A Slight Bit Of Progress On The Boeing 787

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There really hasn’t been much in the way of real progress since the FAA grounded the Boeing 787 Dreamliner almost a month ago. A bunch of little snippets about different theories on what caused the problem.

On Thursday, the FAA budged just a bit from its previous stance of grounding the entire fleet, allowing Boeing to conduct a limited number of test flights.  There are restrictions, such as only being able to fly over unpopulated areas and agreeing to land if any battery issues arise.

Not much in the way of progress, but it’s progress.  After almost a month of not finding any root cause, pressure is surely mounting on everyone involved to figure something out.  But, with all the hours the plane flew during testing plus all the hours of flight on planes already delivered, the incidents in January really are isolated amongst thousands of flight hours (or, according to Gordon Bethune, over a million hours).  So, if nobody’s sure what happened, it’s unlikely to pop up on a couple of test flights.

It will be interesting to see what happens as time goes on.  On Friday, Boeing announced that they’ve notified a few customers delivery may be late on their 787s.  Not much of a shock there.

For now, we wait.  My money’s on the 787 flying sooner than later, though I have heard rumors from people in the know that it could be a year before this thing sorts itself out.

Right now, we’re much heavier on rumor than fact.


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