July 12 Boeing Co's 787 Dreamliner was
set to be a game-changer for the commercial airplane industry as
its use of lighter materials and new construction methods
promised huge savings in fuel and maintenance costs.
On Friday, a 787 Dreamliner operated by Ethiopian Airlines
caught fire at Britain's Heathrow airport in a fresh blow for
the U.S. planemaker.
A series of delays and mishaps have plagued the aircraft
since its launch in 2004:
April 26 - Boeing launches the 787 Dreamliner, the first
commercial jetliner to extensively use both lightweight carbon
composite construction and powerful electrical systems with
September - Boeing delays planned first flight of the 787
Dreamliner, citing out-of-sequence production work, including
parts shortages, and software and systems integration arising
from its new production technique.
The company has outsourced Dreamliner production to about 50
suppliers from the United States and around the world. Boeing
retrieves the completed components and assembles the aircraft in
Oct. 10 - Boeing delays first flight and deliveries of the
787 due to challenges in assembling the passenger jet.
Deliveries are now slated to begin in late November or December
2008, versus an original target of May 2008. ()
Nov 9 - A 787 test airplane is forced to make an emergency
landing after fire breaks out in an electronics bay during
September - Japan's All Nippon Airways Co receives
its first 787 Dreamliner, delayed from 2008.
July - A General Electric Co engine on a 787 in North
Charleston, South Carolina, breaks during a preflight test. The
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stops short of
grounding planes for inspections.
Dec. 4 - A United Airlines 787 is forced to make an
emergency landing in New Orleans after experiencing electrical
Dec. 5 - U.S regulators ask airlines flying the 787
Dreamliners to make extra inspections to ensure the planes do
not experience engine failure or fire due to a manufacturing
fault in the fuel line.
Dec. 13 - Qatar Airways grounds one of its three 787s after
finding the same electrical problem that affected the United
Dec. 17 - United Airlines and Boeing confirm that a second
plane in United's fleet of Dreamliners had suffered electrical
Jan. 7 - A parked 787 operated by Japan Airlines
catches fire at Boston Logan International Airport after a
battery in an auxiliary power system explodes.
Jan. 8 - A second Dreamliner operated by Japan Airlines
leaks fuel at Logan, forcing it to cancel its takeoff and return
to the gate.
Jan. 8 - United Airlines finds the same wiring problem on
one of its 787 jets that caused the Jan. 7 fire on the Japan
Airlines' jet, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Jan. 9 - Japan's ANA cancels a 787 flight scheduled for a
domestic trip within Japan due to brake problems.
Jan. 11 - The U.S. Department of Transportation says the 787
will undergo a comprehensive review of its critical systems.
Jan. 13 - The Japan Airlines 787 that leaked fuel in Boston
on Jan. 8 experiences another, separate fuel leak while
undergoing checks in Tokyo.
Jan. 14 - Japan's transport ministry launches an
investigation into the cause of the fuel leaks on Japan
Airlines' Dreamliner jets.
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says it
is analyzing the lithium-ion battery and burned wire bundles as
part of its investigation of the Jan. 7 Japan Airlines fire.
Jan. 15 - ANA grounds all 17 of its 787 jets after another
aircraft is forced to make an emergency landing. Japan Airlines
suspends all 787 flights scheduled to leave Japan.
Jan. 16 - The FAA temporarily grounds all 787s after the
Jan. 15 ANA emergency landing. Europe, Japan and India join the
United States in grounding the jets.
Jan. 17 - Japan Transport Safety Board says the battery
onboard the ANA flight was blackened and carbonised on the
inside, Kyodo News reports.
Jan. 18 - Aviation safety officials wrap up their initial
investigation of the badly damaged battery and say further
checks could take a week to complete. Boeing halts deliveries of
Jan. 22 - U.S. Senate says it will hold a hearing in the
coming weeks to examine aviation safety oversight and the FAA's
decision to allow Boeing to use highly flammable lithium-ion
batteries on board the 787.
Jan. 23 - Japanese regulators join their U.S. counterparts
in all but ruling out overcharged batteries as the cause of
recent 787 fires.
Jan. 24 - The NTSB says systems designed to prevent battery
fire aboard the Dreamliner passenger jet did not work as
Feb. 4 - Boeing asks the FAA for permission to conduct test
flights of the 787 Dreamliner.
Feb. 6 - Boeing is working on battery design changes that
would minimize fire risks on the 787 and could have the
passenger jet flying again as soon as March, the Wall Street
Feb. 7 - U.S. agencies clear Boeing to restart test flights
of the 787 in order to get more data on potentially faulty
Feb. 8 - Boeing warns two European airlines of delays in
March 12 - The FAA approves Boeing plan to certify a
redesigned battery system on the 787 Dreamliner and will permit
two aircraft limited flights to test it.
April 19 - The FAA approves the revamped battery system for
the 787 Dreamliner and allows Boeing to immediately begin making
repairs to the fleet of 50 planes owned by airlines around the