Sunday, January 12, 2014

AI’s year-old Dreamliners aging prematurely?

New Delhi: Is Boeing's brand new B-787 Dreamliner showing signs of "premature aging"? On Saturday, an Air India Dreamliner had to be grounded in Hong Kong after the actuator of its wing spoilers broke. A spoiler acts as a speed breaker on an aircraft and its actuators make it go up or down on wing tips during takeoff to alter drag and during landing to increase rate of descent. Without this important device perfectly functional, an airplane simply can't be allowed to get airborne.
An AI spokesman confirmed the latest B-787 trouble. "The aircraft was grounded and has since been rectified. It will be operational soon from Hong Kong. Boeing has informed us that that they will not just replace but modify this part (spoiler-actuator for all Dreamliners)," he said.
Boeing's decision to modify a particularly snag-prone part comes as the brand new or less than a year-old B-787s are showing signs that only aircraft that have been in service for five to seven years show. Spoiler actuators of a brand new plane breaking are unheard off, said a source. In fact, pilots say that this particular snag has become a regular feature for the Dreamliner.
12/01/14 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India