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Boeing Dreamliner to face US aviation review

US Department of Transportation says 787 Dreamliner to undergo review of critical systems after series of problems.
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2013 19:13
The 787 Dreamliner has threatened Boeing's finances after experiencing a series of technical issues [GALLO/GETTY]

The US Department of Transportation has said the 787 Dreamliner aircraft is due to undergo a review of its critical systems by regulators.

The plane will be subject to a review of design, manufacture and assembly.

Friday's announcement came after the Boeing model suffered a series of problems in recent weeks, including a battery that caught fire on an empty 787 parked in Boston on Monday.

The passenger jet suffered a cracked cockpit window on Friday and an oil leak on separate flights in Japan. The incidents add further to the mounting tally that has tested confidence in the Dreamliner.

The 787 is Boeing's newest plane and its boldest effort to revolutionize commercial aviation. It uses new technology to cut the fuel cost for operating the plane by up to 20 percent.

While airlines are satisfied with the savings, and have so far given the plane their approval, they have ordered more than 800 jets despite the current spate of troubles.

Alan Fisher reporting from Washington DC said:  “The reason Dreamliners are so popular is that the new technology employed both in the construction of the aircraft and the electronics. Boeing have made a much more efficient and economical aircraft and they see this as just a small teething problem. But the problem is that its those new technologies, particularly the power source, that have caused a number of these problems.”

“The airlines will be watching very closely what happens over the next few weeks, perhaps even the next few months as these checks are carried out. If they are given the full clean bill of health from the Federal authorities in the US, I think that will restore confidence with airlines and passengers,” Fisher added.

Boeing's finances remain under threat due to exceeding its budget and being over three years behind schedule in delivering its Dreamliner planes.

The wide-ranging review by US officials, including the Federal Aviation Administration, has the potential to deal a serious blow to the plane, especially if it leads to a costly design change.

Analysts have speculated that the problem in manufacturing or assembly of the plane could to be adjusted with minimal cost and disruption.

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Source:
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