Boeing Dreamliner Could Be Unsafe, Dan Rather Reports

Dan Rather is at it again, this time claiming that the Boeing 787 Dreamliner could be "unsafe." The report says that due to its "brittle carbon compounds, [the aircraft] is more likely to shatter on impact and may emit poisonous chemicals when ignited." Rather's report is based on a former Boeing engineer and other "industry exper" testimonies. Instead of pointing fingers now, wouldn't it be better to wait until the plane is actually finished and passes —or fails—all FAA tests?

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner allegedly has better fuel performance than rival airplanes thanks to its carbon-composite body, which is supposed to be stronger and more flexible than aluminum. However, Vince Weldon —the Boeing engineer who claims to have been fired following "his persistent complaints" in the company—says that it will introduce more problems than it solves.

Without watching the program, it all seems like a big groups of "mays," "coulds" and "whatifs," but Rather also includes testimonies from other engineers that claim that there's no problem with the carbon-composite body. We will have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, Boeing points out that Weldon's claims are FUD. According to Lori Gunter, a spokeswoman for Boeing the materials "are safe. They are tested, they will be certified." The FAA will have the last word on this but, quite frankly, as a passenger I don't know if I would care about poisonous chemicals if my airplane was going down in flames. [Reuters]

Gawker Media polls require Javascript; if you're viewing this in an RSS reader, click through to view in your Javascript-enabled web browser.