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Should The Worse Happen When The 787 First Flies  
User currently offlineAeroflot001 From Argentina, joined Oct 2009, 410 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 22158 times:

Some here on airliners have said that boeing may be putting to much pressure on the 787 and that she should not fly in 2009 to make sure that she is ready. A horrible thought crossed my mind. What if "something" happened to the plane with a loss of the airframe and the crew aboard. Surely Boeing would receive a raping from the media but what interests me more is how would the airlines react to this? An over the top investigation would be heavily demanded by all who have ordered and who may plan on ordering. With todays technology I highly doubt that this would happen but with almost everything in life there is always room for error.

89 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 3007 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 22166 times:

It wont happen. If it did, Boeing would be screwed. Done. To much money has been put in to the 787.


The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31259 posts, RR: 85
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 22146 times:
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If the 787 breaks apart in mid-air on her maiden flight, it would be serious bad press, but until the actual cause was found, I don't think you'd see most airlines cancel their orders the next day.

User currently offlineJHCRJ700 From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 22120 times:

I was thinking about this earlier. I think Boeing's reputation would be scared for years to come. There has been so much press about this project, both good and bad, and should that happen I don't know if they would ever be able to fully recover from it.


RUSH
User currently offlineCatIII From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 3075 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 22104 times:

Which begs the question: has such a thing ever happened where the prototype of a commerical airliner had a hull loss on it's maiden flight?

User currently offlineMogandoCI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 22085 times:

Didn't the A330 crash during one of its test flights? And didn't it go on to dominate the entire 230-280 seat market for 15 years ?

Granted, it was during one of its test flights not the maiden voyage. Can't imagine how bad the press would be if that happened.

To make things much much worse, since Boeing is taking a huge gamble by making the whole plane composites, a maiden-voyage-crash will embolden all the anti-composite groups to force Boeing and Airbus back to the heavy-but-proven aluminum.


User currently offlineER757 From Cayman Islands, joined May 2005, 2591 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 22040 times:



Quoting MogandoCI (Reply 5):
Didn't the A330 crash during one of its test flights?

I thought it was the A320 at the Paris Air Show - went down if the woods beyond the runway.


User currently offlinePlaneAdmirer From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 564 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 22012 times:

Is this really appropriate on any level? Any other catastrophic, hyperbolic speculation anyone wants to throw out there?

G-d forbid such a thing should happen. Good grief.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31259 posts, RR: 85
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 21970 times:
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Quoting MogandoCI (Reply 5):
To make things much much worse, since Boeing is taking a huge gamble by making the whole plane composites, a maiden-voyage-crash will embolden all the anti-composite groups to force Boeing and Airbus back to the heavy-but-proven aluminum.

But only if it's proven that it was the use of CFRP and not Al that caused the hull loss.


User currently offlineBa1978 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2004, 185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 21938 times:



Quoting MogandoCI (Reply 5):
Didn't the A330 crash during one of its test flights?

Correct, 30 June 1994 An Airbus Industries A330 (F-WWKH) crashed in Toulouse whilst simulating an engine failure on take off. 7 fatalities



There are other ways and there's British Airways
User currently offlineBwest From Belgium, joined Jul 2006, 1377 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 21756 times:

And still the A330 went on to become an extremely successful plane. Boeings image will probably take a severe beating, but the 787 program would still continue and in a few years, people will have forgotten all about the crash.


I love my Airport Job! :)
User currently offlineKITH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 378 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 21684 times:

In the words of Liz Lemon....shut it down (30 rock fans)

It would be bad PR, nay, horrible PR but the plane would fly if its airframe 002 that does the tests. Its called a test flight for a reason, that is why it isn't doing SEA-NRT for ANA on its maiden flight. -Matt in KITH

PS. I like hyperbole


User currently offlineAirbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8577 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 21512 times:



Quoting KITH (Reply 12):
It would be bad PR, nay, horrible PR but the plane would fly if its airframe 002 that does the tests. Its called a test flight for a reason, that is why it isn't doing SEA-NRT for ANA on its maiden flight. -Matt in KITH

That would all depend on the cause of the crash and how much it would take to fix the problem. Nevertheless, I think the 787 program is at such a crossroads that it would not take such a catastrophic failure for us to see more cancelations. More uncovered problems leading to another 6-12 month delay would be enough to lead to a bunch of cancelations.


User currently offline1stfl94 From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 1455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 21311 times:

If the 787 crashed on the very first flight then it would create enormous problems for the programme given that it does not yet have any certification. The A320 crash at Mulhouse in 1988 and the A330 crash at Toulouse in 1994 happened just after the aircraft entered service and had received their certifications. Both accidents were also blamed on pilot error (actually might have to check up on the A330 one, but the A320 pilot received a prison sentence sometime around 1990)

User currently offlineSCCutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5583 posts, RR: 28
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 21259 times:

At the risk of being clever, this is what test flights are for- to uncover areas of correction or redesign required, prior to certification and entry into service.

The odds of a fundamental flaw in design causing a catastrophic failure are remarkably small.



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6517 posts, RR: 54
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 20954 times:

Testing new planes for certification is, and will always be, a very dangerous business. And really bad chrashes have happened up to modern time. VFW-614, BAe 1-11 and A330 are noteable examples.

But it can't happen on a first flight, and God forbid that it ever happens again.

The dangerous parts come later in the test program when the failure modes and the whole range of operation safety margins are tested. Stalls, engine out scenarioes, out of range center of gravity positions, overweight, simulated system outage, and combinations of all those bad things.

Also flutter tests way beyond MMO is no joke. I remember very well that the A380 test crew didn't sleep too well the night before they had to take that bird up to Mach 0.96 in a power dive. And they wanted to make very sure that they did not accidentally reach anywhere near Mach 0.97.

The first several flights will be for validating flight and systems function with all parameters in the center, and with all redundant systems functioning. Nothing really bad can happen during those flights even if the 787 still hides some really nasty grimlins for Boeing, which it hopefully doesn't.

After each test flight tonnes of data is carefully analyzed and validated before moving step by step to the more dangerous tests. Therefore a rushed test program, as has been proposed a few times for the 787, will always be adding an additional risk to the program.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineKaneporta1 From Greece, joined May 2005, 745 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 20895 times:

Nothing terrible will happen. The 787 is delayed partly because Boeing (or any other manufacturer) will not compromise the safety of an aircraft just to get it flying.
Worst thing that can happen on a first flight is something along the lines of a faulty flap drive or a gear door not closing. The wings will not break, the engines won't fall off and the fuselage will not explode.



I'd rather die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather, not terrified and screaming, like his passengers
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23225 posts, RR: 20
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 20784 times:

A catastrophic failure on the first flight is probably less likely than at any time in history. The same was true when the 380 first flew, and the same will be true when the C-Series or the MRJ or whatever commercial aircraft comes next first flies.

Why? Computers. The Wright Brothers probably had very little idea what would happen at Kitty Hawk, and the designers of the DC-3 and the like were little better. We've come a long way since that time and can now predict far more.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineArniePie From Belgium, joined Aug 2005, 1265 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 20709 times:

Come to think of it, the 787 is a plastic plane and we all know what can happen with these type of "baked" airplanes :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtQDDillAb0



[edit post]
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20247 posts, RR: 59
Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 20524 times:



Quoting A380900 (Reply 25):

I'm not sure what you describe is a healthy reaction to terrorism.

I didn't say it was. But then again, our last reaction to terrorism wasn't terribly healthy, either.

Quoting A380900 (Reply 25):

No the FED will bailout Boeing and Boeing will eventually put out a good aircraft.

If, just for the sake of argument, Boeing made an error such that the 787 was fundamentally incapable of flight, and didn't catch that error in any of their testing and analysis, I think the feds would have a hard time justifying such a move.

BTW, another crash during test flights was the MD-90 (or -80?) that had its entire fuselage aft of the engines fall off during a hard landing test. I don't think there were any fatalities, but I think having your entire empennage depart the aircraft qualifies as a crash.


User currently offlineCpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4880 posts, RR: 37
Reply 20, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 21020 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
If the 787 breaks apart in mid-air on her maiden flight, it would be serious bad press, but until the actual cause was found, I don't think you'd see most airlines cancel their orders the next day.

It'd be extremely bad PR, and I think the program would be severely damaged to the point where it might not recover. Considering the slow feed of endless problems so far, if it also had the unthinkable happen, that'd be the nail in the coffin for it, I think. Passengers would be nervous about flying on it (if it entered service afterwards), and I do think that airlines might hve doubts about flying it. It'd probably also be the end for Boeing as we know it.

That said, it won't crash. Highly unlikely anyway.


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8436 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 20507 times:

The 787 is a "unique" airplane, just as the 380 is. A major crash of either would, I believe, have a significant impact on the flying public - at least for a while. The 380 is at greater risk on the PR side simply because of the pax count.

As with any major event for a plane it will be up to investigators and engineers to determine what caused the problem and what needs to be done to fix the problem.

Either way, I trust both sufficiently to fly either when I get a chance.


User currently offlineManfredj From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 20292 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 26):
but I think having your entire empennage depart the aircraft qualifies as a crash.

This is an interesting one because we all knew it would happen, but just how hard a landing it would take wasn't known....certainly was an expensive way to find out.

The experiment was to land at a 16fps decent rate (normal being around 3-6) Needless to say an aircraft carrier style landing cannot be done with an MD80. Still one of the best aircraft out there IMO.

This is quite a crude thread. I've had fun speculating about 787 over the past few years but I think there is a difinitive line that has been crossed: one that abandons education value for rampant speculation.

We've discovered something important: 3 years is the maximum delay we can handle before we run out of informative and interesting things to say about a new aircraft.

..........787 is ready to fly, if you can't feel it in your heart, you may be lacking one...............



757: The last of the best
User currently offlineGeorgiaAME From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 994 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 19722 times:

My crystal ball, which probably sees into the future just as accurately as anyone else's shows a very different tale. Somehow, I see this aircraft taking off, whispering into the stratosphere, NOT falling apart in the sky, and low and behold, it winds up EXCEEDING all of Boeing's wildest expectations! Now wouldn't that be a hoot?

Ladies and gentlemen, it is a machine. A very complex machine, built very differently from its predecessors, but none the less, a machine. It will be flown when ready. And it will fly like any other aircraft flies. Only more efficiently. Let's not worry about the take off date or time, or the what ifs... The technology of the 21st century, the corrected mistakes, the lessons learned will keep the wings on and the engines running. I just hope Delta actually buys a few of them.



"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7714 posts, RR: 21
Reply 24, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 19089 times:



Quoting ER757 (Reply 6):
I thought it was the A320 at the Paris Air Show - went down if the woods beyond the runway.

Not at Paris and not a test flight.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_France_Flight_296



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
25 Rwessel : Unlike, say, Partido Popular's utter fabrication, for its own political benefit, that the bombings were ETA related? I'd say throwing those bums out
26 Post contains links HarrisonRuess : First, this thread is definitely up there in terms of "in bad taste" threads, and, "it must be a slow news day." But onward and upward I suppose.... P
27 Spacepope : Sure it can... once. The aircraft was out of service for a time, but it flew again. Eventually. That test put more faith in the MD-80 for me than not
28 Motopolitico : That certainly casts a different light on what happened. Touche. I still believe, however, that terrorists are only emboldened by being given what th
29 SSTsomeday : Oh brother... Must be a slow aviation news month...
30 Jawed : This DID happen with the Airbus 320. From Wikipedia: 26 June 1988 – Air France Flight 296, an A320-111, crashed into the tops of trees beyond the ru
31 Mir : Different time, though. With today's 24-hour media, you'd see images of the accident plastered everywhere on the news, and public opinion of Boeing w
32 PipoA380 : Considering the mass media coverage of the first flight of the A380, and with millions of people watching it live on TV (including myself), it would b
33 AF1624 : It wasn't at the Paris Air Show, it was in Strasbourg Entzheim, in the north-east of France And it wasn't an experimental A320, it was an Air France
34 AustrianZRH : It also wasn't at Strasbourg, it was in Habsheim, close to Basel-Mulhouse airport! However, barring some conspiracy theories this was due to pilot er
35 Rheinwaldner : The biggest problem would be the lost credibility but the additonal delay that would follow... Maybe another two years... only this would cause a lot
36 Post contains links Beagleboys : Caproni Ca 60 tells nothing to anyone? that a little video to refresh your memory... or learn something new... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnGZBhrr
37 Rbgso : I realize it is on an entirely different scale, but Cessna's new LSA Skycatcher I believe has lost two frames during test flights. Redesigns were made
38 Comorin : Actually, it's just common sense: 1. Basics - We know that the 787 can already power up, accelerate to take off, the wings will definitely create lif
39 MD80fanatic : In desperate times, anything is possible. If the company's survival depended on that bird flying in 2009, it would fly (or attempt to anyway). The mo
40 Incitatus : The worst it can happen when the 787 flies is a troubled certification process followed by assembly line glitches that result in an additional 3-year
41 Nycbjr : Agreed, this thread is in bad taste. But this did make me laugh as I LOVE this show!
42 Distanthorizon : Gear will never be up. It never does on maiden flight, for security reasons. So no problem from there, either!
43 Tennis69 : Couldn't have said it better that PlaneAdmirer.
44 Mirrodie : Wow, I just learned something. And after 10 years still, that is what I love about Anet. Let me remind you all, this is a discussion forum and the us
45 Tropical : It's just not going to happen IMO. It is possible that Boeing had made a serious design error and that error had not been picked up by the modelling c
46 Jayeshrulz : what about the Tu-144? though it was the most unsuccessful aircraft ever built...
47 FlySSC : Nothing wrong with the plane. Crew error. And at that time, the A330 was already in service with airlines (first flight with Air Inter on January 17
48 OV735 : While the extensive testing certainly improves flight safety, it cannot entirely rule out all possibilities for some sort of mechanical problem. Ther
49 A380900 : Basically cold, to the point, diligent, unmerciful but dispassionate law enforcement.
50 UA772IAD : Can you explain what this test involves specifically? I assume it is a test of the airframe at overspeed conditions to stress the frame to near destr
51 PWMRamper : This thread makes me wonder...has an aircraft ever crashed on it's maiden flight? Primarily test flights, but what about an aircraft crashing on it's
52 Beagleboys : look at reply 36... Caproni Ca 60 in 1920.
53 Mirrodie : Also, there was something above about an A330 crashing but not sure if its the maiden flight, but I do have to say its the first time I had ever heard
54 MSYPI7185 : IIRC did not a CRJ 100 or 200 crash on one of its test flights in ICT? MD
55 Ikramerica : Considering it's never happened to a commercial airliner in the jet age, it certainly is ridiculous. That planes do crash from mechanical failure aft
56 Post contains links Cubsrule : It was a Challenger, actually. The NTSB report is here.
57 Prebennorholm : Yes, I think I can explain that, and no, it is not something like stressing the frame to near destruction. Flutter is a most dreaded thing which no p
58 Tdscanuck : Why on earth would you trade the risk fixing a problem on a mostly known quantity for the risk of (another) entirely new program? Yeah, but the compa
59 UA772IAD : Thanks both. But are we talking about fixed surfaces (tail fin, wings, horizontal stabilizer for example) or control surfaces that have limited, cont
60 Prebennorholm : We are in principle talking about everything. Everything which can possibly flex or twist on a plane. Before certification it has to be demonstrated
61 UALWN : It was a test flight involving a one-engine-out, one-hydraulic-circuit-out take off on autopilot. Certainly you wouldn't try that on the maiden fligh
62 Mirrodie : Yet it happens with rockets at NASA. Failures do occur. Rockets are proven technology and yet things can occur. Its unfortunate that some here will p
63 RIX : Well, back to the original "what if": 1. 787 may very well not recover, hence 2. Boeing will have huge problems with any following all-new design, and
64 OV735 : Back in the middle age, a guy went up to the clerics, and said the world was round. The clerics had never heard such nonsense before, found it ridicu
65 Post contains links Beagleboys : one of the pilot on board was an AZ pilot. His father opened an association for flight safety here in italy and AZ gaved his name to a 767. I can tel
66 Mrocktor : All three are very unlikely. 1. Even after a prototype crash a company with the name, expertise and resources of Boeing would most likely "recover" t
67 Type-Rated : Well, let's first all hope that something like this would never happen. Remember test pilots are real people too and have lives just like the rest of
68 Aesma : But were they ? The Spanish never wanted to go in Iraq, only Aznar wanted that. So maybe it has nothing to do with terrorism. Well, some people at th
69 RussianJet : I don't think so. There has been much press interest in the 787 program in general, and in all the delays. A serious accident would certainly be a bi
70 BestWestern : The major issue will be the fact that the first flight will no doubt be live, with millions of viewers. With the camera crews and jorunalists all set
71 Max777geek : I agree with you but I think money wouldn't be the reason. Would you dare stepping in a boeing again ? a lot of people probably not.
72 Huxrules : I think the chances of an accident on the first flight is pretty slim. I'm not to worried about it. What I am worried about is how the plane will beha
73 Mirrodie : Again, let's get this topic on track. The main question being asked is: What if "something" happened to the plane ......... what interests me more is
74 Tdscanuck : The takeoff and landing will be live...unless the new organizations bought a chase plane and bribed the FAA, I somehow doubt most of the flight will
75 RIX : - technically, they sure would. But it will take another ... years, which may make it "Comet4-like" - that is, when it eventually works as expected,
76 Moose135 : I can see the parallels to the B787 there - Boeing better be sure all the sandbags are secured before the first flight.
77 KGAIflyer : Okay, I've got to know. Is this what you **really** meant, or did you mean "a rapping from the media" ?
78 Aesma : Maybe Airbus could go back to glare, or to the "A330NG".
79 Mrocktor : Yes, and so would you. You seriously overestimate the technical savvy of the general public. The vast majority of people don't know how a plane can f
80 RIX : - well, they would know how this one can crash ... Seriously now, I agree that once it's OK-ed and is in service, people will fly on it without a sec
81 Burkhard : I think the impact of a failure of 787 tests would not be big. Outside of a.net, the 787 is a plane that looks like all the others, in size between 76
82 Aesma : If the 787 is demonized, it's the same magic that applies : no matter what, even if it is reborn in aluminum, people won't want to board anything cal
83 AirNz : With all due respect, there are also far too many on a.net who vastly underestimate the technical savvy of the general public and seem to somehow ima
84 Tdscanuck : I just came across a nicely relevant quote in the book I'm reading right now...this is the not the first time this has come up. William Allen was CEO
85 Mrocktor : If there is money to be made, someone will. Regulation removes the first part of that equation (or severely qualifies it). Well, be my guest to stand
86 AirNZ : Respectfully, that would probably be so, but unfortunately the word or general public do not constitute asking only approx 200 passengers on a partic
87 RussianJet : Yes, and also related to a program which had far less coverage and hype overall.
88 Mrocktor : Granted. No less, the burden of proof is really on the proposition that such an accident today would mean the ruin of Boeing. Historic evidence is cl
89 Post contains links and images Viscount724 : It was an MD-80 at Edwards AFB. The aircraft was repaired and used by McDonnell-Douglas for further testing for a few more years before being scrappe
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