Boeing Inspects 787 Dreamliner for Possible Repairs
Boeing is inspecting its newest plane, the 787 Dreamliner for possible repairs to the carbon fiber composite structure of the plane.
The issue involves a problem known as delamination. In laymen terms structural stiffeners, or shims, were not attached to the composite skin properly.
Over time, this can cause delamination, or damage the carbon fiber composite skin.
Boeing is not releasing many details about the problem or inspections. In a statement, Boeing said it "..has found that incorrect shimming was performed on support structure on the aft fuselage of some 787s."
The company added, "There is no short-term safety concern. Repairs, should they be needed, will be implemented in the most efficient manner possible."
The problem was discovered within the last couple of weeks. Boeing will not say how many Dreamliners have been identified as having a problem with their shimming.
Boeing has delivered 5 Dreamliners since September of last year when All Nippon Airways took the inaugural delivery last September. The 60th Dreamliner is currently on the assembly line at Boeing's plant in Everett, Washington.
While the latest issue is not considered an immediate safety issue for the Dreamliner, it raises more questions about the manufacturing process of the 787. The program has been plagued with problems and costly delays since Boeing launched it in 2004.
Wall Street is watching the 787 program closely as Boeing has set an aggressive schedule for ramping up deliveries of the Dreamliner over the next two years. Boeing currently has a backlog of more than 800 orders for the Dreamliner.