Nightmare of the Dreamliners: Two of Boeing's troubled new 787s break down within an HOUR as one catches fire on stand at Heathrow and another returns to Manchester with 'mechanical problem'
Boeing 787 Dreamliner on fire at London Heathrow Airport
Airport temporarily closed the runways for departures and arrivals
Second Dreamliner forced to return to Manchester one hour later
Thomson Airways passenger jet experienced 'technical difficulties'
Dreamliner fleet stranded by Boeing for three months following battery fires
Boeing shares drop six per cent after incident Friday afternoon
By SARA MALM
A second Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been grounded at Manchester Airport one hour after an Ethiopian Airlines passenger jet caught fire at Heathrow, forcing the airport to close its runways.
A Thomson Airways 787 heading for Florida was forced to return to Manchester at 5.40pm today due to technical issues.
Just one hour earlier, Heathrow came to a standstill after a Dreamliner caught fire on the runway, forcing all arrivals and departures to be temporarily suspended.
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On fire: The Ethiopian Airlines passenger jet caught fire near a terminal at Heathrow Airport this afternoon
A fire crew was sent to a parked Ethiopian Airlines passenger jet at approximately 4.30pm Friday afternoon.
There were no passengers on the plane when the fire broke out and there are no reported injuries, a Heathrow Airport spokesman said.
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Footage show the jet parked close to what appears to be an airport terminal, surrounded by several fire trucks and there appeared to be damage to the top of the plane's fuselage.
The Thomson Airways plane, which took off at 12.10 today, was heading to Sanford, Florida when it was forced to return to Manchester Airport.
'Thomson Airways can confirm that flight TOM126 travelling from Manchester to Sanford, Florida experienced a technical issue and the aircraft returned to Manchester Airport, as a precautionary measure,' Thomson Airways, owned by TUI Travel, said in a statement.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner on fire at London Heathrow Airport
Grounded: Boeing temporarily withdrew the Dreamliner from service earlier this year after two incidents where the jet's battery caught fire
The company added that passengers had disembarked and that its engineers were inspecting the aircraft in Manchester.
The incident occurred just days after Thomson got its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Shares in Boeing fell over six per cent this afternoon, shortly after the incident was reported.
A company spokesman said Boeing are 'working to fully understand and address this'.
'We're aware of the event and we have Boeing personnel on the ground at Heathrow,' the spokesperson added.
Boeing temporarily withdrew the Dreamliner from service earlier this year for modifications after concerns that batteries on board could cause fires.
Emergency: Several fire crews were called out to deal with the fire on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Heathrow Airport this afternoon
In March Boeing Co. Chief Project Engineer Michael Sinnett outlined a fix centered on a new design for the lithium-ion battery system that has many layers of safeguards to prevent overheating.
Just one month later, Ethiopian Airlines was the first carrier to resume flights with Dreamliner passenger jets.
Despite promises from Boeing that the Dreamlines issues had been addressed, four incidents occurred where 787 Dreamliners malfunctioned just weeks ago.
The facts: The recently resumed Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Three United Airline jets were forced to make unscheduled landings due to problems relating to the Dreamliners' break indicator and oil filters and indication systems this June.
Days later, more than 100 passengers were left stranded when a malfunctioning All Nippon Airways Dreamliner was grounded in Tokyo, Japan after a cockpit message said the plane might not be able to supply power for its air-conditioning system.
Earlier this week, Thomson Airways became the first British carrier to operate the ultra-green aircraft, and is taking delivery of eight of the planes.
Thomson had hoped to take delivery of the first of its 787s in time to start Dreamliner operations in May, which was delayed due to the grounding of the fleet.
The battery problems followed endless production difficulties for the Dreamliner, which has been marketed as a quiet, fuel-efficient aircraft carrying between 201 and 290 passengers on medium-range routes.
It should have entered passenger service in 2008 but it was not until October 2011 that the first commercial flight was operated by Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways.
Following the incident at Heathrow, the London airport reopened its runways at 6pm.
A Heathrow spokesman said: 'Heathrow's runways are now fully open following an earlier fire on board an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft which the airport's emergency services attended.
The aircraft was parked on a remote parking stand and there were no passengers on board.
'Arrivals and departures were temporarily suspended while airport fire crews attended to this incident.
'This is a standard procedure if fire crews are occupied with an incident.'
In the air too soon? Boeing 787 Dreamliner catches fire at...
Closed: All arrivals and departures at Heathrow Airport had to be temporarily suspended while fire crew dealt with the burning plane (file photo)
British Airways is taking delivery of the first two of its 24 Dreamliners, while Virgin Atlantic is due to get the first of its 16 Dreamliners in September next year.
Earlier today Virgin Atlantic said it 'remains committed' to taking on the troubled passenger jet.
A spokeswoman said: 'Virgin Atlantic is in regular communication with Boeing to understand all the technical issues around the aircraft and the airline remains committed to taking delivery of 16 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners from autumn 2014.
'We are confident that Boeing and the relevant authorities are working hard to ensure that the appropriate action is being taken.'
Three flights bound for Heathrow from Lagos, Shanghai and Delhi were diverted to London Gatwick due to the disruption, Virgin Atlantic said.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2362063/Nightmare-Dreamliners-Two-Boeings-troubled-new-787s-break-HOUR-catches-stand-Heathrow-returns-Manchester-mechanical-problem.html#ixzz2YrEhMxqn
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