From: (Scott Odle)
Organization: Earthlink Network, Inc.
Date:         12 Oct 96 02:35:57 
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Followups:    1 2
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In article <airliners.1996.1976@ohare.Chicago.COM>, says...
>> Are ETOPS flights as safe as 3 and 4 engined aircraft, except the obvious
>> that they have less engines and hence less chance of a failure!
>One of Boeing's reasons for developing the 777 for ETOPS was that
>additional engines do not add a significant margin of safety for the
>simple reason that the more engines, the more maintenance that is required
>to keep them in peak operating condition.  Boeing has argued that the
>evidence shows the more engines and aircraft has, the more likely there
>will be a problem with one or more of the engines, and that consequently
>3+ engine airplanes are no more safe in that respect than 2 engine
>airplanes.  Of course, there is disagreement in the aviation industry as
>to whether the evidence truly shows that to be the case.
>Boeing made the case well enough that we received FAA approval for
>delivered ETOPS capability.

Your post might lead some to believe that the case Boeing presented had only to
do with the conclusion that 2 engines are no less safe than 3+.  There are some
very skeptical (and in some cases ignorant) people in some of the aviation
related newsgroups.  As I recall Boeing had to go through alot of testing to
prove reliability and maintainability in order to get the approval.