A former senior aerospace engineer at Boeing's Phantom Works
research unit, fired last year under disputed circumstances, is going
public with concerns that the new 787 Dreamliner is unsafe.
Forty-six-year veteran Vince Weldon contends that in a crash landing
that would be survivable in a metal airplane, the new jet's innovative
composite plastic materials will shatter too easily and burn with toxic
fumes. He backs up his views with e-mails from engineering colleagues
at Boeing and claims the company isn't doing enough to test the plane's
Full story at the Seattle Times.
Well, the first two words of the title suggest that the guy's got a serious axe to grind (And if Boeing's allegations about him are true, he's also got some fairly substantial anger management problems) but that doesn't necessarily mean he shouldn't be paid attention to.
My wings are like a shield of steel.
This is a real question. There is no any statistics on composite planes. But if we speaking about crash landing we should speak more on central wing fuel tank safety. Because it doesn't matter composite plane or not. If central fuel tank is full of fuel vapours or have enough fuel to produce big amount of fuel vapours in crash moment than both metall and composite structure will be burned. Probably toxic fumes is a problem, but is it really a problem when there is a lot of carbon dioxide which are very dangerous anyway.