Boeing to investigate wiring defect in Dreamliner

Boeing to investigate wiring defect in DreamlinerBoeing has said that it will investigate a wiring defect that was found in a fire extinguisher system on three of its 787 Dreamliner jets.

The fault was found on jets operated by Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA).

The problem – the latest in a series of setbacks for Boeing’s 787 – was first discovered during pre-flight maintenance of a jet at Tokyo airport, an ANA spokeswoman said.

Rival Japan Airlines turned back a 787 travelling from Tokyo to Helsinki to check the wiring after ANA reported the fault on Wednesday.

It is the latest issue to hit the 787 jet after battery problems grounded the entire fleet earlier this year.

Boeing said it was aware of the latest issue and was looking into the matter.

“The safety of those flying on Boeing aeroplanes is our top priority. We will thoroughly examine this issue and take the appropriate steps,” the firm said in a statement.

In July, a fire broke out on a 787 Dreamliner jet operated by Ethiopian Airlines while it was parked at Heathrow airport.

The fire was traced to the upper rear part of the plane where a transmitter used to locate aircraft after a crash is located.

US carrier United Airlines also found a pinched wire during an inspection of one of its six 787s.

Boeing has since asked airlines to carry out inspections of the transmitters.

It has also asked operators of other aircraft models – the 717, Next-Generation 737, 747-400, 767 and 777 – to inspect aircraft.

Heathrow shut after Boeing Dreamliner 787 fire

Heathrow shut after Boeing Dreamliner 787 fire

Heathrow airport
No passengers were on board at the time of the fire

Runways at London’s Heathrow airport have closed after a fire on a parked Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet.

Arrivals and departures were suspended after the incident at 16:30 BST, a spokesman for the airport said. No passengers were aboard at the time.

Fifty Dreamliners worldwide were grounded in January because of battery malfunctions.

Boeing later modified the jets with new batteries and flights resumed in April.

An Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner named the Queen of Sheba – the same plane involved in the Heathrow incident – flew from Addis Ababa to Nairobi on the first commercial flight since the grounding.

Pictures of the Heathrow fire on Twitter show an aircraft close to a building and surrounded by fire vehicles. London Fire Brigade said its crews were standing by to assist Heathrow staff.

Fire-retardant foam appeared to have been sprayed at the airliner, but no damage to the aircraft was immediately apparent.

Production difficulties

A Heathrow spokesman said: “We can confirm there has been an on-board internal fire involving an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft and the airport’s emergency services are in attendance.

“The aircraft was parked on a remote parking stand. There were no passengers on board and there are no reported injuries at this time

“Arrivals and departures are temporarily suspended while airport fire crews attend to this incident. This is a standard procedure if fire crews are occupied with an incident.”

The airport is advising passengers to check the status of their flights with the airlines.

The Metropolitan Police said: “Police at Heathrow were alerted to a fire on a plane. Emergency services are in attendance.

“At this time it is believed no one was on board and there are no reports of any injuries. The fire is being treated as unexplained.”

The Dreamliner’s battery problems followed production difficulties for the aircraft, marketed as a quiet, fuel-efficient aircraft carrying between 201 and 290 passengers on medium-range routes.

It was due to enter passenger service in 2008 but it was not until October 2011 that the first commercial flight was operated by Japan’s All Nippon Airways.

British Airways is due to take delivery of the first two of its 24 Dreamliners, and Virgin Atlantic is to get the first of its 16 Dreamliners in September 2014.

A Boeing spokesman said: “We’re aware of the event. We have Boeing personnel on the ground at Heathrow and are working to fully understand and address this.”

BA names first Dreamliner routes

BA names first Dreamliner routes

By Phil Davies

BA names first Dreamliner routesBritish Airways is to start new Boeing 787 Dreamliner services to Toronto and Newark after receiving the first in a fleet of the new generation aircraft.

The Toronto service is due to start from Heathrow on September 1 replacing 767s and 747s on the route followed by Newark, currently served by 767s and 777s, on October 1.

The airline’s first 787 touched down at Heathrow yesterday following Thomson Airways becoming the first UK carrier to take delivery of the 787 earlier in the month.

The aircraft was welcomed to Heathrow by Willie Walsh, chief executive of BA parent company International Airlines Group.

He said: “The 787 is a tremendous, innovative aircraft which sets new standards for environmental performance and operating efficiency and I’m sure British Airways’ customers will love it,” said Walsh.

“The 787 will become a mainstay of the British Airways fleet over the next few years.”

BA will configure the 787 with 214 seats – 35 in Club World, 25 in World Traveller Plus and 154 in the World Traveller cabin.

The aircraft is the first of 24 Dreamliners BA has on order. Additionally, IAG recently announced that it will convert 18 options to firm orders for BA, subject to shareholder agreement.

Twelve of these will be extended range 787-10s, meaning that BA will operate the entire 787 family – the 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10.

Boeing vice president of European sales Todd Nelp said: “The delivery of the first of BA’s 787s is an exciting milestone for Boeing and British Airways.

“The 787 is the most technologically advanced and fuel-efficient commercial jetliner in its class. Its improved lighting, bigger windows, larger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and cleaner cabin air will offer BA’s passengers an unparalleled flying experience.”