Boeing’s new 787-9 Dreamliner is the company’s bright hope for the future against rival Airbus, but it’s not been controversy-free. Problems with fires in the plane’s lithium-ion battery packs kept the whole fleet (now numbering some 140 planes) grounded for three months last year.
And it’s still not fully resolved — the National Transportation Safety Board’s file on a Japan Airlines incident in Boston is still open, and the Federal Aviation Administration still has questions about how the batteries are tested.
Do those first-class Dreamliner seats turn into beds? You bet they do! (Photo: Boeing)
But the Dreamliners are flying again, and have proven popular with such customers as United Airlines, American and Air France. Boeing is showing them off at the Farnborough trade show in England this week, and as part of that, the company issued this colorful video of the plane doing some discreet stunts:
As Damian Fowler, the author of "Falling Through Clouds: A Story of Survival, Love, and Liability," noted in a July 17 op-ed piece in the New York Times:
Just type ‘private plane crash’ or ‘helicopter crash’ into Google Alerts and the updates come in regularly. In January, in Aspen, Colorado, a twin-engine private jet crashed and burst into flames, killing one and injuring two. In February, in Nashville, a twin-engine aircraft missed a landing approach and all four people on board died. In March, in Ridgway, Colorado, an airplane went into a flat spin, crashed into icy water, and killed five people. Just yesterday, a small plane went down in New Jersey.
Why pick on general aviation? Approximately 450 annual fatalities does not compare to the 35,543 motor vehicle-related deaths or 32,351 gun-related deaths in 2011.
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