DALLAS – Boeing has discovered a new production flaw with its 787 Dreamliners that could force it to slow down deliveries of up to 90 airframes.
In the latest in a series of setbacks for the manufacturer, Boeing uncovered an issue with a fitting on the aircraft’s horizontal stabilizer. The fitting on the stabilizer gap fillers have found to be the incorrect size and did not meet specifications. The part has been installed by a Boeing production facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as a handful of 787s from its North Charleston production line.
Despite not posing an immediate flight safety concern, meaning that emergency repairs will not be required for aircraft already in service, the discovery now means that Boeing will have to inspect the 90 aircraft fitted with the affected part. It expects these inspections to take around two weeks per aircraft to fix.
It emphazised that production of the airliner will be maintained and targets for this year remain unaltered.
Long Line of Issues
The setback is the latest in a long line of issues that have affected Boeing’s flagship aircraft. In March, it resumed deliveries of the 787 after matters related to data analysis errors associated with the types forward pressure bulkhead suspended deliveries led to a two-month suspension. In May 2021, deliveries were also suspended after the FAA found gaps in the forward pressure bulkhead.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it would only issue new airworthiness certificates for the airliner once Boeing satisfactorily addressed the problem.
Featured Image: N789EX Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways.