FAA To Review 787 Electrical System

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Boeing has sourced multiple problems with its 787 Dreamliner to faulty circuit boards and Friday the FAA announced it is launching a review of the jet's electrical systems, including the outsourced manufacture and installation of components. Aside from incorporating new technologies, production of the 787 involves a much more outsourced process than its other jets. Boeing not only had outside companies produce parts, but those companies also played a role in the design of parts and systems. Boeing says that three of four incidents suffered by 787 aircraft have been traced to one batch of circuit boards produced by a subcontractor in Mexico. Boeing will now be working with the FAA on a review of the 787's entire electrical system. The FAA's announcement follows on the heels of highly publicized recent incidents involving the jet.

Most recently, on Jan. 7, a Japan Airlines 787 caught fire after landing at Boston's Logan International Airport. The fire involved lithium-ion battery cells associated with an onboard auxiliary power unit. On Dec. 14, United grounded one of their Dreamliners following a problem with an electrical panel. Boeing identified faulty circuit boards were susceptible to electrical arcing. On Dec. 9, a Qatar Airways 787 also reported an electrical problem. On Dec. 4, a United 787 diverted after an apparent electrical malfunction. Boeing said that foreign debris found in a power distribution panel caused a Nov. 9, 2010, fire on a 787 test aircraft. After that incident, it halted testing until the panel was redesigned.