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Amid Plunging Orders, Boeing Tries “Quick Fix”



Aircraft manufacturer Boeing is experimenting with a short-term fix to contain potential battery fires on its 787 Dreamliner passenger jets – hoping to get the jets in the air again while a permanent fix aimed at preventing the fires altogether is identified.

“The interim fix includes a heavy-duty titanium or steel containment box around the battery cells, and high-pressure evacuation tubes that, in the event of a battery fire, would vent any gases directly to the outside of the jet,” The Seattle Times reports.

Will this short-term fix satisfy federal officials who grounded the Dreamliners over a month ago after an assortment of problems? That remains to be seen – but even if regulators clear the Dreamliner to fly, airlines are hinting at a lengthy grounding in the interest of passenger safety. Meanwhile on the supply chain front, Boeing has warned its customers to expect additional delays in Dreamliner deliveries as a result of the grounding.

The latest attempt to fix the “Nightmare Liner” comes a week after it was revealed Boeing’s new aircraft orders had plunged from 183 in December to just two in January. That’s right … two.

Boeing has delivered only 50 of the 800 Dreamliner orders it has received and is under tremendous pressure to turn a profit on the plane. Originally scheduled for delivery in May of 2008, numerous design, supply and delivery problems pushed plane’s deadline back more than three years.

Now its commercial debut has been a disaster …

Why do we follow the Dreamliner so closely? Because South Carolina taxpayers shelled out roughly $900 million in incentives to lure a 787 manufacturing facility to North Charleston, S.C. in 2009. And South Carolina politicians – led by Gov. Nikki Haley – fawn all over Boeing, with Haley referring to the Dreamliners produced in the Palmetto State as “Mack Daddy Planes.”

Yeah … with “Mack Daddy Problems.”