 787-9 Dreamliner to make its international debut in the flight-test program. The newest member of the Dreamliner family flew nonstop from Seattle to Auckland – the longest 787-9 flight to date — to pay a visit to launch customer Air New Zealand.

“Boeing is proud to bring the 787-9 to Auckland to show Air New Zealand what the team has achieved,” said Mark Jenks, vice president, 787 Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With more than 150 flights and since testing began in September, the test fleet continues to perform very well, and we look forward to delivering the first 787-9 in mid-2014 as promised.”

With the 787 set to become a staple of Air New Zealand’s long-haul fleet, this visit was an opportunity for the airline’s technical and flight crews to get hands-on time with the 787-9. Air New Zealand employees explored the airplane side by side with their Boeing partners — a unique opportunity not just to see their airplane, but to view a 787-9 configured for testing, unlike anything they would see in service.

“Having one of Air New Zealand’s 787-9s touch down on Kiwi soil for the first time is hugely exciting,” said Christopher Luxon, chief executive officer, Air New Zealand. “It’s a real reminder that we will soon welcome the first of these more modern, fuel-efficient aircraft into our fleet.”

The airplane, ZB002, is the second of three 787-9s dedicated to the test program, which began last September. As the only 787-9 test airplane to be fitted with elements of the passenger interior, in addition to test racks and instrumentation, Boeing uses ZB002 to test the environmental control system and other aspects of airplane performance. After the test program is complete, the airplane will be reconfigured for delivery to Air New Zealand.

The 787-9 will complement and extend the 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 6 meters (20 feet) over the 787-8, the 787-9 will fly up to 40 more passengers an additional 555 kilometers (300 nmi) with the same exceptional environmental performance — 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes. The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering passengers features such as large windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.

Boeing is on track to deliver the first 787-9 to Air New Zealand in mid-2014. Twenty-six customers from around the world have ordered 402 787-9s, representing 39 percent of all 787 orders.

By Adam Tischler, Tim Bader, and Julie O’Donnell

Boeing Media Room

Boeing 747-8 an 787 Dreamliner – High Altitude Icing

Fifteen airlines have been warned about the risk of ice forming on Boeing’s new 747-8 and 787 Dreamliner.

The issue – affecting some types of engines made by General Electric when planes fly near high-level thunderstorms – prompted Japan Airlines to cancel two international routes.

There have been six incidents since April when aircraft powered by GE engines lost power at high altitude.

The Boeing 747-8 series and the new 787 Dreamliner are the only types of aircraft affected by the high-altitude icing issue.

The new warning was given to airlines including Lufthansa, United Airlines and Japan Airlines.

It says aircraft with the affected engines – GE’s GEnx – must not be flown within 50 nautical miles of thunderstorms that may contain ice crystals.

As a result, Japan Airlines (JAL) has decided to withdraw Dreamliners from service on the Tokyo-Delhi and Tokyo-Singapore routes.

“Boeing and JAL share a commitment to the safety of passengers and crews on board our airplanes. We respect JAL’s decision to suspend some 787 services on specific routes,” a Boeing spokesman said, according to Reuters news agency.

A GE spokesman told the agency the aviation industry was experiencing “a growing number of ice-crystal icing encounters in recent years as the population of large commercial airliners has grown, particularly in tropical regions of the world”.

He said GE and Boeing were hoping to eliminate the problem by modifying the engine control system software.

British airways use Rolls Royce engines on their Dreamliners. They are not affected by the warning, says the BBC’s Ben Geoghegan.

Despite the issues, the Dreamliner is still considered to be one of the most advanced planes in the industry and remains popular.

Boeing has received orders for more than 1,000 jets since its launch.

Last month, it announced plans to raise production of the 787 Dreamliner to 12 per month by 2016.

That would be an increase from its target for the end of this year of 10 planes a month.

Source:  Reuters

Again, the Dreamliner

Two Japan Airline’s Boeing 787’s returned to their departure airports due to technical issues

Both incidents occurred on October 9, the first event happened when the flight crew discovered a failure on the electrical system right after takeoff, the problem affected power to the galleys and lavatories, the aircraft had to return to Moscow’s Domodedovo Int’l.

The other Dreamliner returned to San Diego when the on board computer detected a failure on the right engine anti-ice system. The other jet, registration JA825J, turned back to San Diego when an alert indicating a failure.

Although both aircraft returned to service after the necessary maintenance actions, both flight were considerably delayed, according to a JAL spokesperson.

JAL is one of the largest 787 operators in the world with 11 787-8s in its fleet. The Japanese carrier also has an additional 13 -8s and 20 of the larger -9 variants on order.

The carrier made the news this week when it signed a landmark deal with Airbus for 31 A350s, its first ever Airbus order. Analysts say reliability issues related to the 787 played a part in turning the loyal Boeing customer towards Airbus.

Capt. Ivan

 

After 787 Problems, JAL turns to Airbus

Japan Airlines is buying its first-ever jets from Airbus in a deal with a list value of 950 billion yen ($9.5 billion US). The purchase of 31 A350 planes deals a blow to U.S. rival Boeing, which had been JAL’s star supplier for decades.

Airbus chief Executive and president Fabrice Bregier and Japan Airlines President Yoshiharu Ueki signed the deal Monday in Tokyo, which includes an option for JAL to buy 25 more Airbus planes. They declined to give the actual price tag on the deal.

Ueki said the decision to turn to the European manufacturer, based in Toulouse, France, for replacements for retiring Boeing 777 jets was unrelated to the problems that have plagued Boeing’s rival offering, the 787 Dreamliner planes.

The 787 jets were grounded for four months earlier this year to confirm their safety after their lithium-ion batteries overheated. The batteries are now encased to prevent overheating from spreading.

The 787 development was also repeatedly delayed, frustrating JAL as well as rival All Nippon Airways, Japan’s other major carrier.

“We are sorry for the troubles we have caused our customers with the 787, but the decision on the aircraft was considered separately from that issue,” Ueki told reporters.

He repeatedly said the A350 was chosen because it was the “best match for our needs.”

He brushed off concerns about the additional training JAL pilots will need to fly Airbus planes, which they are not used to. Even after taking such costs and risks into account, the A350 was the best choice, he said without giving specifics.

Source:  AP

Photo Credits:  AP

Dreamliner 787-9 First Flight – Video

boeing-dreamliner-787-9Ahead of schedule, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner took to the skies for the first time last Tuesday, beginning a comprehensive flight-test program leading to certification and delivery in mid-2014.

With its distinctive new Boeing livery, the newest member of the efficient 787 family completed a 5-hour, 16-minute flight, taking off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., at 11:02 a.m. local time and landing at 4:18 p.m. at Seattle’s Boeing Field.

“Today’s first flight marks a significant milestone for our team, including our partners,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer Ray Conner. “We are tremendously proud to have our customers fly the 787-9 and look forward to delivery of the first airplane to Air New Zealand next year.”

During Tuesday’s flight, 787-9 Senior Project Pilot Mike Bryan and 787 Chief Pilot Randy Neville departed to the north, reaching an altitude of 20,400 feet (6,218 meters) and an airspeed of 250 knots, or about 288 miles (463 kilometers) per hour, customary for a first flight. While Capts. Bryan and Neville tested the airplane’s systems and structures, onboard equipment transmitted real-time data to a flight-test team on the ground in Seattle.

“We accomplished a lot in this flight, and it went really well,” said Bryan. “The 787-9 is a great jet and we wanted to just keep on flying.”

Powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, the first 787-9 will be joined in flight test by two additional airplanes, one of which will feature General Electric GEnx engines. Those airplanes are in the final stages of assembly in Boeing’s Everett factory. Over the coming months, the fleet will be subjected to a variety of tests and conditions to demonstrate the safety and reliability of the airplane’s design.

The 787-9 will complement and extend the 787 family, offering airlines the ability to grow routes first opened with the 787-8. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters) over the 787-8, the 787-9 will carry 40 more passengers an additional 300 nautical miles (555 kilometers), with the same exceptional environmental performance — 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes. The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering the features passengers prefer such as large, dimmable windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.

Boeing is on track to deliver the 787-9 to launch customer Air New Zealand in mid-2014. Twenty-five customers from around the world have ordered 388 787-9s, accounting for 40 percent of all 787 orders.

Boeing’s new 787-900 landing @ Boeing field on its first flight on 9/17/2013

Source:  Boeing Media Room

Photo Credits:  The GuardianGizmag.com

Today: Sept. 17 First Flight for Dreamliner 787-9

Dreamliner 787-9

Two years after delivering the first Dreamliner, Boeing Commercial Airplanes introduces the second member of the Dreamliner Team. The 787-9 is 20 feet (6 meters) longer than the 787-8 model currently in production, and will seat up to 40 more passengers, for a total of 290, making it more economical to operate.

In June, Boeing launched the 787-10, which will add another 18 feet to the 787-9’s length, but will have a shorter range than either of the earlier jets.

Boeing completed yesterday a series of initial taxi tests that will precede the 787-9 first flight.

The 787-9 certification is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2014. The first delivery is due in mid-2014.

The 787-9 carries a list price of $243.6 million, compared with $206.8 million for the 787-8. Boeing hasn’t disclosed a price for the 787-10.

787-9

Flight Tracker

Follow the maiden voyage of the 787-9 Dreamliner in real-time with the Google Earth and FlightAware partnered application below. To view all currently flying 787-8 Dreamliners visit the 787 Dreamliner Flight Tracker.

Fact Sheet:

Brief Description:  The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is a bigger version of the 787-8. Both are super-efficient airplanes with new passenger-pleasing features that bring the economics of large jet transports to the middle of the market, using 20 percent less fuel than any other airplanes of their size.

Seating:
250 to 290 passengers

Range:
8,000 to 8,500 nautical miles (14,800 to 15,750 kilometers)

Configuration:
Twin aisle

Cross Section:
226 inches (574 centimeters)

Wing Span:
197 feet (60 meters)

Length:
206 feet (63 meters)

Height:
56 feet (17 meters)

Cruise Speed:
Mach 0.85

Maximum Takeoff Weight:
553,000 lbs (250,836 kg)

Total Cargo Volume:
5,400 feet3 (153 m3)

Program Milestones:
Final assembly: May 2013
First flight: 17/09/2013
First delivery: Mid-2014

Capt. Ivan

Photo Credits:  The Boeing Co.

 

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