FAA and Japan's Airlines Ground all Dreamliners After Forced Landing

The New York Times reports that both of Japan's airlines have now grounded all of their Boeing 787s after one of the planes made an emergency landing yesterday. No one was injured, except one man who had trouble with the emergency slide. Today the FAA took the unusual step of grounding all Dreamliners in the U.S.

The 787 us Boeing's flagship product and is better known as the Dreamliner. But the dream is fast turning into a nightmare as the planes continue to experience problems, including fuel leaks, lithium battery fires and a cracked cockpit window.

The FAA has now ordered a review of the Dreamliner's manufacturing and design. The focus will be on the electrical system of the giant jets and the novel use of two lithium ion batteries that run the display and the plane's electrical needs when they are on the ground. The lithium ion batteries keep overheating and are a fire hazard. If Boeing switches back to traditional batteries, it will reduce space in the plane and reduce its ability to fly long distances on less fuel. Boeing's stock is down 3.7% after the news hit. Boeing sold quite a few of the Dreamliers: eight airlines now fly them. There are 50 Dreamliners in service all around the world. Twenty-four of the 50 are owned by Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines.

The Dreamliner is built to be passenger-friendly, with HEPA filters to filter out ozone, allergens and viruses, adjustable humidity and a more comfortable seating configuration (depending on what each airline chooses when it orders). Other airlines that fly the jet include Qatar Airways, United Airlines, Air India, Ethiopian Airlines LAN Airlines of Chile, and LOT of Poland. There are 800 Dreamliners currently on order. The AP reports on the Dreamliners' ongoing woes, which many hope are temporary in nature:

Posted on January 16, 2013

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