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787 Engine Debris Starts Fire

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Federal officials are trying to determine why debris fell from the engine of a new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, starting a fire and forcing officials to shut down a South Carolina airport.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports (http://bit.ly/NBRR0V) that debris from the aircraft fell onto the runway at Charleston International Airport and into the grass Saturday, sparking a blaze that closed the airport for more than an hour.

Boeing spokeswoman Candy Eslinger says the aircraft was undergoing preflight runway testing in North Charleston when the incident occurred. Eslinger says the 787 was the latest one built at the Boeing campus in North Charleston.

No one was injured in the incident, and Eslinger says production will not be affected.

The airport was closed for more than an hour. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating."


Will Reynolds

 

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Not quite, there is no requirement to test an engine for failure whilst on the pylon. This could have happened in service, so the manufacturer is addressing accordingly, just like Rolls Royce did with the Trent that blew up on QF32.

 

Still a great concern and begs the question: are we extracting more power than the materials can safely handle??


Will Reynolds

 

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Still a great concern and begs the question: are we extracting more power than the materials can safely handle??

 

No, it is more of trying to get the product out as cheap as possible doing that by reducing man hour research.


Chris Miller

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Not quite, there is no requirement to test an engine for failure whilst on the pylon. This could have happened in service, so the manufacturer is addressing accordingly, just like Rolls Royce did with the Trent that blew up on QF32.

 

Still a great concern and begs the question: are we extracting more power than the materials can safely handle??

 

Depends on what you mean by the materials. Temperatures in the first turbine stage of a modern jet engine are above the melting point of the materials used to manufacture the turbine blades. However thanks to clever cooling technology the system as a whole still functions safely.


John-Alan Pascoe

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No, it is more of trying to get the product out as cheap as possible doing that by reducing man hour research.

 

I completely disagree. I've actually been to Rolls-Royce's Derby facility just a few miles away and the showed me the research they've pulled. It's really spectacular. One of their Engineers said "We had a phase considering putting less research effort in, but after the QF incident we've completely ruled that out. Safety is and always will be our top priority, as we'll only ever make money with a safe product."

 

Saying that, though, it's another worrying feeling knowing that ANA exchanged a great deal of their engines due to "bad parts". Sound familiar?


Sam Nicholson - UK

 

Only just got back in to flight simming and Avsim after a year or so - pardon me whilst I find my feet again!

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All too familiar. I recall in the 90s the entire Cathay Pacific A330 fleet was ground for weeks due to faulty bearings on their Trent engines. GE and PW are not immune.

 

These powerplants are massive, a lot of energy and heat generated and a lot of fluid necessary at very high pressures. The error margin is minimal.

 

Brings back memories of the good old pistons, the metal was strong enough to withstand the combustion, it did not stop the cylinder heads from cracking or the cylinder itself from going through the cowling. The Connies and Stratocruisers were notorious for their massive radials and the problems inherent to their operation.


Will Reynolds

 

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Rolls Royce keeps coming up in this thread however the engine on that aircraft was GEnx.

 

It is annoying how some of the Media always blames 787 or A380 for these problems and Rolls Royce or General Electric get Media exemptions


Matthew Kane

 

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Still a great concern and begs the question: are we extracting more power than the materials can safely handle??

 

With more sleep I also remembered that these GEnx engines have 10,000 less pounds of thrust than the GE90's on the 777. The materials we are able to produce can handle an extreme amount of stress.

 

I completely disagree. I've actually been to Rolls-Royce's Derby facility just a few miles away and the showed me the research they've pulled. It's really spectacular. One of their Engineers said "We had a phase considering putting less research effort in, but after the QF incident we've completely ruled that out. Safety is and always will be our top priority, as we'll only ever make money with a safe product."

 

Saying that, though, it's another worrying feeling knowing that ANA exchanged a great deal of their engines due to "bad parts". Sound familiar?

 

You were on a tour of someones factory, of course they are going to say that.

 

Every company is working on a fine line trying to balance between cost, performance and safety. This aircraft and it's components were designed through some of the worst economic times. They couldn't pay for a full staff of engineers and problems had to have quicker solutions without a complete trial of all possible solutions. Why do you think the first 787 has already been scrapped? There were so many changes during the flight testing they could no longer give the aircraft to the end customer.


Chris Miller

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