Boeing’s Newest Jetliner Is Safe Enough, Probably

The Boeing Company’s latest jet, the 787 Dreamliner, is a make-or-break proposition. According to The New York Times, they expect “to sell 5,000 of the planes in the next 20 years.” For real? Could have sworn the last dozen planes I flew on were at least thirty years old, on average. Maybe that’s just Delta.

Those robust sales figures could prove a pipe dream regardless if the 787s keep glitching out the way they have been. The photo caption on that NYT story really says it all: “On Monday, a parked 787 caught on fire.” A flying vehicle given to spontaneous combustion? I smell a Groupon discount.

But the idea that Boeing must rely on a brand-new, state-of-the-art deathtrap to carry it through this (likely far from final) phase of the Great Recession should be fodder for a 1970s-type disaster movie, no? I’m thinking a mashup of Airport and The Towering Inferno, with a dash of that more recent movie where Jodie Foster is running around a luxury Concord or whatever looking for her vanished kid. Spoiler: she should have checked the overhead bin. 

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