Boeing 787 Dreamliner Manufacturing Issue
Boeing 787 Dreamliner Manufacturing Issue

Boeing Finds Manufacturing Flaws with 787 Dreamliner

Boeing has warned of delivery delays, as the manufacturer is investigating into yet another 787 Dreamliner production flaw. Over the past year Boeing has identified three separate manufacturing issues, prompting the FAA to investigate further.

Latest Design Flaw

While manufacturing the Dreamliner‘s horizontal stabiliser, engineers discovered that some components were clamped with greater force than specified; this could result in improper gap verification and shimming.

The manufacturing flaw was discovered at a Boeing plant in Salt Lake City, Utah. A spokesman advised Reuters that the clamping issue is being corrected on aircraft still being manufactured.

At this stage, it is not an immediate flight safety issue. However, the spokesman added that “analysis is underway to determine if action is required on the in-service fleet.”

“We are inspecting production airplanes to ensure any issues are addressed prior to delivery. We are taking the appropriate steps to resolve these issues and prevent them from happening again. The FAA has been fully briefed and we will continue to work closely with them going forward.”

a plane on the runway

Next Steps

Boeing has confirmed that up to 893 aircraft are believed to be affected.

Additionally, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) insider confirmed the claim; saying that this latest issue could require up to 900 aircraft to be inspected.

A Wall Street Journal report revealed that the FAA is looking into quality control errors, some that may have potentially lasted for 10 years.

a plane flying over a city
The FAA in Washington is investigating

Eight B787 Dreamliners Had Been Pulled From Service

The FAA has also begun investigating two further manufacturing flaws in some Dreamliners, but was unable to comment on the potential implications.

In late-August, Boeing revealed that eight 787 Dreamliners had been pulled from service; following the discovery of two distinct manufacturing issues in the fuselage sections.

On Monday the manufacturer also announced that some B787 aircraft have inadequately-sized shims, also there have been some areas identified that do not meet skin flatness specifications.

Boeing identified the shimming issue in August 2019. As part of the Dreamliner design the fuselage shims are thin and often tapered material, which is used to fill in small gaps or spaces between objects.

Boeing posted a $2.4 billion loss in the quarter ending June 30, as revenues plunged 25%. Last month Boeing announced another round of layoffs, on top of the 10% job cuts announced in early-2020.

Sources: Reuters and New York Times