Is The B787 Dreamliner Safe? – A Complete Analysis

Back in the mid-2000s, Boeing unveiled the latest aircraft developments for the future of its long-haul aircraft.

The Boeing 787 project was announced, a new wide-body long-haul airliner that aimed to provide ultimate passenger comfort while providing airlines with a quieter, more fuel-efficient aircraft.

The aircraft type intended to replace the aging Boeing 767 and Boeing 747 aircraft currently being operated by airlines at the time. 

Is Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner Safe to Fly On?

From reading various media reports and publications, you may be wondering about the safety record of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner series of aircraft.

While the aircraft type did experience some technical incidents upon initial introduction to service back in 2011, these issues have been rectified. Over its 10 years of passenger service so far, there have been 0 fatal accidents involving the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Aside from the advantages the aircraft offers to airlines, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is also one of the most comfortable passenger aircraft in the skies today.

The cabin has been designed to minimize jet lag on longer flights. This has been achieved by “Mood Lighting” which comes by default on new Dreamliners.

This combined with a lower cabin pressurization setting means the passenger arrives at the destination feeling more rested.

The cabin humidity is significantly lower than that of older aircraft, which greatly improves the comfort levels for passengers. This is especially useful for long-haul flights which the Boeing 787 Dreamliner typically operates.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Boeing 787 Accident and Fatality Rate

As mentioned above, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been involved in 0 hull losses resulting in 0 fatalities (as of December 2021). This statistic is comprised across all 1,000 Dreamliners built.

This is an excellent safety record for any aircraft type, particularly due to the high volume of B787s flying around the world daily.

It is estimated that there are hundreds of 787 flights operated everyday on all corners of the globe. 

With this vast number of daily operations and flight data, it can be clearly established that the B787 Dreamliner is one of the safest airliners currently in service.

Numerous airlines across the world fly the aircraft safely everyday.  

Incidents Involving the B787

On initial entry to service, the B787 Dreamliner had some incidents involving the lithium-ion battery onboard the aircraft.

There were up to 3 reported incidents in 2013 in this regard, all involving aircraft which batteries had caught fire while on the ground at airports.

It was later uncovered that there was a fault in the battery design, which lead to US aviation regulator the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounding the entire B787 fleet.

This was followed by a grounding of the global Boeing 787 fleet, pending the rectification of the battery design fault.

The aircraft type was grounded from January 2013 to April 2013. Following an investigation, it was uncovered that there were manufacturing defects in the battery type design.  

Following this diagnosis, Boeing rectified the battery design flaw, and the aircraft was certified as safe to fly. The worldwide grounding of the B787 Dreamliner was ultimately lifted in Spring 2013.

As of 2021, there have been no reported recurring incidents involving the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the onboard battery.

Advantages of the B787 Dreamliner

From both a passenger and airline perspective, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has numerous advantages over its predecessors. The composite structure of the aircraft means a lighter, more fuel-efficient design.

This leads to reduced carbon emissions per flight. From a passenger’s perspective, it also provides a comfortable experience.

The lighter construction of the aircraft also means a long flying range. Most recently, Qantas have been operating their B787-9 aircraft on a daily non-stop flight from London Heathrow to Perth, Western Australia.

With a flight time in the region of 16-18 hours, this is one of the longest scheduled commercial flights in the world. The impressive range capabilities of the aircraft have made this flight economically feasible.

Final Thoughts

The safety record of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner consisting of 0 fatalities, 0 hull losses across a global fleet of 1,000 makes the aircraft one of the safest in service today.

Aside from this impressive safety record, the aircraft also is one of the most comfortable passenger aircraft in the skies today.

The aircraft is still in high demand 10 years after its introduction into passenger service, with over 1,000 aircraft on order.

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This is an updated article. Originally posted on December 4, 2021 @ 7:01 pm