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Friday, January 18, 2013

What 787 Dreamliner Problems Mean For Boeing

All Nippon Airways' Boeing 787 Dreamliner takes off for the company's first non-stop flight from San Jose to Tokyo at the San Jose International Airport in San Jose, Calif. on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

All Nippon Airways’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner takes off for the company’s first non-stop flight from San Jose to Tokyo at the San Jose International Airport in San Jose, Calif. on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Boeing’s 787 Dreamliners around the world have been grounded.

This photo provided on Thursday by the Japan Transport Safety Board shows the distorted main lithium-ion battery and its lid, left, of the All Nippon Airways' Boeing 787, which made an emergency landing on Wednesday at Takamatsu airport in western Japan. At right are the model in normal condition. (Japan Transport Safety Board/AP)

At left is the distorted main lithium-ion battery and its lid, from the All Nippon Airways’ Boeing 787, which made an emergency landing on Wednesday in western Japan. At right is the model in normal condition. (Japan Transport Safety Board/AP)

After the FAA ordered an investigation into the electrical systems of the aircraft, many airlines decided to keep the 787’s on the ground.

The investigation was prompted by a number of recent safety incidents on the 787 involving the electrical system and it’s lithium ion batteries.

Fifty 787s are in operation around the world, and the majority of them will not be in use until investigation into the systems are investigated.

Some frequent fliers say they aren’t worried about safety aboard Boeing’s problem-plagued 787 aircraft, while many less-seasoned travelers are often unaware of what model of plane they’re flying on.

That makes it anyone’s guess whether Boeing Co., or the airlines that use its planes, will pay a price for concerns surrounding the 787.

Boeing officials and some frequent fliers say there are hiccups with just about every new plane, and the 787 was a particularly bold technological leap over previous aircraft. But will those reassurances satisfy the flying public?

The Associated Press contributed reporting to this article.

Guest:

  • George Ferguson, senior airlines analyst at Bloomberg Industries.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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