Browsing Tag: Boeing 787

A Tesla Model S P85 parked  at twilight. Photo by Bernie Leighton |

A Tesla Model S P85 parked at twilight. Photo: Bernie Leighton |

I am a proud owner of a Tesla Model S and I am sick of people asking me if my car has caught fire yet. It was not funny the first time, and it has not changed the roughly five thousand times I have heard the same quip since.

The car has recently run into some fire issues causing some wide-spread media attention. The first time it happened, a man was driving his Tesla Model S in Kent, WA, when he hit road debris at an unconfirmed high speed. The battery was punctured by the gigantic, pointy, piece of metal – but the car maintained integrity long enough for the driver to pull over before the stricken Tesla’s battery pack overheated and ignited.

Soon people started comparing the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fires to the Tesla’s, and I felt that things were getting out of control.

Norwegian Air's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Image from Norwegian.

Norwegian Air’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Image from Norwegian.

Last week, the first 787 destined for Norwegian Air rolled out of the Boeing paint hangar up at Paine Field (KPAE).

Wonder if anyone has called Norwegian's livery Rudolph.

Wonder if anyone has called Norwegian’s livery Rudolph.

For those of you who attended this year’s Aviation Geek Fest may remember seeing line 102 on the factory tour in its white protective coating.

Norwegian Air's first 787 Dreamliner.

Norwegian Air’s first 787 Dreamliner.

The most striking and noticeable feature about this scheme is the fully painted red nose/front third of the aircraft, which for me looks very different compared to all of the white front halves that we have seen on every other 787 at this point. It’ll take a little to get used to but definitely is nice to see something a little different.

The tail, like on all of the airline’s 737s, features an important historic person that means something for the country.


Sonja Henie was chosen to be on the airline’s first 787 Dreamliner.

Sonja Henie is featured on the tail of the first 787 and is a three time Olympic Champion and film star.

Side angle of Norwegian's first Dreamliner.

Side angle of Norwegian’s first Dreamliner.

So far this is easily one of the sharpest looking 787 schemes and will be the easiest one to pick out of a line up.

Due to the current woes facing the Dreamliner, it is uncertain when Norwegian will be taking delivery of their first plane.

This story written by…Brandon Farris, Correspondent.

Brandon is an avid aviation geek based in Seattle. He got started in Photography and Reporting back in 2010. He loves to travel where ever he has to to cover the story and try to get the best darn shot possible.

@BrandonsBlog | RightStuffPhotography | Flickr

A Boeing 787 (L/N 86) painted in LOT livery takes off from Paine Field on April 5th. Image from Boeing.

A Boeing 787 (L/N 86) painted in LOT livery takes off from Paine Field on April 5th. Image from Boeing.

On April 5th, Boeing conducted a test flight for the mostly grounded 787 Dreamliner. Line number 86, a Boeing owned 787 built for LOT Polish Airlines, departed Paine Field (PAE) for its first and final certification test for the new battery system. The airplane took off at 10:39 am Pacific Time and landed 1 hours, 49 minutes later at 12:28 p.m.

The 787 Dreamliner has been grounded since January 16th due to issues with the lithium-ion batteries that power the APU, but Boeing has been authorized to conduct a few test flights by the FAA, since the grounding.

“Our top priority is the integrity of our products and the safety of the passengers and crews who fly on them,” said Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney. “Our team has been working around the clock to understand the issues and develop a solution based on extensive analysis and testing following the events that occurred in January. Today’s approval from the FAA is a critical and welcome milestone toward getting the fleet flying again and continuing to deliver on the promise of the 787,” he said.

The test crew reported no negative issues and the data will be analyzed and submitted to the FAA. According to Boeing, once they deliver the data they will, “Stand ready to reply to additional requests and continue in dialog with the FAA to ensure we have met all of their expectations.”

When asked why Boeing chose L/N 86 with LOT livery for their test flights, Marc Birtel with Boeing Communications explained to, “The airplane had already flown its first Boeing flight earlier this year and was already in the production flow toward delivery before the battery events occurred. As a result, we selected this airplane because of where it was at in the delivery process.”

According to the Seattle Times, the FAA could authorize the batteries as early as mid-month, but it would take a few additional months for them to start carrying passengers. Each of the 787s will need to be retrofitted and crews and employees will need to be re-trained.

Flight Global stated that fix teams have already been dispatched out to Narita, Japan to start modifying the 18 Dreamliners that are on the ground there as soon as they are given authorization. Along with the other ANA and JAL 787’s that are scattered around at different airports across the country. It is believed that it will take about four to five days to retrofit each aircraft.

It is expected that the Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) (Japans version of the FAA), will follow the FAA’s decision to allow the Dreamliner to fly, whenever that might be.

UPDATE: Jaunted is reporting that United Airlines has the 787 back on their time schedule starting on May 31st. Also, Qatar is being a bit more optimistic and shooting for May 15th.

Brandon Farris and David Parker Brown contributed to this story.

[nggallery id=42]

AirplaneGeeksLast week, I was able to make my third appearance (or a-hear-ance) on the Airplane Geeks Podcast. If you have never heard them before, I would highly suggest checking it out. A couple of great guys (who are also AvGeeks) talk about aviation and will bring on a guest to share their insight.

In this episode we talk about the issues facing the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, American Airline’s new livery, Aviation Geekfest and a few other odds and ends.

Cannot wait until next time!

United Airlines First 787 at Paine Field in Everett. Phone: Mal Muir –

On Tuesday the 4th December 2012, United flight 1146 scheduled from Houston to Newark, diverted to New Orleans due to a mechanical issue.  An emergency had been declared during descent and following standard procedure, the flight was to be welcomed by emergency crews upon landing.

As they approached the airport, there was talk between the tower controllers and the crew on board that would indicate they had predicted there might be an electrical problem.  Recordings taken from LiveATC (thanks to NYCAviation for the transcript) indicate the crew were forwarding instruction for the ground crews to help them inspect the aircraft upon landing:

UA 1146: If in fact anything’s going on it’ll be the area right behind the wings, the rear of the wings back to the third door on each side.
Tower: Which wing?
UA 1146: Uh, we don’t know. Either one. It might be on either side. But it’s behind the wing where high load electrical stuff is and back to the rear cargo. But we don’t anticipate anything, that’s just where he needs to be.
Tower: Okay.
UA 1146: So following us would be perfect.

The Dreamliner landed safely and all 184 passengers & crew on-board were unharmed.  The unexpected arrival marked the first Boeing 787 to land at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.  United re-booked passengers on another aircraft and set out to work with Boeing to investigate the issue.

United Airlines First Boeing 787 on Launch Day at the Boeing Factory in Everett. Phone: Mal Muir

United Spokesperson Christen Davis confirms to that the maintenance inspection of the 787 that diverted to New Orleans (N26902 the latest of their their 787s)  revealed that one of the six electrical generators on the aircraft failed and that back up systems allowed it to be powered by the remaining five.  United will replace the generator, run additional checks and then return the aircraft to service as soon as possible.

United also confirmed that this diversion was unrelated to the latest FAA Airworthiness Directive to all 787 operators that required mandatory inspections to the fuel feed systems.  The FAA implemented these mandatory checks this week, which had already been recommended by Boeing.  United’s 787s have already undergone the inspections for the fuel systems & Davis confirmed that United would continue to work closely with Boeing and the FAA to determine what went wrong with flight 1146.

This story written by…Malcolm Muir, Lead Correspondent.Mal is an Australian Avgeek now living and working in Seattle. With a passion for aircraft photography, traveling and the fun that combining the two can bring. Insights into the aviation world with a bit of a perspective thanks to working in the travel industry.

@BigMalX | BigMal’s World | Photos