Boeing’s Dreamliner Returns To US Skies

Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner made a rather uneventful return to the skies on Tuesday, amid other stories about storms in the plains states and scandals at the White House.

With 186 passengers aboard, including the Chairmen and CEO’s of United Airlines and Boeing, the 787 took off from Houston and landed in Chicago.

The somewhat historic flight was a success for Boeing, whose latest plane was grounded worldwide 123 days ago. But after fixing a faulty battery system, Boeing’s Dreamliner returned to the skies like a pro. United CEO Jeff Smisek, sitting next to Boeing CEO Jim McNerney in United’s Economy Plus section, stated, “It’s great to have the Dreamliner back in service.”

McNerney added, “It’s taken a while, but the 787 is back and on its way to fulfilling its promise.” With its lightweight design, anti-turbulence technology, fancy interior lighting, and high-tech windows, Boeing’s Dreamliner was a sought-after commodity when it was first launched.

The airliner can carry 200 or more passengers one third of the way across the globe. While United re-introduced the Dreamliner back to US skies, other international carriers have already done so. Passengers are also calling United so they can book a flight on one of Boeing’s 787s.

But while some passengers are eager to board Boeing’s state-of-the-art plane, others are still wary. All eyes will likely be on the Dreamliner, waiting to see if the plane has any additional problems. The United Dreamliner flight took place at 11 am local time, when the aircraft took off from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. United plans on rolling out additional 787 flights throughout the week.

The Boeing Dreamliner’s problems started in January when the batteries on two planes melted and started smoking. As a result, all 50 planes in service were grounded indefinitely. Of the 50 planes in service, 45 have now been fixed with a new battery system tested and proven to be safe.

[Image via José A. Montes]