Tesla Motors and SpaceX Boss Offers To Help With Boeing 787 Fix


  • Elon Musk Picture

    Elon Musk Picture

    Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, wants to help solve the problems with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. | January 29, 2013

2 Photos

Just the Facts:
  • Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has offered to help find a solution to the problems on the new Boeing 787 airliner.
  • Boeing told Edmunds that if there are any outside parties such as Musk involved in fixing the plane dubbed Dreamliner, it would be announced by the Federal Aviation Administration or National Transportation Safety Board.
  • Boeing, the NTSB and other government agencies in the U.S. and Japan are investigating two recent 787 incidents, including one in which a battery on a Boeing 787 burst into flames in Boston.

PALO ALTO, California — Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has offered to help find a solution to the problems on the new Boeing 787 airliner, Tesla Motors confirmed to Edmunds on Monday.

Boeing told Edmunds that if there are any outside parties such as Musk involved in fixing the plane dubbed Dreamliner, it would be announced by the Federal Aviation Administration or National Transportation Safety Board.

Boeing, the NTSB and other government agencies in the U.S. and Japan are investigating two recent 787 incidents, including one in which a battery on a Boeing 787 burst into flames in Boston.

Musk, who has a physics degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a business degree from Wharton, created a buzz when he issued the following tweet on January 26: "Desire to help Boeing is real & am corresponding w 787 chief engineer."

On January 18 Musk tweeted: "Maybe already under control, but Tesla & SpaceX are happy to help with the 787 lithium ion batteries."

Musk, who has vowed to put a man on Mars, has overseen product development and design at Tesla, including the all-electric Tesla Roadster, Model S and Model X. At SpaceX, Musk is the chief designer, overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft for missions to Earth orbit and other planets.

"Elon has offered to help Boeing but any further information on the offer will be left to Boeing and the (Federal Aviation Administration) to announce," said Shanna Hendriks, Tesla Motors communications manager, in a phone conversation with Edmunds on Monday.

Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel told Edmunds that the company had seen Musk's latest tweet.

"I don't have any knowledge that he's directly involved in the investigation or the root cause," Birtel said in a phone conversation on Monday. "If there are any outside parties, we wouldn't announce it. It would be the NTSB or FAA."

The FAA and NTSB did not respond immediately to queries from Edmunds about any potential involvement of Musk's with the Dreamliner.

In a January 24 statement, Boeing said it continues to assist the NTSB and other government agencies in the U.S. and Japan responsible for investigating two recent 787 incidents. All 787s are grounded worldwide after problems with the new airliner surfaced in Japan.

"The company has formed teams consisting of hundreds of engineering and technical experts who are working around the clock with the sole focus of resolving the issue and returning the 787 fleet to flight status," Boeing said.

It added: "In order to ensure the integrity of the process and in adherence to international protocols that govern safety investigations, we are not permitted to comment directly on the ongoing investigations."

The NTSB said in a recent media briefing that it could be a long time before the plane is cleared to fly.

Edmunds says: An intriguing offer from Elon Musk, one of those rare individuals with one foot on earth and one foot in space.

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