|Boeing finds new Dreamliner manufacturing flaws. Photo: Boeing|
Boeing warned on Tuesday of delays in deliveries of its popular 787 Dreamliner’s, as the horizontal stabilizer in the aircraft’s tail is raising global concerns.
Boeing identified three separate production flaws over the past year, prompting the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to investigate thoroughly. This may hamper efforts to develop an alternative cash-cow to its grounded 737 MAX.
During fabrication, Boeing engineers learned of the Dreamliner’s horizontal stabilizer flaws. The engineers discovered that some components were clamped with greater force than specified, which could eventually result in improper gap verification and shimming.
Although the manufacturer announced it on Tuesday, it had identified the problem back in February. This particular flaw was discovered at a Boeing plant in Salt Lake City.
Regarding this, the FAA spokesperson said that it was investigating manufacturing flaws affecting certain Boeing 787 jetliners.
This issue could impact up to 893 of the approximately 1000 Dreamliners manufactured so far. This horizontal stabilizer issue could eventually require the inspection of as many as about 89% airplanes.
What the manufacturer has to say…
Regarding this recent manufacturing flaw, Boeing said:
“We are inspecting production airplanes to ensure any issues are addressed before delivery.”
However, one of the manufacturer’s spokesperson said that the clamping issue is being corrected on aircraft still being manufactured.
Boeing said that it expects the inspections will affect the timing of 787 deliveries in the near-term.
Eight Boeing 787’s already out of service…
Boeing Co. has already told its Boeing 787 customers operating eight affected planes to remove them immediately from service after the manufacturer found issues in the fuselage in August.
Boeing pulled eight 787s from service in August. Photo: Singapore Airlines
The manufacturer found two distinct manufacturing issues, so they asked to ground them so that they can be repaired. Boeing has estimated that it will take two weeks to solve these issues in an aircraft.
Singapore Airlines, Air Canada, and United Airlines said they each had one of the affected planes. The FAA is conducting a thorough review of the cause of this problem.
Boeing delivered only 13 aircraft in August, down from 18 planes a year earlier and up from four in July.