On Monday, an electrical fire erupted on one of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliners operated by Japan Airlines at Boston Logan international airport. Authorities said a battery in the auxiliary power unit aboard the plane jet had suffered “severe fire damage”.
On Tuesday at the same airport, a fuel leak forced a different 787 operated by JAL to cancel takeoff. Massachusetts Port Authority spokesman Richard Walsh said the plane was towed back to the gate after about 150 litres (40 gallons) of fuel spilled. He said the plane had 178 passengers and 11 crew members on board. Walsh said the plane was evaluated and departed that afternoon. A JAL spokeswoman said the crew had reported a “mechanical issue”.
The two incidents have extended a series of problems that have dogged the jet for more than a month and increased concern about the plane.
The fire broke out on an empty Dreamliner jet parked at a gate in Boston. Officials said a battery in the auxiliary power system exploded around 10.30am, shortly after passengers had disembarked. A mechanic inspecting the jet discovered smoke while performing a routine post-flight inspection.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are looking into what caused the problem, which came within weeks of Boeing enduring a string of other electrical problems that briefly grounded three of the planes. The new jet also has suffered an engine failure and fuel leaks in the 14 months it has been in service.
The electrical fire is troubling in part because the 787 relies heavily on electrical power to drive onboard systems that in other jet models are run by air pressure generated by the engines. The new jet also suffered an electrical fire during a test flight, prompting a redesign of electrical systems.
Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel said on Monday: “We are aware of the event and are working with our customer.”
The Dreamliner is Boeing’s first jet to be made of carbon composites rather than aluminium, a change that reduces the plane’s weight and allows it to use less fuel.
Since entering service in October 2011 the plane has repeatedly made headlines for……
9th Jan, 2013
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