Boeing 787 Dreamliner Returns To US Skies


787

After four months of being grounded due to faulty batteries, the 787 Dreamiliner returned to US skies with a flight from Houston to Chicago.  It was a United Airlines Flight, which is currently the only US carrier flying the Dreamliner. That distance of course is not the intended use of the aircraft which can fly over 8000 miles (4960km) without refueling.  The planes were grounded due to lithium-ion battery fires.  The Dreamliner is the only aircraft to use lithium-ion batteries because the airplane relies so heavily on electricity.  According to Boeing, the plane uses the batteries for “flight controls and a backup generator when its engines are shut down.”  Dreamliner Chief engineer Mike Sinnett, said that although Boeing never discovered the cause of the fires, they built the new batteries to be fail safe.  In an online chat he and a Boeing test pilot took questions about the aircraft and  described some of the changes which, “include more heat insulation between each cell and charging the battery to a lower maximum voltage.”  Boeing has already repaired forty-five of the fifty planes currently in operation and while assembly of new Dreamliners was never halted, deliveries of the planes were.  Deliveries resumed last week with a pair of 787’s, both with the new battery system.  Assuming Boeing has now ironed out all of the kinks, which are common with any new product introduced into the market, the Dreamliner should be ready to redefine air travel.  Not only is it a pretty plane, it has a state of the art ventilation system, larger windows that darken and brighten with the touch of a button and sips fuel compared to other aircraft of similar size.  That is due in part to the composite makeup of the plane as well as state of the art wing design and highly efficient engines.  Happy Landings!

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