Boeing says - don’t touch that dial!

It seems that Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner passenger jet may have a serious security flaw in that its onboard computer network can - in theory at least - allow passengers to access the plane’s control systems.

Don’t take my word for it, as the FAA, the Federal Aviation Administration, has issued a warning about the issue.

The problem lies with the network in the Dreamliner’s passenger section, which was designed to give passengers access t’Internet when in-flight, is also linked to the plane’s control, navigation and communication systems.

As you might expect, the FAA’s analysis seems to be causing a bit of a storm at Boeing’s headquarters, as well as in airline security circles generally as, even if the flaw is esoteric, there’s still the issue of terrorist access to the in-flight network.

Boeing says it has taken more than 800 advance orders for the new plane, which is due to enter service in November 2008.

The FAA, meanwhile, requires that Boeing to demonstrate that it has addressed the network issue before the planes begin service.

Myself, I think it’s a storm in a teacup which might even have been engineered by the marketing department at Boeing as a means of raising the plane’s profile amongst the public - which it certainly has!…