Boeing engine icing problem hits GE Dreamliner engine

Jetstar's B787 will not be able to fly near thunderstorms at high altitude because of problems with icing in its high-tech engines.

B787 Boeing Jetstar

The problem has also prompted Japan Airlines to delay the introduction of the B787 on the Tokyo-Sydney route next month and JAL has said it will instead use another type of plane.

Boeing on Friday told airlines flying B747-8s and B787s equipped with General Electric engines to avoid flying within 80kms of thunderstorms at high altitude after six aircraft experienced a temporary loss of thrust.

The problem, which affected five B747-8s and one B787 between April and November, was traced to a build-up of ice crystals behind the front fan which subsequently ran through the GEnx engines, a GE spokesman was quoted as telling news sources. All of the aircraft landed safely.

He said GE and Boeing are working on software modifications to the engine control system which they hope will eliminate the problem.