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Topic: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: Bogi
Posted 2013-07-10 00:03:31 and read 19819 times.

Only "teething"?
Quote:
United Airlines (UAL), the only U.S. operator of Boeing Co. (BA)’s 787 Dreamliner, is canceling flights by those planes almost four times as often as on the rest of its fleet, signaling that the new jets remain prone to breakdowns.
http://mobile.bloomberg...united-s-787-cancellation-rate-outstrips-rest-of-fleet.html

Another message: http://www.chron.com...Problem-grounds-another-Dreamliner-flight

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: penguins
Posted 2013-07-10 00:19:17 and read 19764 times.

This shows how low the US media has stooped. They bother with the cancelation rate of a perfectly fine airliner instead of actual news.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: AeroWesty
Posted 2013-07-10 00:29:07 and read 19698 times.

Quoting penguins (Reply 1):
This shows how low the US media has stooped.

Stooped? There's nothing at all wrong with a financial news service like Bloomberg doing an asset analysis on a company. That's how investors get reliable info rather than depending upon word-on-the-street. If United has difficulty deploying an asset, that is important information to have no matter what it is.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: justloveplanes
Posted 2013-07-10 01:52:44 and read 19282 times.

The question I have is whether the rate is falling month to month... I.e. is it getting better.

r/

Ivan

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: Klaus
Posted 2013-07-10 01:58:41 and read 19240 times.

Quoting Bogi (Thread starter):
Only "teething"?

Might still be. The 747 is said to have had a pretty horrid record as well in its early days.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: tcfc424
Posted 2013-07-10 02:27:25 and read 19092 times.

I understand Bloomberg, or any other financial media looking solely at cancellation/delay metrics. My company is very metric based as well, however sometimes its a case of not being able to see the forest through the trees. There could be many factors that are leading to these cancellations. Just a couple I can think of off the top of my head are:

1) Not having the qualified crew in the right place at the right time. This is a new aircraft type and a relatively small fleet for UA...if you have 1 crew member out of place, it seems likely there may not be a reserve at the ready as there is with say a 777.

2) Not having qualified mechanics at the ready. Some of the issues may be trivial, however having someone certified to work on the airframe or power plant may not be easy to find...again it is a relatively small and new fleet type.

There are a myriad of other reasons these flights may be cancelling more often than others, and many may not involve the airworthiness of the aircraft itself, but rather "teething" issues of finding qualified staff.

I agree...lets watch the progression of CXL's and see if they rise or fall...my guess...they will fall as the fleet type truly becomes integrated into UA's ops.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: bennett123
Posted 2013-07-10 02:36:08 and read 19030 times.

3.8% of "No go"'s is not good.

How does it compare with the A330/340/380 andB777 when they entered service.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-07-10 04:43:03 and read 18505 times.

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 6):
3.8% of "No go"'s is not good.

Wasn't the 777 around 5% when it was first spooling up?

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: DTWPurserBoy
Posted 2013-07-10 04:49:53 and read 18425 times.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 4):
Might still be. The 747 is said to have had a pretty horrid record as well in its early days.

It did indeed have problems initially, primarily with the engines "rubbing", IIRC. It took a few years to work the kinks out. No certification process can ever duplicate what the airplane will do in real day to day line service.

I remember the 747 Inaugural at Pan Am had a major mechanical delay and they had to substitute another airplane which caused a long delay. Not what you want on an Inaugural.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: ap305
Posted 2013-07-10 04:59:21 and read 18295 times.

I knew I read something on flight about UAL's 777 experience all those years ago- here's page 2 of the article.

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1996/1996%20-%202575.html

According to it, the lowest reliability UAL saw in the first year was 96.5%. It was 97.9% by the end of the first year- and this is schedule reliability not cancellations alone. The 787 will eventually get there but I am not sure how valid the comparisons to 777's entry into service are. Even after all these years, I think she still remains the yardstick for other aircraft in terms of entry in to service.

[Edited 2013-07-10 05:40:49]

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-07-10 06:27:21 and read 17748 times.

Quoting tcfc424 (Reply 5):
1) Not having the qualified crew in the right place at the right time. This is a new aircraft type and a relatively small fleet for UA...if you have 1 crew member out of place, it seems likely there may not be a reserve at the ready as there is with say a 777.

The 787 at UA does not lack for qualified crews. The crews are in place and have been for a very long time. Staffing has not been an issue

Quoting tcfc424 (Reply 5):
2) Not having qualified mechanics at the ready. Some of the issues may be trivial, however having someone certified to work on the airframe or power plant may not be easy to find...again it is a relatively small and new fleet type.

Maintenance may be able to better address this but from the conversations I have had with the technicians they say the LRU's are not available from Boeing to keep the fleet running. Often there is a significant wait for parts that have failed long before the MTBF schedule.

I was in London yesterday and the IAH 787 flight cancelled due to an array of EICAS/ Status messages and a need for a part that was not in stock by either UA, British Airways or Boeing.

Boeing support for parts in the field is terrible for this airplane. It is as if GM sold cars prone to failure to all corners of the world but did not provide spare parts to fix them.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: jollo
Posted 2013-07-10 06:40:34 and read 17456 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 10):
I have had with the technicians they say the LRU's are not available from Boeing to keep the fleet running. Often there is a significant wait for parts that have failed long before the MTBF schedule.

I was in London yesterday and the IAH 787 flight cancelled due to an array of EICAS/ Status messages and a need for a part that was not in stock by either UA, British Airways or Boeing.

Wow, that's Bad with a capital B in my book. If true, can be fixed in two ways: either A) you spur your supply chain (not easy) or B) you get MTBFs up to spec (even less easy).

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: clemsonaj
Posted 2013-07-10 06:54:05 and read 17156 times.

Is this a problem being experienced by the other operators as well? Or is this unique to UA? Since the majority of the other operators are not based in the USA, I'm guessing the data is not as readily available.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: Klaus
Posted 2013-07-10 07:05:51 and read 16887 times.

Is that a problem of Boeing actually not being able to provide already ordered spares or could it be excessively "lean" spare management by both Boeing and the Airlines coming back to bite them?

It can hardly be ordinary production ramping issues this late in the introduction with all the holdups – they should be positively drowning in most of the parts at this point.

Is anything known about the deeper causes?

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: a380787
Posted 2013-07-10 07:06:33 and read 16835 times.

UA was too eager to deploy them all over the network instead of concentrating them at a single hub until the kinks have been worked out.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-07-10 07:11:20 and read 16717 times.

Quoting a380787 (Reply 14):
UA was too eager to deploy them all over the network instead of concentrating them at a single hub until the kinks have been worked out.

Which is hysterical seeing as they were *simultaneously* focusing the 744s on one hub to improve reliability...

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: usflyguy
Posted 2013-07-10 08:01:28 and read 15631 times.

Why aren't other airlines flying the 787 having the same amount of issues as UA?

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: CODC10
Posted 2013-07-10 08:08:55 and read 15440 times.

Quoting a380787 (Reply 14):
UA was too eager to deploy them all over the network instead of concentrating them at a single hub until the kinks have been worked out.

Aside from DEN-NRT, a mission which requires the 787 to be commercially viable, all 787 trips at UA either begin or end at IAH. This really is no different from UA's redeployment of the 747 fleet out of the SFO hub. LAX-PVG/NRT ops are still scheduled to commence in August with the 787, but this will not happen unless the 787 meets certain reliability targets.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: slider
Posted 2013-07-10 08:10:02 and read 15440 times.

Quoting tcfc424 (Reply 5):
1) Not having the qualified crew in the right place at the right time. This is a new aircraft type and a relatively small fleet for UA...if you have 1 crew member out of place, it seems likely there may not be a reserve at the ready as there is with say a 777.

2) Not having qualified mechanics at the ready. Some of the issues may be trivial, however having someone certified to work on the airframe or power plant may not be easy to find...again it is a relatively small and new fleet type.

There are a myriad of other reasons these flights may be cancelling more often than others, and many may not involve the airworthiness of the aircraft itself, but rather "teething" issues of finding qualified staff.

I agree...lets watch the progression of CXL's and see if they rise or fall...my guess...they will fall as the fleet type truly becomes integrated into UA's ops.

One additional reason *might* be, related to the above, is that the Boeing success team is based at IAH. That's also one of the reasons why most of the domestic flying is centered around IAH--so that they have the appropriate technical support on site. This includes GE folks to support the GEnx engines, other primary vendors I think too.

So if they want to cancel a flight, they might be more prone to do so in order to ensure it touches or stays in/at IAH because that's where the best diagnostic and troubleshooting can occur.

And it might just come down to good old fashioned hypersensitivity in canceling vs running a flight or doing an MEL. I'm sure there are some flight ops guidelines issued to the 787 aviators for it. And UA is probably taking a heightened stance given the already documented issues with the aircraft.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: a380787
Posted 2013-07-10 08:11:45 and read 15388 times.

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 16):
Why aren't other airlines flying the 787 having the same amount of issues as UA?

most other airlines are already single hub airlines (or in Japan's case, large enough operations at both HND and NRT to deal with planes going tech)

UA is trying to have them fly long haul out of LAX, DEN, and IAH. Even if you can ferry a spare over, it'll take a few hours.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: AA94
Posted 2013-07-10 08:12:40 and read 15335 times.

Quoting a380787 (Reply 14):
UA was too eager to deploy them all over the network instead of concentrating them at a single hub until the kinks have been worked out.

  

Quoting clemsonaj (Reply 12):
Is this a problem being experienced by the other operators as well? Or is this unique to UA? Since the majority of the other operators are not based in the USA, I'm guessing the data is not as readily available.

UA seems to have the lion's share of 787 dispatch issues. By comparison, ANA have published a listing of all flights and delays post-modification (available at http://secure.ana-g.com/anacom/cgi-bin/787/pdf/service_e.pdf).

From June 1 - June 10, ANA operated 580 787 flights, and saw two cancellations and two delays.

From June 11 - June 20, ANA operated 620 787 flights, and saw two cancellations and two delays.

From June 21 - June 30, ANA operated 644 787 flights, and saw two cancellations and three delays.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: FlyDeltaJets
Posted 2013-07-10 08:13:59 and read 15335 times.

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 16):
Why aren't other airlines flying the 787 having the same amount of issues as UA?

Where is the evidence that they aren't also doesnt UA have the most 787 routes at the present?

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: FlyBigDeltaJets
Posted 2013-07-10 08:14:26 and read 15291 times.

Is cancellation rate normalized for fleet size? Surely a single 787 cancellation has a much larger effect on the 787 rate than a single 757 cancellation has on the 757 rate. In other words, how much of the high rate is due to the small fleet size?

[Edited 2013-07-10 08:15:35]

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: usflyguy
Posted 2013-07-10 08:16:03 and read 15223 times.

Quoting AA94 (Reply 20):
UA seems to have the lion's share of 787 dispatch issues. By comparison, ANA have published a listing of all flights and delays post-modification (available at http://secure.ana-g.com/anacom/cgi-bin/787/pdf/service_e.pdf).

From June 1 - June 10, ANA operated 580 787 flights, and saw two cancellations and two delays.

From June 11 - June 20, ANA operated 620 787 flights, and saw two cancellations and two delays.

From June 21 - June 30, ANA operated 644 787 flights, and saw two cancellations and three delays.

        

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: AA94
Posted 2013-07-10 08:51:19 and read 14503 times.

Quoting FlyDeltaJets (Reply 21):
Where is the evidence that they aren't also doesnt UA have the most 787 routes at the present?

I'd be interested to see UA's exact numbers, so that we could compare.

For example, from June 1 - June 30, ANA operated 1844 787 flights, and experienced a total of 13 flights with delays or cancellations, meaning that 99.3% of ANA's 787 flights operated normally.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: DTWPurserBoy
Posted 2013-07-10 08:56:20 and read 15055 times.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 13):
Is that a problem of Boeing actually not being able to provide already ordered spares or could it be excessively "lean" spare management by both Boeing and the Airlines coming back to bite them?

No airline keeps everything in stock for repairs. It is a serious financial issue to have a lot of spares sitting on a shelf so they stock the things that routinely break and then if something serious happens, they start to call other carriers to loan or buy a part or fly it into the station. We call it "AOG." Airplane on ground and it has a top priority to get the part there.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: coair737
Posted 2013-07-10 08:59:38 and read 15369 times.

As having flown the UA 787 almost 20 times since it has been put back into service with several of the flts being DEN-NRT-DEN and IAH-LHR-IAH I haven't once taken a cancellation or hardly a delay. I guess I've been lucky. However I have noticed UA canceling a few more times then I would've guessed. I've seen lately that UA and the 787 only being talked about there were a few post in here talking about ANA that's the first I've seen since the batteries. And the US media is a joke.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-07-10 09:10:54 and read 15103 times.

Quoting FlyDeltaJets (Reply 21):
Where is the evidence that they aren't...

NH and JL publish regular figures for their 787 operations (as AA94 referenced in Reply 20). AI was reporting issues early in their service period, but that seems to have quieted down. Not sure how LA's fleet is doing and that AAB is not holding daily press conferences could be a sign that QR's fleet is doing okay.  

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: Revelation
Posted 2013-07-10 09:11:34 and read 14986 times.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 2):
There's nothing at all wrong with a financial news service like Bloomberg doing an asset analysis on a company.

Yes, but saying:

Quoting Bogi (Thread starter):
United Airlines (UAL), the only U.S. operator of Boeing Co. (BA)’s 787 Dreamliner, is canceling flights by those planes almost four times as often as on the rest of its fleet

is outright hype, without giving the actual figures.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: Klaus
Posted 2013-07-10 09:12:27 and read 14950 times.

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 25):
No airline keeps everything in stock for repairs.

Understood. Hence "excessively lean" in my question.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: AeroWesty
Posted 2013-07-10 09:26:37 and read 14693 times.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 28):
is outright hype, without giving the actual figures.

Bloomberg did state the fleet size, six, and that the experience rate with cancelations was 3.8%, so one can easily extrapolate the probable size of the cancellation problem. Then later in the article they noted what the average delay rate is for UA's 787s in terms of the percentage of flights and duration of the delays, in comparison with the rest of the fleet.

The article wrapped up with the statement that some of this is to be expected, so that the uninitiated isn't unduly alarmed.

One of the things to consider is Bloomberg's audience, and how familiar with the underlying story they may be. This was a story for the investment community, not necessarily the aviation industry.

What I think Bloomberg missed was the delay/cancelation rate for UA vs. other 787 operators like NH, as posted above. That was a HUGE oversight.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: 7673mech
Posted 2013-07-10 11:08:55 and read 12790 times.

I typically try and stay neutral when it comes to the A/B debate and bashing or defending one or another.
You have to consider something that some have pointed out:
We are talking about 6 airplanes - a fleet where parts are still being acquired for.
( I have been involved in new fleet type introductions and it takes 12-18 months until you have enough spares in the right places to minimize AOG situations.)

I will point out ANA - it took 9 months to reach 99% dispatch rate. I suspect spares, experience and more airplanes all had something to do with this.

http://www.ana.co.jp/wws/japan/e/loc.../common/share/boeing787info/#cnt01

I realize threads like this will pop up because it's easier to be negative about something then analyze what is really happening.

The crews - maintenance and flight deck a like - also have to get used to the airplane. (No need to defend either I am not bashing them just stating a fact). I can tell you even at Boeing - certain crews (pilots and mechanics) have more problems then others getting the planes up.

Once a carrier has the plane in service for a year or so and has a decent size fleet, operating experience and parts and people in the right places - the dispatch rate will get better.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: DTW2HYD
Posted 2013-07-10 12:12:42 and read 11749 times.

Quoting 7673mech (Reply 31):

One of the most logical posts here. Boeing can forecast/recommend parts to be stocked based on MTBF data published by supplier. If a part deviates from published MTBF standard both Boeing and airline have to adjust their inventory.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: flightsimer
Posted 2013-07-10 16:09:24 and read 8331 times.

When did Air India move to the US?   

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: CALTECH
Posted 2013-07-10 16:34:07 and read 7940 times.

Many of the delays and cancellations seem to have 'awaiting for part from.....' as a update. Have seen some items fail that should not have so soon, and they seem to not be in stock. But that is how new items are on introduction at times. Look at the Qantas A380 engine issue.

Also have heard something about 787 door open assist snubber or actuator. Seems when the door gets hard to operate, this item gets checked and it is low on air pressure. It is buried in the door and the door needs to be torn apart to service it. Lengthy time to service something that should not need servicing that often.

As time goes on, it will get better as these issues get fixed or resolved. And, there are usually temporary fixes before permanent ones are able to be implemented.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2013-07-10 16:40:32 and read 7822 times.

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 34):
Many of the delays and cancellations seem to have 'awaiting for part from.....' as a update.

New items that fail often fail for everyone, so whomever is slowest ordering is having to have the parts expedited from Boeing/vendor.

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 34):
Lengthy time to service something that should not need servicing that often.

They have to do a fix that either stops the leak or makes it trivial to service... preferably both.

Lightsaber

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-07-10 17:22:34 and read 7322 times.

Quoting 7673mech (Reply 31):
The crews - maintenance and flight deck a like - also have to get used to the airplane. (No need to defend either I am not bashing them just stating a fact). I can tell you even at Boeing - certain crews (pilots and mechanics) have more problems then others getting the planes up.

These are not "comfort" issues for crews or mechanics at UA. They are hard faults, leaking windows, non-clearable Status messages, lengthy software reload times, and regular old parts failures. If there are wizards at Boeing that can step in to keep the UA fleet reliable they should step up to the plate. From the technicians I have spoken to even the Boeing Tech reps can't get the airplanes fixed. They do a head scratch and grab the cell phone to call for help.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 35):
They have to do a fix that either stops the leak or makes it trivial to service... preferably both.

They should have had a better design and a better servicing method out of the box. Something like this simple service being poorly designed sounds like many of the other complaints about the 787 from those that work and fly on the thing.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: flood
Posted 2013-07-10 18:03:15 and read 6812 times.

The cancellation rate based on flightaware doesn't reveal much about the 787's reliability at UA, it merely highlights some (to be expected) lacking flexibility with their small fleet of six. A larger fleet with more opportunity for substitutions could have reduced the cancellation rate to zero, even if the flights had been substituted by other types. And on the flipside, in June there were at least 8 instances where 787s went tech and had to be swapped for another with subsequent delays - without being cancelled. That said, Bloomberg's report paints a blurry picture, at best.

It would have been more interesting had they dug a little deeper to report on the number of delays incurred by technical issues. Better yet, had they managed to press UA for some solid dispatch reliability figures - rather than a generic PR response which is even less revealing than their flightaware stats. But the way things are currently going, I don't see UA being too eager to release such.

Quoting AA94 (Reply 24):
For example, from June 1 - June 30, ANA operated 1844 787 flights, and experienced a total of 13 flights with delays or cancellations, meaning that 99.3% of ANA's 787 flights operated normally.

They experienced a total of 13 flights with cancellations or delays in excess of 2 hours. That doesn't mean the other 99.3% operated normally.

On the 4th of July, for example, their PDF shows one cancellation for KMJ-HND. Yet HND-PEK had a maintenance delay of 1.5 hours and HND-TOY was substituted by a different type with subsequent delay - neither of which made the list. I'm not familiar with other days, just happened to be looking into their fleet utilization at the time.

Quoting 7673mech (Reply 31):
Once a carrier has the plane in service for a year or so and has a decent size fleet, operating experience and parts and people in the right places - the dispatch rate will get better.

No doubt, yet the 787's dispatch reliability rate at United is well below par for the introduction of a new type.

Today's UA70 LAX-IAH was cancelled as well after a 3 hour servicing delay. Aircraft is still stuck at LAX.

Topic: RE: UAL 787 Cancellation Rate Outstrips Rest Of Fleet
Username: wjcandee
Posted 2013-07-10 20:14:13 and read 5563 times.

I get the all-new-technology thing. From hard personal experience.

In 1989, I was fortunate enough to be able to buy a new 1990 Porsche 911. The Germans had kept the basic body shell and redesigned EVERYTHING. It was a heck of a car. And I'm glad I had a good dealer and it had a good warranty.

First disconcerting failure was something in the clutch assembly. After about 3 months. A big part. Flywheel or something. Shouldn't have failed. But hey, this was a new clutch design. Actually vastly-easier to shift than the schoolbus-like 911 they made until 1 year earlier. Really a wonderful transmission, no question about it. But not reassuring to know that your flywheel can break while you're driving somewhere remote at night (I was in Texas at the time). Moreover, in the 911, you have to remove the engine to access the clutch. Really: they take the whole engine out of the engine compartment. Not a quick job. A little disconcerting to visit the garage and see your engine sitting next to the car. Very glad it was under warranty (5 years, IIRC). I went through two more flywheels before Porsche redesigned the part. Had a few other things like that that failed in the first year.

But the best was the fuel gauge transducer that goes in the fuel tank and reads the fuel level. Failed after 2 months. Huh. That's funny. Brought the car in to the dealer. The dealer was surprised, too. "Huh, it's a new-design solid state one. Should be more reliable, not less." They replaced it. Two months later, failed again. I had bought the car right when it came out, so I was ahead of the curve. "That's the weirdest thing. What kind of gas are you using?" "What do you think?" They replaced it. "Are you sure this thing doesn't have some design issue?" "Not that we know of." Two months later...you guessed it. NOW, while the dealer is swearing up and down that there's no teaching on the fuel gauge, they do allow that they had to replace the transducer in another owner's car. And, oh, yeah, they can't find the part anywhere in the US -- apparently they're waiting for a container to come from Germany. "Don't you think that means that a lot of these are failing?" "I dunno, maybe." Three weeks later they find a fuel gauge transducer and change it out. Before that one failed, I received a package in the mail from Porsche. A beautiful, expensive coffee table book on the history of the 911. And a letter. Embarrassed, they were sending everyone this book as an apology that something as simple-yet-important as the fuel gauge transducer was failing everywhere. They were modifying the old float-type transducer to fit in the new tank, and would have it ready to go in a couple of months, and would replace the part in all the 911s of that model year for free. Needless to say, the thing failed again before the new part arrived. When the new-old design one came in, they dropped it in and I never again had a problem with it.

I guess this is a little like that. Everything, particularly basic little things, can not live up to spec, and it seems like a fair number of parts on the 787 are having atrocious MTBF numbers. I'm assuming that these ultimately will be replaced with something better, but it's going to take a while -- I'm guessing a year, before that issue is brought to ground. Kinda too bad given all the extra time they had; could have made the vendors do more testing on their parts, but I guess in that area, like all others, Boeing was overconfident about this aircraft. Hopefully, it will turn out like my car and after some teething pains be a reliable and lovable piece of machinery.


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