Boeing on Tuesday disclosed a new manufacturing quality issue with the 787 Dreamliner, this time with assembly of the airplane’s horizontal tail in Salt Lake City. The disclosure comes after last week’s revelations of quality control problems at Boeing’s South Carolina plant affecting the 787’s aft fuselage.
Boeing also released data Tuesday showing the tally of lost 737 MAX orders this year is now approaching 1,000 jets.
During fabrication in Salt Lake of the 787’s horizontal tail — known as the stabilizer — engineers discovered earlier this year that “certain components were clamped together during the build process with greater force than specified,” potentially leaving the structure with gaps between components wider than the allowable specification, Boeing said.
The issue “may lead to premature aging of the part,” meaning the horizontal tail structure, Boeing said.
Boeing spokesperson Jessica Kowal said none of the affected 787s currently in service with airlines around the world “are within a window when they would experience this aging,” and so “this is not an immediate safety of flight issue.”
“We are correcting the issue on airplanes that have not been delivered,” Kowal said. “Analysis is underway to determine if action is required on the in-service fleet.” (end of excerpt)
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