Boeing unveils new manufacturing flaw with 787 Dreamliner

The manufacturing problem continues to mount up to Boeing 787. Even when Boeing has its business glowing up, it has revealed a new problem with its 787 Dreamliner, saying that it will put a further crimp in producing new planes on Tuesday. Boeing (BA) further disclosed the fact that they are relocating the resources to tackle the issue.

Read More: Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner completed its maiden flight successfully

The company has stockpiled about 100 jets that have high fuel efficiency, as the COVID pandemic and quality issues have entangled the aircraft deliveries. The problem has to do with the joining of parts of 787’s fuselage. The tiny gaps between the section of the plane’s fuselage and the slims to close them must fulfill the accurate specification. Boeing stated that some of the jet’s fuselage was not joined together, raising questions about the verification procedure to ensure the precise standards are met.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that the new problem was detected affecting the jet sections close to their nose during the inspection. The 787’s in commercial services would be seen to determine if any fixes are required. However, the delivered jets being utilized in commercial routes do not require to be grounded.

It may take at least three weeks to thoroughly inspect the undelivered aircraft and make further modifications to the advanced jets. This signifies that Boeing customers may not get a new Dreamliner during the so-called summer travel season.

Photo from Norwegian Air

BA, on its statement, said that it would “continue to take the necessary time to ensure Boeing planes meet the highest quality prior to delivery.”

In April 2021, the Boeing company expected to deliver the majority of these jets by this year. But as 787s have to deal with one new problem, it won’t meet its expectation, Boeing said Tuesday.

The flaw is another big blow to Boeing, as the 787 Dreamliner is a key profit maker for the company. The company is taking its time to inspect the 787s to ensure they meet all engineering standards prior to delivery.

In August 2020, Boeing delivered four commercial Dreamliners for passenger service while the other planes were for military or freighter purposes. The deliveries of 787 were halted and grounded for inspection, but those planes were back to the service in March.

Impacts of the ongoing problem

The manufacturing problem will slow down the production and delay the deliveries, costing a fortune to Boeing. Only last year, late deliveries burned through about 20 billion dollars. Deliveries are crucial for the financial prosperity of this company.

Boeing had expected to deliver most of the 787 Dreamliner by the end of 2021 and told the same to the investors, but now it will push the production number lower, the company says. Boeing has dropped its 787 productions from 14 every month before COVID to five. The production cuts to the target of five aircrafts a month have compelled the suppliers to lay off hundreds of staff, the aviation industry experiences the resulting shock waves.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Etihad arriving in Phuket Photo by: Sua Neung

FAA, unconvinced about the Boeing inspection method, continues to scrutinize Boeing over 787 and 737 Max jets quality issues. In May 2021, two House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee members bespoke the company’s issue records.

Tuesday’s new issue disclose clarifies that the quality issues hurdling on company’s profitability followed by the continuity of 737 Max aircraft grounding. Boeing fell 3% in its market share to $23110, on Dow Jones Industrial Average, they had the worst performance.

Ups and Downs on Boeing demand

Boeing cut its 787 Dreamliner delivery plan and announced a temporary reduction in production rates after discovering a new problem on some of the wide-body aircraft.

Boeing said that June was the favorable time for new orders and delivery numbers since 2018 and 2019. The aircraft 737 Max had been involved in a pair of deadly crashes that led to the death of 346 people in 2018 and 2019, So 737 Max jets were grounded for almost two years worldwide. In April 2021, Boeing delivered 45 aircraft, out of which 10 were wide-body jets, 33 were 737 Max, and 2 were 737 military versions. One was 787 delivered to Turkish Airlines.

Boeing [NYSE:BA] and Turkish Airlines announced they have finalized a firm order for 25 787-9 Dreamliners with options for five more airplanes. This rendering shows the airplane in Turkish Airlines livery. (Boeing illustration) (PRNewsfoto/Boeing)

The record expansion of the fleet of United Airlines orders for 737 Max created an expectation for air travel demand level up. Again in April 2021, more than 60 of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft were grounded after Boeing disclosed an electric problem affecting the power control unit on jets.

Noteworthy accidents and Incidents of Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Boeing 787 has encountered several incidents on its operation yet; there have not been any fatalities and hull losses resulted.

On January 8, 2013, there was a fuel leak in JAL 787, which led to Boston Flight cancellation. On January 9, 2013, United Airlines encountered a wiring problem near the primary batteries.

On July 12, 2013, Lithium manganese dioxide batteries started a fire causing extensive heat damage to the aircraft. Ethiopian Airlines 787 was parked at Heathrow airport when the fire occurred. But no injuries were reported.

Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Photo by belgian.aviation

In August 2020, Dreamliner encountered another flaw; the structural wrinkling in the interior fuselage. In September 2020, there was a horizontal stabilizer issue on the aircraft affecting its further delivery.

Those planes returned to the service, and delivery continued in March 2021. Again, FAA raised questions on Boeing’s invasive inspection, which led to a fresh halt in deliveries in May.

With COVID posing market and logistic challengers, the quality issue continues to affect Boeing’s commercial airplane orders and deliveries. The low demand caused the passenger airlines to be reluctant to make their deliveries, which lock up the main sources of desperately needed cash for Boeing company. After the discovery of a flaw in 787 in August 2020, the plane amassed in the inventory line with the flaw. The advanced production process of Dreamliners and the narrowing supply chain worldwide caused several issues over the years.

However, Boeing teams are focused on customer safety and integrity to ensure quality, stability, and productivity in 787 operations. The shims filling the gaps of the interior fuselage must be installed, then it is necessary to remove the structural dimpling. It takes few weeks to replace, repaint, and reinstall the interior. The 787 production problems have delayed the fuel-efficient aircraft deliveries.  Boeing’s brand value, financial performances, strategies have suffered a lot after all these groundings of aircraft designed to fly.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Boeing Company is the producer of Boeing 787 Dreamliners; it is a US-based multinational company involved in the manufacturing and sales of aircraft, telecommunication equipment all over the world. In addition to designing and selling, it also offers aircraft leasing and support solutions. William Boeing is the founder of this company, established on July 15, 1916.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner is an American wide-body jet aircraft of Boing. It commenced its first-ever flight on December 15, 2009. Dreamliner is a dominating aircraft of Boeing over the rival Airbus, a leader in the market of wide-body aircraft. It is a fuel-efficient aircraft made of compound material that is lighter than aluminum.

The primary users of this advanced aircraft are All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, American Airlines, and United Airlines. As of June 2021, over 1006 Boeing 787 Dreamliners are already built. The plane is used mainly for commercial long-haul international flights. It uses an electrical system extensively and can be recognized with its cockpit of four windows, raked wingtips externally. There are different variants of this wide body which are 787-8, 787-9, 787-10, BBJ 787. 787 was the first wide-body jet with its fuselage containing one composite barrel section. It has more fuel efficiency than 767, lightweight components, improved aerodynamic system. Extensive structural testing was applied to its airframe during its course of design. The aircraft employed 800-1200 people to integrate its system.

The specialty and uniqueness of the 787 Dreamliner is its raked wingtip which allows the aircraft to climb better and consume less fuel; the win sweeps upwards. The state-of-art aircraft has many things to offer.

1.       Smooth operation

The lumps and bumps are less on Dreamliner, as there is a gust suppression system onboard, which counteracts the changes in velocity and direction of the wind, thus leading to smooth operation.

2.       HUD in the flight deck

The Head-Up Display projects the flight parameters in front of the pilots.

3.       Ability to fly all routes

With the introduction of 787s, the previously uncommercial viable routes are now reachable as it is small in size compared to other aircraft used on long haul routes.

4.       Windows

Electrochemical glasses are used to make windows, which have five color stages, that the passengers can adjust with electronic dimmers.

5.       Reduced noise level

The customers can rest better as the noise level of 787 is lesser than other aircraft.

6.       Comfort for crews

The crews have their own lighting and heating system on the galley and bunk beds.

7.       Comfortable cabins, AC with special filtration system and USB outlet by the passenger seats and power charger.

The efficiency and less operating costs of Dreamliner are the reason it’s so popular and termed as revolutionary aircraft. The Dreamliner effect creates the best way to fly, transforms business plans, generates remarkable airline opportunities over the world, and drastically improves the air experience.

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