Boeing’s much-lauded Dreamliner flew into the skies and the history books on Saturday.
An Ethiopian airlines flight to Kenya was Boeing’s maiden commercial flight since aviation safety authorities grounded the new 787 passenger jets in January after incidents with smouldering batteries on two different planes.
At a news conference in Japan, Boeing was at pains to point out that all the safety issues had been ironed out and that the planes were now fully safe to fly.
Their chief engineer and 787 project leader Michael Sinnett said: “Because we know that the enclosure can protect the airplane from the worst case battery failure, in some ways it almost doesn’t matter what the root cause was.”
The Japanese aviation authorities have already approved Dreamliner flights for operational use, as pilots retrain, provided the aircraft concerned have all been fitted with the new reinforced batteries.