The Straits Times
Published on Jan 10, 2013

Boeing top engineer says he's confident 787 Dreamliner is safe


WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Boeing rolled out the Dreamliner's chief engineer to try to quell concerns about the new jet following three mishaps in as many days, including an electrical fire that caused severe damage to a plane.

At a news conference on Wednesday, the engineer, Mr Mike Sinnett, defended the 787, the world's first plastic plane, and said its problem rates were at about the same level as Boeing's successful 777 jet.

Relatively few technical problems prevent 787s from leaving a gate within 15 minutes of scheduled departure time, he said. "We're in the high 90 per cents," he said. "We're right where the 777 programme was" at this stage.

The prevalence of more significant issues, such as a battery fire, is in the same order of magnitude as previous programmes, he added. "There's no metrics that are screaming at me that we've got a problem."