It’s cursed!  Boeing’s Dreamliner in trouble again!

Picture from wikipedia.org

Poor Boeing!  Their much-touted 787 Dreamliner really does seem to be cursed!  It wasn’t happy reading as Japan Airlines ground their Dreamliner following the billowing of white smoke from a battery system.  Luckily, it wasn’t in the air but it wasn’t scheduled to leave for Bangkok when a maintenance worker noticed a warning sign and saw white smoke outside the window.  Without doubt, this raises yet more safety concerns that seem to enshroud the Boeing 787 Dreamliner!

So far, the airplane has had to put up with delays over a 3-year period, and that’s just before it was launched!  And it seems, when looking back over the incidents that led to regulators grounding the fleet of Dreamliner aircraft a year ago, that batteries are the issue.  The Dreamliner is the most high tech aircraft currently sitting on our runways worldwide, with powerful electrics that not only improve fuel efficiency, but also reduces the overall weight, but it takes its toll on the battery systems.  This latest incident comes following a complete re-design of the battery, charger and containment system this time last year. 

This news was certainly unwelcome for Boeing, who watched their shares falling on the New York Stock Exchange.  However, they have re-confirmed that the changes in battery design last year do work, and that this latest incident was an isolated one… we hope so!

On a slightly different note… Do any of you remember Bryan Habana, the South African rugby player, winning a race against British Airway’s A380 last year?  Habana, holder of 86 caps for his country and renowned for his speed on the rugby pitch, quickly opened up a lead against the A380 and although the aircraft soon caught up as it accelerated towards take-off, it was not enough to catch Habana, who was watched by fellow teammates Chris Robshaw and Jean de Villiers.

Now he and British Airways have lain down the gauntlet!  To mark the launch of BA’s new A380 and their direct flights to Johannesburg from London Heathrow, they’ve challenged 5 members of the public to pitch their strength, stamina and speed against an A380 aircraft over 200m.  British Airways will select the participants who will then be flown to South Africa next month to compete in the race.  The winner will receive 2 business class return tickets on an A380 flight to London, Los Angeles, Hong Kong or Johannesburg.

Think you’re good enough?  Then go to ba.com and apply by 20th January!

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