FAA to Review Boeing Dreamliner Design

Safety malfunctions spark concern

Boeing Dreamliner on the ground in Tokyo     Photo: Kentaro Ietmoto@Tokyo

The Federal Aviation Administration will conduct a full review of Boeing's troubled 787 Dreamliner following the discovery of two new safety issues with the aircraft. On Friday, a spiderweb-like crack developed in the windshield of an All Nippon Airways plane while it was preparing to land. The same day, another Dreamliner operated by the airline was discovered to be leaking oil from its engine.

Despite the problems, FAA officials quoted in The Guardian say there's no indication that the planes are inherently dangerous.

The FAA chief Michael Huerta promised "whatever technical resources necessary" for the review of an aircraft which is already worth 10 of billions of dollars in U.S. export orders. "Our focus is developing a complete picture. Nothing we have seen so far suggests it is not safe."

He added: "It's an extremely important airplane—we care about maintaining public confidence that it is safe.... [It's] an incredibly fuel efficient airplane—it represents the future where aviation needs to advance."

Some 11 malfunctions for the aircraft have been reported so far, from the engines to the internal wiring, though none have yet been responsible for any injuries. The carbon-composite Dreamliners, which are the most fuel-efficient airliners made by Boeing, have logged about 50,000 flight hours so far.

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