On several of the threads about the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and its problems, there are passengers stating their opinions about whether they would fly on one. Since the posts aren't always on topic, they tend to vanish quickly, hence this thread.
So, the question is, as a passenger, would you fly on a 787 Dreamliner given the current number of problems? What are your reasons for your opinion?
I would have posted a poll as well, but I can't see the button the FAQs refer to.
I would personally be waiting for at least six months of relatively incident free operations. I totally accept that there are daily problems with many airlines and or airframes, but as a percentage, how many problems are we seeing compared to the total number in use? I also accept that it's a new type and that there can be glitches but these seem more than that to me.
I have some personal flying experience (only a PPL) and accept that there will always be risks. For me, for now, the odds aren't favouring the 787.
Yes I would. All new airliners have teething problems, undoubtedly the electrical problems were serious, action was taken and no lives were lost. The other problems we are reading about now are minor. Once the press have become alerted they pick up on every tiny issue and make mountains out of molehills.
People have very short memories, think back on all the engine shut downs suffered by early 747s, the DC10 crashes, deep stalls on the early T-tailed aircraft. Aircraft are much safer now.
When choosing to fly I am far more concerned about the standards of engineering and flight operations of the airline than by whether or not it is a 787.
Bergerie1 correctly reminds us of teething problems with the DC10 and early T-tailers which were subsequently fixed. However many people died in these early accidents, so no, I will refuse to fly it until it has a blotch free incident record for spontaneous combustion and computer freak outs for a couple of years
Yup, actually I have, quite a bit* and would again.
I should declare an interest I guess, although not a Boeing employee, I lived and breathed this airplane from 2005 to 2011. Along the way I've met and worked with a lot of the folk who designed it and a lot of the folk who build it. Almost without exception they were great people and there was not one who was unaware that one day their family members would fly on it.
Sure it has issues, and don't get me started on the 'MBAs running engineering' thing, but I suspect do most new airplanes do. So until I hear some facts as opposed to speculation on these last two events, (and please, what is so unusual about an air turn-back?) then I would happily scamper on board a 787 tomorrow.
*a while back, so the interior finish wasn't quite so good as now - although it was a tasteful shade of green, the seats were wider with neat full-harness belts and they provided loads of instruments for great in-flight entertainment!
Well I have already flown on a ANA 787 before they were grounded from Japan to Hong Kong. Flight ok but that was before the well documented issues started. Would I fly one currently not if I had a choice as others have said. That said I do get to choose so no. However I have been doing this flying bit for a number of years and have flown in any number of A/C and indeed airlines which had questionable records but I think the levels of safety have improved as have the a/c so the risk has lowered in my humble opinion. A/C that I have flown which had questionable records would be Electras - fires, DC-8 - Ground spoiler issues, DC-10 -stalls, a number of T tailed a/c before the stalls were under stood, the list could go on, however as I said they have improved.
Definitely NO at the moment. Too many serious "unknowns". I fully accept that new types will have "teething" troubles, but I don't classify serious electrical fires as "teething" problems. I classify them more as a potential disaster waiting to happen somewhere over a large ocean. I'll give the 787 a miss for the time being.
history favors early operations over teething problems
Yes, I would ride a 787 today if it came up as an option--with interest in the novelty, and no greater fear than normal.
While I have neither read nor made a remotely statistical analysis, it seems to me that there has been a pattern of major new aircraft types having quite good early operational safety records despite well-publicized faults for decades now. The 747 and 777, to cite two post-Comet examples, took a long while before first hull loss with fatalities.
My simplistic assessment is that, especially for the bigger aircraft, early operators tend to be major airlines flying into major airports, and that everyone involved is highly aware that a new type brings new risk so are less inclined to cut corners (in every area, from operations, to maintenance, to crew selection, to various pilot choices I won't pretend to articulate) than on average. In the modern time, this "extra cushion" seems to have been more than enough to compensate for the excess safety risk posed by the teething problems, on average. ("modern time" here may be taken to begin after the Comet and Electra fatal teething problems)
For the record, I am much more comfortable with the fire-proof box plus vent portion of the fix for the 787 battery than I would have been had someone triumphantly declared they had found a manufacturing fault "which we will assure will not recur", or even a electrical environmental challenge "which we have engineered out of the system" and then gone on to fly with the demonstrated inadequate containment as before. Perhaps those who decry the lack of a root-cause solution have not really thought through what that would practically have meant on the ground (well, in the air in this case). Just suppose the battery subsequently found a new reason to fail--not in the manner "root-caused". I'll take the box and vent, thank you, and would not mind if you installed them for your big NiCd batteries as well (you do know those can fail violently--right?)
No, I am no completely comfortable--but I'd expect myself far more likely to be killed by hitting wrong after bouncing off the overhead when not strapped down in a sudden CAT episode, or inflight Loss of Control, or CFIT, or over-run, or another high item on the pareto of ways to get killed in a passenger aircraft than by one of Boeing's teething problems on this aircraft.
Archae 86 Sorry to disappoint but 787 is an ali tube at 38,000ft with slightly bigger windows and a little smaller than 777 and a tad less loud. Not much to write home about in the scheme of things. Range and economics which go with this make it interesting to the airlines maybe not so much for PAX. Always prefer 777,747, 380 as PAX long haul now although have a soft spot for 340 as it looks like 707 , DC8 which I flew many miles in as a young man / child. Worst flight ever was in 707 AF May 74 LA - Paris would fly 707 no problem, but my last AF flight to date, will say no more.
Freudian slip? It's a carbon fibre tube which is the whole point, but I'll give you the credit.
In answer to the OP, I have flown it, and would again. All new aircraft have problems, in this age they're so much more under the media microscope than ever before, in my airline we were approached last Friday with frenzied enquries about our battery fires etc even though we've had no problems... they're actively looking for stories now. Many industry people will remember that the A380 was the nightmare de jour in the press a few years back. While these aircraft are flying lots and lots of sectors with very few hiccups and no hull losses I see no reason why I'd avoid them.
Ask yourself this... Boeing 737s, Airbus A320s, A330s etc all perform air turn backs several times a day, many experience significant faults (engine shut downs, electrical issues, smoke or fumes on board) on a regular basis, but does it stop you flying on one? The fact that the new aircraft of the day is reported on in the press is what makes threads like this. No-one will remember the problems in 10 years.
Last edited by Laarbruch72; 16th Jul 2013 at 22:42.
Jeez, there are some wimps around. There isn't a scheduled operation anywhere that I wouldn't use, although I hope the day doesn't arrive when I am obliged to fly domestic in Nigeria, Nepal or the Congo.
Odds of a million to one are five times worse than five million to one, but they're still pretty good odds.