Well, That's not Good
|NY Times, Reuters TV. Taken from video.|
As someone who is currently awaiting my slot on a 787 cockpit crew, this is not good news... and it's a little frightening... and it's making me re-think some life choices - like maybe I should stick to 757s. If you're Boeing or one of the airlines who bought this thing, this news is a lot worse. Boeing stocks tell the tale, diving in the wake of the news at Heathrow. Airline stocks are sure to follow. Those that put major investments in the Dreamliner may once again see it sitting on the tarmac earning no revenue. That means additional losses of projected fuel savings as they put older equipment on the 787 routes.
Boeing has taken a lot of flack about the 787 over the last couple of years, most of it justified. The Dreamliner was plagued with production delays and then suffered a major set-back post delivery when the lithium-ion batteries that run its systems started catching on fire, grounding the fleet from January to April 2013.
Let me throw a wrench in the doom and gloom, though. The burnt spot on that Ethiopian Airlines 787 is in the wrong place for the lithium-ion batteries. It appears to be in the exact location of the overhead flight attendant rest area (which has its own series of implications). To my knowledge, the battery compartments are in the belly, not above the passenger cabin.
Time will tell, but don't throw Boeing under the bus just yet. This fire may have nothing to do with their batteries, or even their design.
James R. Hannibal