Concern: On Sunday, another 787 which had arrived caught fire after dropping off 183 passengers and crew from Tokyo at Boston

US federal regulators are ordering a  comprehensive review of Boeing’s brand-new fleet of 787 Dreamliners, after a  string of scares struck the state-of-the-art passenger jet in a  week.

The Federal Aviation Administration finally launched the probe after a crack appeared in a cockpit window during a  domestic All Nippon Airways flight in  Japan today.

The review is an embarrassing setback to the  plane that was heralded as the future of aviation, after four separate  malfunctions occurred this week alone, including a brake failure, a fuel leak  and an on-board fire.

The FAA says the review will include the  design, manufacture and assembly of the aircraft.

Concern: On Sunday, another 787 which had arrived caught fire after dropping off 183 passengers and crew from Tokyo at Boston

Speaking of today’s incident, ANA said crew  noticed a spider web-like crack in a window in front of the pilot’s seat about  70 minutes into Friday’s flight, which was close to its destination.

‘Cracks appear a few times every year in  other planes. We don’t see this as a sign of a fundamental problem’ with Boeing  aircraft, a spokesman for the airline said.

The 787, which Boeing calls the Dreamliner,  relies more than any other modern airliner on electrical  signals to help power  nearly everything the plane does.

It is also the first Boeing plane to use  rechargeable lithium ion batteries and to be made with lightweight composite  materials.

More than 800 have been sold to airlines  around the world, which Boeing has  said will be more fuel efficient than  comparable jets and more  comfortable for passengers.

Launch: More than 800 have been sold to airlines around the world, which Boeing has said will be more fuel efficient than comparable jets and more comfortable for passengers

But the Dreamliner has flown under a  cloud  since its maiden voyage on in October 2011, which itself saw repeated delays  lasting more than three years after a slew of faults were detected.

On Wednesday, All Nippon Airlines was forced  to cancel a domestic flight to Tokyo after a computer wrongly  indicated a  problem with the 787’s brakes.

On Tuesday, a fuel leak forced  a 787 operated by Japan Airlines  to cancel takeoff at Boston’s Logan  International Airport.

And a day before that,  another Dreamliner caught fire after dropping off 183 passengers and crew from  Tokyo at Boston when a battery in the jet’s auxiliary power system overheated.

Nobody was hurt as passengers and crew had  already disembarked.

But those were not the only issues that have  blemished the much-vaunted launch of air travel’s latest addition.

In December United  Airlines’ brand-new Dreamliner, carrying 174 passengers and 10 crew, was forced  to make an  emergency landing in New Orleans due to a mechanical  issue.

In the same month,  Qatar Airways grounded one of its Dreamliners after  several similar faults  caused electrical problems.

But the airline’s image has been besieged by  a string of other problems that began long before its inaugural  flight.

In July last year, debris from a brand-new  Dreamliner’s engine sparked a  fire at a South Carolina airport forcing  emergency crews to close the  Charleston International Airport for more than an  hour.

An investigation by the National  Transportation Safety Board uncovered cracks in  the forward end of a fan midshaft in one of its engines.

And an incident in February 2012 saw Boeing  report signs of ‘delamination’ occurring on a support structure in the  Dreamliner’s rear fuselage, launching an inspection.

It is the first large-scale commercial  aircraft made 50 per cent from ‘composite  materials’ including plastics and carbon fibre and experts believe it could  bring an end to the ‘aluminium age’.

Source: The Daily Mail


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