Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Evening Addition: Boeing repose

Every day comes a new chapter with the Boeing /Airbus fight. Rather than ruminating on the two giants, it is better that one sits back in a repose and ponder the greater issues of what is best for the passenger. The real danger lies before the passenger is riding in equipment not ready for prime time rather than buying the next best thing. Fortunately both giant manufacturers, and of a bevy of other single aisle makers are constrained by a due process of vetting new aircraft safely.

No recently made aircraft introduced in this decade has crashed, such as the 787 or A350 to be certain. Many things go wrong during daily operations for any aircraft type. Air India is supported by a robust press who likes to dedicate its full page for 787 reporting when a Dreamliner experiences another maintenance code for replacing a part. Those instances of flagging maintenances issues were announced to those seated in seats as an bull over the PA system, "stating the maintenance is changing out a flap actuator or the computer has identified a fault which will take 45 minutes to resolve". However this goes to press in India too often.

Evidently those days are gone and everything 787 is a news flash in India's skies. A two hour delay is the headline. A twenty hour delay waiting for a part and an installation by qualified 787 techs is the world wide news. What has happened to air travel where the complexity of every aircraft currently built takes an overhaul of said system before departing? The things that are saving customers are now the things that make us impatient when traveling.

This is a warning, travel will always remain a risk and will always encounter an uncertain nature when continuation on a journey starts. The 787 is no different than any other classic airplane flying before it, and it is not news any longer having a 787 on stand-by until it meets a flyable status. The high tech of 787 governance found internally is terrific, as it is monitoring millions of parts, and potential 787 issues during operation. If a line of code detects the 787 needs attention somewhere, it becomes a headline in India. They should report more on its economy than routine issues found on the 787.

Since there are only about 300 787's flying at any moment, it is a small portion of aircraft in the air compared with all others types in service. I have been delayed in Tucson to Seattle, and switched to another airplane type entirely, without even a nary mention from any news source for what problem had occured after having passengers switching out from a scheduled flight. Not so for the 787, since it is front and center for everything glitching. Airplane faults makes the papers every time. Thus making the passengers always more edgy. 

The millions of lines of code, makes the aircraft download data each day during a monitoring cycle has made the 787 just plain safe, and has not the travel nemesis the all India news dwells on and on concerning the 787. The airplane has carried hundreds of millions of passengers and Billions and Billions of miles. Is it clear to everyone that knowing everything about everything 787, is the reason that is keeping it out of harm's way in a big way? The 787 maybe the first airplane to never experience a hull loss due to its own mishaps or failures. 

PS: The Vietnam Airlines A350 has been grounded in Paris for two days because something went glitchy. You find it in the headlines!