Mounting concern over Dreamliner woes
The 787 Dreamliner made its first commercial flight in late-2011, after a series of production delays put deliveries more than three years behind schedule. By the end of last year, Boeing had sold 848 Dreamliners, and delivered 49. Now however, numerous reports of difficulties are beginning to surface, causing some to question the assembly methods used to build the aircraft and its overall safety.
According to a newly posted article from global news agency Reuters, All Nippon Airways Co. has said a domestic flight from Tokyo landed safely at Matsuyama airport in western Japan after a crack developed on the cockpit windscreen, and the plane's return to Tokyo was cancelled.
The same airline later said oil was found leaking from an engine of a 787 Dreamliner after the plane landed at Miyazaki airport in southern Japan. An airline spokeswoman said it later returned to Tokyo after some delay.
Earlier this week, a battery fire caused damage to an empty 787 jet operated by Japan Airlines while it was on the ground at Boston airport. The next day, another JAL 787 spilled 40 gallons of fuel onto the taxiway at the same airport after a problem that caused a valve to open, forcing the plane to delay its departure. On Wednesday, ANA cancelled a domestic Dreamliner flight due to a brake-control computer glitch.
Some analysts say these are normal teething issues as a new plane enters service under close scrutiny. Others say the incidents could erode public confidence in the mould-breaking aircraft The world's first carbon-composite airliner, which has a list price of $207 million.
U.S. regulators have raised questions about the plane's reliability on long transoceanic routes, the Wall Street Journal reported.