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editorial

Boeing 787: Dream on hold

 A crewworks near a Japan Airlines’ Boeing 787 at the international airport near Tokyo earlier this month.

REUTERS

A crewworks near a Japan Airlines’ Boeing 787 at the international airport near Tokyo earlier this month.

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The Boeing 787 Dreamliner carries special importance for Boston, since it’s the only plane capable of taking off fully loaded for Asia from Logan Airport’s runways. It opens Boston to half the world — but not until its dangerous electrical woes are resolved.

In retrospect, the spate of incidents — including the battery fire earlier this month on a Japan Airlines plane at Logan and culminating in an even more serious battery problem on an airborne Dreamliner in Japan — provided valuable warnings. No one was injured, but the sheer number of problems entirely justified the decisions of US and Japanese authorities to ground all 787s immediately.

The Federal Aviation Administration should be in no hurry to get the planes back in the air. The incident in Japan apparently involved the leakage of highly corrosive battery fluid, which can cause fires and damage the plane’s superstructure. Until engineers from Boeing, the airlines, and, especially, the FAA are 100 percent confident that the 787’s batteries won’t malfunction, Boston’s dream of easier access to Asia will have to wait.

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