AVHerald has reported

  • An incident of battery overheating. That is after the aircraft has been grounded and parts of the battery system redesigned. AVHerald provides a detailed report on the battery issue.

  • An incident of a cracked windshield. A cracked windshield typically results in declaring an emergency. AVHerald lists 15 incidents of cracked windshields since 2012. This happens in other aircraft too, but apparently not in the same way. On other aircraft, only the outer of several layers cracks after some time. On the 787 it seems to happen on start or landing, always resulting in a return to the airport. It should be noted, that the 787 windows have fewer layers and larger windows than any other type.

Also Forbes reports, that there have been at least four incidents with the batteries after the FAA mandated four-month grounding, and a physics professor at Canada's Dalhousie University states battery failures are an indication of a problem within the cells.

Incidents with both issues have been reported since 2013, when the 787 was allowed back into service after the FAA mandated four-month grounding.

To me reading this report is disturbing.

  • Doesn't this mean, that the aircraft is flown with knowingly unsafe battery and windshield?

  • As a passenger, does one have to be worried about flying in this particular type?

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    $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Dec 7, 2017 at 8:37

1 Answer 1


The 787 is among the safest airliners currently flying. At the time of writing, it has been involved in zero hull loss incidents and there have been zero fatalities due to incidents.

While you can find numerous incidents including those you mention there have been exactly zero total losses and no loss of life on board (due to the aircraft itself - its possible people may have perished on board due to other factors not involved in aircraft safety).

It should be noted that A boeing report on this subject points out (page 19) that most of the aircraft which have had zero hull losses have also not accumulated 1 million departures. Therefore it might be too early to tell if there is any fundamental safety issues with these types. However, there has been 50+ years of learning about safety with regard to aircraft operations - and all of that feeds in to these modern aircraft.

All in, I would consider flying on the B787 to be objectively safe (or, at very least equally so as other similar airliners). Does there exist some "wrinkles" to be ironed out? Perhaps - but they do not affect the overall safety of this type.

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    $\begingroup$ There’s an old saying that in the industry that just because there are no accidents does not mean that it safe. $\endgroup$ Dec 6, 2017 at 20:53
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    $\begingroup$ Although a highly voted answer it's a bit dangerous. Concorde had 0 haul-losses until one of them was lost. And that was the end. Also you need to take into account the number of units built, the total hours flown by all of them, the total miles flown by all of them etc. I don't know if the Boeing research takes that into account don't have time to read. But if it does, it might be better to add some of them, as links (especially from big companies) tend to be extremely fragile... $\endgroup$ Dec 7, 2017 at 10:37
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    $\begingroup$ @SteliosAdamantidis The concorde accident was not the end - it was the changing economical climate which was the end. It had nothing to do with safety - again, the safety problem which occurred was fixed and retrofitted. $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec
    Dec 7, 2017 at 17:19
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    $\begingroup$ @Jamiec From Wikipedia On 10 April 2003, Air France and British Airways simultaneously announced that they would retire Concorde later that year. They cited low passenger numbers following the 25 July 2000 crash, the slump in air travel following the September 11 attacks, and rising maintenance costs. Anyway I don't want to stick to Concorde. I consider the rest of my comment more important. $\endgroup$ Dec 7, 2017 at 17:44
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    $\begingroup$ @mike now you're getting in to conspiracy theory territory. I'm not going to comment on that. $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec
    Dec 8, 2017 at 15:24

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