Boeing delivers First 787 Dreamliner to Aeromexico

Boeing 787 AeromexicoBoeing, International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) and Aeromexico celebrated the first delivery of a 787 Dreamliner for use by the Mexico City-based carrier today.
The airplane, delivered from Boeing’s Everett, Wash., delivery center on Thursday, took off for Mexico City today.
“The arrival of Aeromexico’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner represents a milestone for the Mexican aviation history.” Andres Conesa, chief executive officer of Aeromexico said, “Our customers will surely benefit from the world-class service that distinguishes Aeromexico, which we now bring on board the most modern aircraft ever built.”
The airplane is the first of nine 787-8 airplanes that Aeromexico will operate, including five on lease from ILFC. The airline will operate a total of 19 Dreamliners, including 10 787-9 models ordered last year.
“This 787 Dreamliner delivery to Aeromexico is another milestone in our four decade-long, strategic relationship with the airline and ILFC”, said ILFC Chief Executive Officer Henri Courpron. “ILFC obviously shares Aeromexico’s views that the 787 will deliver significant operational benefits and customer value.”
Aeromexico’s 787 Dreamliners will be configured with 32 Clase Premier lie-flat seats and 211 seats in economy class.
“This is a great day for Mexico, Aeromexico, and for Boeing,” said Van Rex Gallard, vice president Sales, Latin America, Africa and Caribbean for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The Dreamliner will provide Aeromexico with unrivaled operational advantages, large improvements in fuel efficiency and much lower costs. In addition, it is an airplane that provides significantly better environmental performance. For Aeromexico’s passengers, the Dreamliner delivers a new standard in comfort and elegance – a new flying experience.”
Aeromexico is the second customer to take delivery of an airplane leased through ILFC. “This delivery is the 702nd airplane we have delivered to ILFC for its customers,” said Bill Collins, vice president, Sales, Leasing and Asset Management, for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “It is a testimony to the partnership between Boeing and ILFC in supplying the best airplanes to airlines around the world.”
The 787 Dreamliner is composed of durable composites and features numerous system, engine and aerodynamic advancements providing airlines with unmatched fuel efficiency using 20 percent less fuel than today’s similarly sized airplanes. Passengers also enjoy improvements on the 787 such as an interior environment that is more comfortable and offers numerous passenger-pleasing elements including bigger windows.
To date, the 787 has accrued 930 orders from 57 customers worldwide.

Source:  Boeing Media Room


Endless Problems for the Dreamliner, now the wiring…

Japan’s All Nippon Airways said Wednesday it had found defective wiring in a fire-extinguishing system on three of its Boeing Dreamliners, prompting rival Japan Airlines (JAL) to abort a Helsinki-bound flight.

The two Japanese carriers are the trouble-plagued Dreamliner’s biggest customers.

ANA said it had discovered the faulty wiring on a plane at Tokyo’s Haneda airport before a scheduled flight to Frankfurt. The wiring was later fixed and it departed for Germany.

Two other aircraft were found to be affected by the faulty wiring, an ANA spokesman added. The airline has 20 Dreamliners in service.

Following the discovery, JAL said it recalled a Tokyo-Helsinki flight Wednesday and plans to inspect all 10 of its Dreamliners.

The defective wiring could cause a fire-extinguishing system for the engine to malfunction, ANA said.

The fuel-efficient plane has suffered a series of woes, including problems with its lithium-ion batteries which prompted a four-month worldwide grounding at the start of the year.

In July there was a fire aboard an empty Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner at London’s Heathrow airport.

Despite a lengthy investigation, Boeing has not identified the root cause of the Dreamliner’s battery problems, but said it put safeguards in place to prevent future incidents.

Japan’s two biggest airlines are in talks over compensation for what they said was more than $200 million in combined lost revenue from the grounding, that forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

First Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Features New Livery

Boeing 787-9 New Livery

Boeing continues to make progress on the first 787-9 Dreamliner, which also has become the first 787 to don the new Boeing Commercial Airplanes livery. The airplane has just rolled out of the paint hangar.

This refreshed look for the Boeing family began with the 747-8 and evolved with the 737 MAX. The new livery retains many of the features of the original 787-8 livery, adding a prominent number on the tail to help distinguish among models within the same product family.

The 787-9 will complement and extend the 787 family, offering airlines the ability to grow routes opened with the 787-8. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters), the 787-9 will carry 40 more passengers an additional 300 nautical miles (555 kilometers), with 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 roll out and fly the 787-9, currently in final production, in late summer. First delivery to launch customer Air New Zealand is set for mid-2014.

Source:  Boeing Press Release

FAA seeks inspections of Boeing 787 ELT’s

(Reuters) – The Federal Aviation Administration said on Friday it will require inspections of emergency locator beacons on U.S.-registered Boeing 787 Dreamliners, but stopped short of making airlines disable or remove the devices blamed for a fire aboard a parked 787 in London last week.

UK investigating authorities on Thursday pinpointed the battery-powered beacons as the likely cause of the fire and recommended disabling the units.

The UK probe is now focused on the possible role played by moisture and condensation in the 787 cabin.

The FAA said it is working with Boeing on instructions for the inspections that are meant to ensure that wires are routed properly and look for pinched wires, unusual moisture or heating.

United Airlines is the only U.S. carrier currently flying the 787, so is the only one formally governed by the FAA action. Twelve other airlines also fly the plane and the FAA said it will inform other aviation regulators about its call for mandatory inspections.

The beacons, made by Honeywell International Inc. are designed to send out a signal so rescuers can locate the wreckage after a crash. U.S. regulations do not require commercial aircraft in scheduled service to carry the devices, but most jetliners have them as standard safety equipment.

The FAA said it is continuing to work closely with the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) and with Honeywell in the probe into the July 12 fire aboard an Ethiopian Airlines ETHA.UL aircraft.

The FAA did not indicate it would expand the inspections to other types of aircraft. The AAIB also recommended in its announcement on Thursday that the FAA and other regulators perform a safety review of the devices on other aircraft besides the 787 and take action where appropriate.

Honeywell repeated its support for “temporarily addressing” questions about the beacons on the 787. It noted that the investigation is continuing.
Boeing said in a statement that it supported the action by regulators in response to the AAIB’s action.

“We have provided instructions to customers giving them the required information to meet their regulatory guidelines,” the statement said. “We are working very closely with the regulatory agencies, customers and suppliers to coordinate all required actions.

“The safety of passengers and crew members who fly aboard Boeing airplanes is our highest priority. We are confident the 787 is safe and we stand behind its overall integrity.”

The fire has revived questions about the high-tech Dreamliner, which has once again been thrust into the spotlight with a fire problem.

The aircraft was grounded for 3-1/2 months earlier this year after lithium-ion batteries in a different area of the plane overheated, emitted smoke and in one case caught fire.

The AAIB said the lithium-manganese batteries in the Honeywell beacons were likely the cause because they were the only equipment located where the fire burned and they had a power source. But it has not completely ruled out other potential causes such as moisture, and the investigation is continuing.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa and Alwyn Scott; Editing by Gary Hill and Andre Grenon)

Never Ending Headaches for Boeing, now the ELTs

The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch – AAIB, is recommended to the Federal Aviation Administration – FAA, to deactivate all Boeing 787’s Emergency Locator Transmitters until “appropriate airworthiness actions can be completed”.

Last week’s fire onboard Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner fortunately occurred when the craft was parked at Heathrow Airport. Had it blazed during a flight, British investigators say, it would have been “a significant safety concern.”

The recommendation came on Thursday after the investigators said that the greatest damage to the parked Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner occurred around the aircraft’s Rescu406AFN emergency locator transmitter — or ELT — near the tail section of the plane.

Although is not clear if the fire was caused by the transmitter’s lithium-manganese dioxide batteries or a short near or around the transmitter, but recommended to the FAA to deactivate all Honeywell transmitters in all Boeing 787s fleet “until appropriate airworthiness actions” can be carried out.

In an statement, Boeing said it supported the British investigators’ recommendations — which it called “reasonable precautionary measures” — and was working to take appropriate action in response.

“We are confident the 787 is safe and we stand behind its overall integrity,” the company added.

ELT Battery could be the cause of Dreamliner fire

A different type of battery than the one that caused the worldwide grounding of the Dreamliner fleet could be this time the reason of the on board fire of an Ethiopian B787 last Friday at Heathrow Airport – UK.

We are talking about the Emergency Locator Transmitter – ELT Battery.  This device, used to locate the aircraft in case of accident, is powered by self contained batteries, independent of the lithium-ion ones that caused an electrical fire on board an All Nippon Airways 787 and several other incidents that caused the grounding of the Dreamliner fleet all over the world.

Manufactured by Honeywell International, the emergency locator transmitters had been under scrutiny by the Federal Aviation Administration, who recommended them being replaced because the device failed in tests, anyway ignition risk was not the cause of the failure.  Honeywell is now joining the U.S. investigators to determine if the model used on the Ethiopian Dreamliner is the one suspected of causing problems.

Investigators and safety officials said that this the first time that an ELT transmitter is investigated suspected of causing an aircraft fire.

Richard Aboulafia, an aviation consultant said that “Unless the company can say for sure that the incident is isolated to this particular aircraft, it’s not welcome news, the one systematic problem to plague the Dreamliner is that so many of its technologies are new that it is very difficult for the regulators to fully grasp all the changes,”

Capt. Ivan

Boeing, what’s going on with you?

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 catches fire at Heathrow

Just when it looked like Boeing’s problems with its flagship had ended, a new event revived safety concerns when an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 caught fire while parked at London Heathrow Airport.

The incident occurred last Friday at around 4:30 PM, the jet had been parked in a remote bay for more than eight hours. The aircraft was empty and none was injured, an airline spokesman said. Firefighters soon extinguished the fire. Television images showed nearly a dozen fire trucks on the scene and firefighters standing around the Ethiopian Airlines plane, the 787 at Heathrow showed damage to the top of the jet’s body near the passenger doors at the rear, the 787’s twin lithium-ion batteries are installed below the floor in electrical bays near the nose and between the wings of the aircraft underneath the cabin, far from the damaged area visible in the footage.  British police said the fire is being treated as unexplained.

The U.K. Air Accident Investigation Bureau sent a team to investigate, also the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending an expert to the scene, and the Federal Aviation Administration said it would also send an official “in support of the NTSB.”

Boeing shares fell as much as 7%, analysts said the incident didn’t appear related to the battery troubles that grounded 787s worldwide earlier this year.

Richard L. Aboulafia, director of aviation consulting for Teal Group Corp., said Friday’s fire didn’t appear to take place near the battery. Although that could be welcome news for Boeing, he said the bouncing share price showed how dependent the company is on the 787

“You only get to launch one new line a decade,” Aboulafia said. “There’s an awful lot riding on this.”

Wayne Plucker, the lead aerospace industry analyst for Frost & Sullivan, said the plane might not have been receiving air conditioning at the time. – “Any time you have an airplane parked and powered and under maintenance, the electronics take a real cooling challenge,” he said. “They could have been running all the electronics without all of the air conditioners on.”

This incident will place more pressure on Boeing.

Capt. Ivan

Photo Credits: Associated Press


Airbus A350 First Flight, First Air Show. Bad news for Boeing?

Airbus’s new twin, the A350 XWB, flew over the Paris Air Show on Friday 21 June on only its third test flight. It follows the type’s maiden flight on 14 June.

The A350 XWB is an all-new mid-size long range product line featuring three versions and seating between 270 and 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts.

The new Airbus competes with the Boeing 777 and the new, troubled 787 Dreamliner and has already notched up orders, including 69 at the show itself worth $21.4 billion at list price from Air France-KLM , Singapore Airlines , United Airlines and SriLankan Airlines.

John Leahy, Airbus’s Chief Operating Officer, Customers commented at the show that, “Our A350 XWB has been out-selling the 787 by better than 2- to-1 over the last five years.”

Boeing has been in this fight longer and so has notched up an impressive 930 orders with 57 deliveries to date compared with Airbus’s 678 orders.

After Boeing’s battle with delays and battery problems on the 787, Airbus’s dramatic test flight at Le Bourget is a physical manifestation of Leahy’s confidence in the aircraft. But as Boeing has learned, the road from first flight to certification and customer deliveries is not always straight, smooth or fast.


Source:  Matthew Stibbe – Forbes

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