Worries about the Boeing 787 Dreamliner have caused such planes to be grounded until their safety can be assured through careful inspection. Authorities in both Japan and the United States are taking part in the investigation.
The issues with the planes apparently stem from lithium-ion batteries onboard the aircrafts. A safety official in Japan came to the conclusion that the batteries may overheat if exposed to excessive electrical output. This in turn leads to liquid spillage and an apparent fire hazard.
The investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board is also focused on these batteries. However, a representative from that agency has stated that 1.3 million testing hours were had before the battery was declared safe, and that it would appear at this time that no corners were cut in the process leading up to the batteries’ debut.
The batteries’ presence was to be one of the ways that the Dreamliner could cut costs typically associated with plane production and travel. But the ensuing marketing headache may ratchet up the costs anyway. Until such time that things can be sorted out and the safety of the batteries and the planes can be assured, 50 Dreamliners are being kept out of the air. Stay tuned for more information about the investigation.