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Glitches plague Dreamliners

New Delhi, Dec. 9: Air India’s crown jewel Boeing 787 Dreamliner has run into turbulence because of repeated technical snags and operational problems.

Air India (AI) officials said engine problems, which kept cropping up on a regular basis, had plagued the Dreamliner.

“A few weeks back the Dreamliner on the Delhi-Bangalore route had technical problems because of complications in the power equipment cooling system and the electrical power system. This means electronic problems occurred which caused the engine to overheat. However, we were able to correct the problem,” said a senior AI official.

The national carrier is already in talks with Boeing on the issue, and the civil aviation ministry is reviewing the problems.

Air India officials said that, globally, Dreamliners were facing similar technical glitches. “The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) a few days back ordered the inspection of Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliners after the discovery of fuel leaks traced to a manufacturing flaw at the Boeing plants,” said an official.

According to civil aviation ministry officials, Boeing will be able to provide the modified electrical system only by the middle of next year. “Modification of the electrical system would be available in the first quarter of 2013,” said an officer.

A recent report stated that the FAA had ordered a safety mandated inspection of fuel line couplings in the engine pylons to make sure the couplings were correctly assembled and installed. Reports of fuel leaks were traced to improper assembly of the engine’s fuel-feed couplings.

The FAA’s airworthiness directive said that if these installation procedures were not fixed it could lead to engine power loss, shutdown or fires caused by fuel that leaked on to hot engine parts.

However, this technical snag will not stop the induction of the aircraft, which will be delivered as scheduled to Air India.

“Induction of Dreamliners is very important for the success of a turnaround plan. So we would be bringing in more B787s any way. The snag would be taken care of as soon as Boeing provides us with modified electronic systems,” added the officer.

 
 
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