© Boeing
Erika Owen
May 01, 2015

Researchers have just discovered a bug in Boeing’s 787 Dreamliners that could cause power outages on planes mid-flight. The good news: this has only happened in-lab, as the result of an aircraft being on for 248 days straight.

After eight months of constant use, the plane’s power generators (of which there are four in this particular model) revert into failsafe mode and shut down. If the aircraft’s electrical generators were all powered up at the same time, this means that they could fail simultaneously. Once the power goes out the pilot no longer has control of the craft, making this a potential catastrophe at any phase in the flight.

Thankfully, no one has actually experienced this outage in-air. Boeing is already working on a software upgrade (due out in the fourth quarter of 2015) to remedy this bug and all in-service 787s have been powered down and up again to prevent any in-flight power outages.

Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.

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