Boeing Reports Cracks in Wings of Undelivered Dreamliners

By Paul Riegler on 7 March 2014
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An ANA Dreamliner in Seattle

An ANA Dreamliner in Seattle

Boeing said Friday that it will conduct inspections of the wings on some of its undelivered 787 Dreamliner aircraft to look for hairline cracks.

The latest Dreamliner issue does not impact any of the 123 planes that are already in service.  “We are confident that the condition does not exist in the in-service fleet,” said Boeing.

The Chicago-based aircraft manufacturer said that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which supplies wings for the Dreamliner, had said that a change in its manufacturing process may cause cracks and that initial inspections have already found cracks on some aircraft.

Boeing will inspect 42 planes, and the new issue, the latest in a series of problems that have plagued the Dreamliner, may delay delivery of the plane to some airlines.

The cracks were apparently caused by the overtightening of fasteners used to connect the wing ribs to the shear ties on the carbon fiber composite panel.  The impacted planes will require roughly two weeks to be inspected and fixed where necessary.  Wing ribs run parallel to the plane’s fuselage.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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