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Aviation expert calls Boeing 787 glitches ‘teething pains’

Boeing 787s have had three issues in three days with three different systems. (AP Photo/File)

Analysts and customers are calling the recent problems with the Boeing Dreamliner “teething pains,” but the plane has had three issues in three days with three different systems.

A fuel leak, an electrical fire, and now an error message in the braking system. All in different 787’s this week.
It’s not the first time this plane has had similar issues.

Aviation insider Richard Aboulafia says “I think you’re looking at a real concern but only to Boeing’s image. It’s not like they’re going to find any show-stoppers that make this entire jet an invalid design or something.”

Aboulafia says the plane has so much new technology these glitches were bound to happen, but he wonders if Boeing pushed too fast to get them out the door.

“It’s better for Boeing if it’s a manufacturing problem, but in terms of image it’s worse for them if it’s a manufacturing problem,” he said. “It implies they simply rushed things and really shouldn’t have, and it’s not a question of technology. It’s a question of just pushing too fast.”

Boeing vice president of marketing Randy Tinseth said in his blog “we have complete confidence in the 787 and vow to take care of any issues our customers are experiencing – day or night.”

Some analysts are wondering how this series of public glitches might play into the latest round of negotiations between Boeing and its engineers and technical workers. Will they give either side an advantage in this talks, or will it even be an issue?

The sides meet again Wednesday for the first time since early December. There is a growing number of people inside SPEEA that think a strike is likely. The company and the union are still far apart on wages and pension benefits.

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