All Nippon Airways said it discovered defective wiring in the engine fire-extinguishing system on three of its Boeing 787 Dreamliners, another in a long line of problems that has plagued the fuel-efficient aircraft.
A separate 787 operated by Japan Airlines was forced to turn back to Tokyo midflight for the same mechanical glitch, the Wall Street Journal reports. All Nippon Airways said it found wiring problems with the fire extinguishing units for the plane’s two engines.
The Dreamliner has had a string of problems since it debuted. The fuel-efficient Dreamliner fleet was grounded worldwide for three months earlier this year after two separate January incidences of lithium-ion backup batteries catching fire. Boeing said it could not ascertain why that happened but issued a modification that would prevent it from happening again.
The FAA, which issued the global alert after the incidents happened, approved the battery system improvements in April.
In June, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner had to make an emergency landing because of a brake system problem. Earlier that same month, a Japan Airlines flight bound for Singapore was forced to turn back mid-flight because of problems with its anti-icing system. A day later, an All Nippon Airways flight was cancelled because an engine would not start.
In July, a fire broke out inside a Dreamlinfer parked at London’s Heathrow Airport. UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch’s later said a Honeywell emergency beacon may have caused the fire and should be turned off.
The string of issues coupled with other safety concerns will slow “the introduction of some lightweight innovations for fuel efficiency,” Lux Research analyst Cosmin Laslau told Environmental Leader.
Laslau says the Dreamliner’s continued safety concerns “will make the aerospace industry much more cautious going forward” and likely slow the adoption of carbon-fiber, fuel-efficient airplanes. However, Laslau says airlines will continue to seek fuel-saving measures because the opportunity for cost savings is considerable.