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Transportation Government

FAA To Investigate 787 Dreamliner 237

Dupple sends word from the BBC that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration will be conducting a safety review of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner after a number of incidents have called the aircraft's hardiness into question. "An electrical fire, a brake problem, a fuel spill and cracks in the cockpit's windshield have affected Dreamliner flights in the past week. ... The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is one of the most advanced aeroplanes ever created. Much of it is made from very strong, light carbon-fibre composite material. However, a spate of technical issues has hurt its image. On Friday, two new problems were found, adding to Boeing's woes." A spokesman for Boeing said they were "absolutely confident in the reliability and performance of the 787," and were cooperating fully with the FAA's investigation. The 787 went into service in 2011, and 50 have been delivered to various airlines since then, with hundreds more on order. Qatar Airways has received five of them, and it has criticized Boeing for manufacturing faults.
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FAA To Investigate 787 Dreamliner

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  • by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Friday January 11, 2013 @12:16PM (#42558517)

    Of course your post is both a troll and falimbait.

    The 787 is built from components made around the world, mostly by non-union workers. The Boeing plant in South Carolina that does 787 assembly is non-union.

    You are an idiot.

  • by DerekLyons ( 302214 ) <> on Friday January 11, 2013 @12:28PM (#42558667) Homepage

    This is a departure from the way Boeing has done manufacture in the past where most things are done under one roof.

    Boeing has been making parts in one place, from small ones like doors or control surfaces all the way up to entire fuselages, and shipping them to another for final assembly for many years now.

    They started assembling 737 fuselages in Wichita and then shipping them by rail to Renton for final assembly back in the 80's. The production of smaller bits (doors, seats, empennage, etc...) overseas (notably in China and Israel) started back in the 90's. (And was a huge issue in one of the machinists strikes.)

  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @12:30PM (#42558691)

    True, but note that in fact there are many many "recalls" for critical problems with autos every year. Yet there is a difference between an auto traveling on a surface road with 2 or 6 passengers, and a jet at 30,000 with 200 passengers. When one catches fire, it's going to be a little more catistropic than the other...

    An apples to oranges comparison. I'm referring to the efficiency of the manufacturing process. You're referring to problems with the engineering and design process. Airplanes like this are built one part, one section, one plane, at a time. There's numerous qualifications and tests done at each stage of assembly. And the models don't change year over year, unlike cars. The 787 is being produced with interchangeable parts and have the same general appearance, function, and specifications, as the ones 5 or 10 years from now will.

  • by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <{richardprice} {at} {}> on Friday January 11, 2013 @12:40PM (#42558859)

    Considering all of the aircraft that have thus far had issues came from the Seattle FAL, I'd say that the union product isn't much better - the fuel system is installed by union workers, it has had several major QA issues, the electrical equipment which was at the centre of the recent issue is installed by union workers.

    I'm not particularly pro or anti union, but the arguments for and against unions in this thread are ridiculous.

  • by clickclickdrone ( 964164 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @12:56PM (#42559051)
    I'm guessing you're in the US where the role of unions seems a little more unhelpful. I get the impression over there they're all about protecting lazyness and wierd working practices. Elsewhere, they tend to do rather more good, working more constructively with employers and employees.
  • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @01:08PM (#42559185)

    I start my day by inhaling the fumes of jet fuel and aluminum, myself. Would never touch that composite smoke, unless it came from carpet, upholstery, and cabin interior plastics.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2013 @01:14PM (#42559231)

    Erm, unions are generally a good thing. They protect the worker's rights and keep employers in line. You must be thinking of the neutered version of unions you guys have in the US. Then again, the US is a shithole when it comes to work, so it's not surprising for you to think that way.

  • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @01:21PM (#42559303) Journal

    Not unbelievable at all.

    Another related anecdote: I know of a structural engineer (friend of a friend) who wanted to photograph an old concrete shell hangar at Heathrow(?) before it was demolished, as it was an excellent example of tension shells.

    Being from Cambridge, he was able to actually get to talk to people who would be able to allow such a thing.

    They refused.

    The reason is that it was full of aircraft in peices. Apparently, the policy is to not let on to the public that aeroplanes come apart and are in fact safe monolithic flying machines. They didn't want the risk of the photos getting out.

  • by MillerHighLife21 ( 876240 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @01:40PM (#42559537) Homepage

    The idea of unions vs the reality of unions just end up being very different things in the US.

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @02:08PM (#42559827) Homepage

    I'm guessing you're in the US where the role of unions seems a little more unhelpful. I get the impression over there they're all about protecting lazyness and wierd working practices.

    Let me tell you a recent union-related story, and the public perception of it:
    1. Management goes to the union and says "We need to cut your wages 30% in order to keep the company afloat."
    2. Union agrees.
    3. Management celebrates by giving themselves large bonuses.
    4. 2 years later, management goes to the union and says "We need to cut your wages 50% in order to keep the company afloat."
    5. Union threatens to strike.
    6. Company bankrupt. At least half the public blames the union.

  • by Zemran ( 3101 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @03:07PM (#42560481) Homepage Journal

    Unions are like communism, it sounds good in theory but is impossible to get it to work in practice. I used to be deputy FOC of a print union so I do have some background with them.

  • by mea_culpa ( 145339 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @03:30PM (#42560759)

    It think it has more to do with the MBA culture that has infected businesses in the US like a cancer. The environment this creates cuts out any will to perform better than what is needed to stay employed promoting mediocrity. When this goes on long enough, good talent tends to look for a better habitat.

  • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @04:13PM (#42561309)

    6. Company bankrupt. At least half the public blames the union.

    The public arrives at this conclusion, aided in no small part by the conservative media, as part of it's lesson that the noble class is to be catered to in every whim, because that's the only way anyone has jobs.

  • by willy_me ( 212994 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @04:29PM (#42561515)

    Management celebrates by giving themselves large bonuses.

    You can bet those bonuses amounted to far less then the amount saved by a 30% pay reduction to all employees. I'm not saying it is right, but had management not taken the bonuses, the company would likely still fail. In this scenario, it is the union who deserves most of the blame while management is only guilty of antagonizing the union.

  • by deathguppie ( 768263 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @04:32PM (#42561545)
    I've worked in both union and non union shipyards my whole life. For the past twelve years I've worked non union. As far as quality of work, its tough to say if one is better than the other. As far as qualified journeymen there is no doubt that unions provide people with an already appreciable skill level. Whereas non union yards have an enormous turn over rate. The yards here in Seattle can send someone back to the hall if they feel they are unqualified and if you're sent back from three sequential jobs the union will drop you. The yards get the benefit of qualified workers as well as lower employee medical costs as the group rate covered by the union is lower. On the flip side after nearly thirty years of working in the industry since I have chosen to work non union my pension now amounts to the few thousand dollars I've been able to scrape into my 401k (profit sharing has been offered more than once then stripped again) and I can feel my body slowly deteriorating. There is no job security and as I have seen before when you can no longer produce there will be no more work. I hope every day that my coding skills will get good enough that I will come to the attention of someone, because when I cannot carry 100lbs up a ladder I'm done.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982