Jan 19 2013

Why I hate to fly

Part 213-

Why Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner was a nightmare waiting to happen

Dominic Rushe, The Guardian

Friday 18 January 2013 11.51 EST

The 787 was pitched as the airline of the future – a revolutionary plane that that would use new technology to bring aircraft design into the 21st century. The Dreamliner is made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic composite. More radically still, pneumatic and hydraulic systems have been ditched for electric systems.

Outsourcing parts led to three years of delays. Parts didn’t fit together properly. Shims used to bridge small parts weren’t attached correctly. Many aircraft had to have their tails extensively reworked. The company ended up buying some suppliers, to take their business back in house. All new projects, especially ones as ambitious as the Dreamliner, face teething issues but the 787’s woes continued to mount. Unions blame the company’s reliance on outsourcing.

Arguably, it is not just Boeing’s fault that the Dreamliner wasn’t ready. Boeing is a powerful force in Washington.

(T)he Dreamliner was passed under a very compressed schedule, said Mann. “And there was an electrical failure and an emergency landing during the test-flight programme,” he said. “That was blamed on a ‘foreign object’.”

Mann said the FAA’s mandate changed under administrator Marion Blakey, appointed by president George W Bush in 2008 as Boeing was working on the Dreamliner. “Blakey saw the FAA as a ‘customer services organisation,'” said Mann. The FAA was working with the airlines to cut regulation, not to impose it, he said.


  1. ek hornbeck
  2. mplo

    I used to love flying when I was much younger, but all that changed when I got older.  The long lines waiting to be searched and patted down, the checkout-check-in of baggage which can and does get lost at times, which can be rather maddening, to say the least, not to mention not really having an option to get up and stretch while on the plane, and not knowing if a person that you’re sitting next to has a horrible infectious disease.  Both the air and the food on aircraft liners are atrocious, to boot.  

    I’ve also read/heard too many horror stories of people being stranded in the airport due to horrible weather, and airplanes sitting for 7, 8, or more hours on the runway before take-off, and people having no choice but to sit in their goddamn seats for the whole time.  

    Imho, it’s a hell of a lot easier to throw my stuff in the trunk or back seat of my car and just take off to where I’m going, and I’ve often done precisely that.

Comments have been disabled.