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The Dreamliner Grounded And Boeing’s Future

Boeing Dreamliners are grounded all over the world. The American super plane in trouble. We’re looking at Boeing’s misstep.

All Nippon Airways' Boeing 787 "the Dreamliner" parks on the tarmac at Haneda airport in Tokyo, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013. (AP)

All Nippon Airways’ Boeing 787 “the Dreamliner” parks on the tarmac at Haneda airport in Tokyo, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013. (AP)

When it comes to American manufacturing, there’s no bigger or prouder name than Boeing.  America’s number one exporter in a time when the country needs exports.

So it matters when Boeing’s big, new, much-ballyhooed, next-generation airliner – its marquee product – takes a hit.  And right now, every Boeing Dreamliner in the world is grounded.

Fires onboard.  Emergency landing.  Issues with a battery.  And down it’s come.  With this product and this company, the story of why matters.

This hour, On Point:  the Boeing 787, the Dreamliner, on the ground.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Matthew Wald, reporter for the New York Times. He’s been covering Boeing and the Dreamliner. You can read his latest article here. (@mattwaldNYT)

Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis for the Teal Group Corporation, which conducts research and provides information on the aerospace and defense industries.

Dominic Gates, aerospace reporter for the Seattle Times. You can read his latest article here. (@seatimesaero)

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “Investigators in the United States and Japan indicated on Tuesday that many questions remained unanswered in their search for the cause of two incidents in which lithium-ion batteries burned on Boeing 787 aircraft.”

The Seattle Times “In 2006, a devastating lab fire in Arizona showed just how volatile Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner lithium-ion battery can be if its energy is not adequately contained. A single battery connected to prototype equipment exploded, and despite a massive fire-department response the whole building burned down.”

NBC News “Boeing’s new-model 787 is receiving plenty of attention lately – but it’s not at all the kind of buzz the aircraft maker had been hoping for with an aircraft that carries such high hopes it was dubbed the ‘Dreamliner.’ ‘Welcome to the age of social media, Boeing,’ quipped Michel Merluzeau, managing partner with G2 Solutions and a longtime aviation analyst.”

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