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Timeline Of The Boeing 787 Dreamliner's Failures

The tortured path of missteps and accidents leading up to the FAA grounding six of the jetliners yesterday. The 787 Dreamliner was hailed for a superior design that makes it more fuel efficient and comfortable for passengers, but the plane has had serious malfunctions.

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The Dreamliner is one of Boeing's most critical products. It has been praised for its high-tech design and fuel efficiency. Airlines set record orders for the jet, and Boeing has almost 800 more Dreamliners on order.

The 787 uses two lithium ion batteries — including one for the auxiliary power unit. The rechargeable batteries, widely used in consumer devices, have some pilots worried because batteries being shipped as cargo are suspected to have caused or contributed to the severity of fires in cargo planes.

When Boeing proposed using the batteries in the 787, the Federal Aviation Administration issued special rules, including a requirement that they be designed to prevent overheating. The severity of overheating is higher in larger batteries, the FAA said in the rule.


July 28, 2012: A 787 Dreamliner's engine issue leaves debris from the aircraft on the runway at Charleston International Airport and sparks a fire in the nearby grass.


Jan. 7, 2013: A battery explodes on a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 minutes after passengers disembarked following a nonstop flight from Tokyo. It takes firefighters 40 minutes to put out the blaze.


Jan. 10, 2013: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration orders review of Dreamliner after an oil leak and window crack discovered on two All Nippon Airways 787s in Japan.

Jan. 16, 2013: All Nippon Airways suspends all 17 of its Dreamliners. Kyodo News reports the lithium-ion batteries in some planes have been leaking flammable battery fluid, which then eats through the floor of the plane and spills onto the runway.

Jan. 17, 2013: The European Aviation Safety Agency orders all European carriers to ground all 787 Dreamliners, followed shortly by the Indian government grounding all Air India Dreamliners.

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at

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