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City's Dr Antony Evans comments on grounded Dreamliner 787 fleet

Aeronautical engineering academic assesses concerns around Boeing passenger aircraft.
by John Stevenson

Dr Antony Evans, a Lecturer in Air Transport Management in the School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences appeared on Sky News on Thursday 17 January. 

He responded to questions regarding the technical problems experienced with Boeing's Dreamliner 787 aircraft over the last several weeks.

Dr Evans commented on the safety risks around reports of battery issues on two Japanese Boeing 787 aircraft, and the subsequent grounding of the aircraft by the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

One of the aircraft, operated by Japan Airlines, caught fire while on the ground at Boston's Logan International Airport, while smoke was reported in the second aircraft's cockpit, operated by All Nippon AIrlines, while in flight. He also stated that given the amount of new technology used in the Dreamliner, there was an expectation that teething technical issues would have to be ironed out:

"This is a revolutionary aircraft. There is a lot of technology that is new and for that reason it is very attractive to the airlines … the consequence of having a lot of new technology is that it hasn't experienced thousands and thousands of hours of flight time to iron out all of the glitches, so we expect that there will be teething problems. However [the battery problem] is a bigger concern, and certainly something that Boeing and the airlines would have preferred not to have happened because it has led to the regulatory authorities grounding the aircraft. This has affected Boeing, and is embarrassing for them."

Dr Evans added:

"In some ways, because the aircraft has been grounded, we will know that when the aircraft is allowed to fly again, these problems would have been solved. So the FAA in the US as well as other regulatory agencies around the world, such as those over here in Europe, will make very sure now, that these problems have been solved, particularly relating to serious issues such as fire in the aircraft."

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.