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Another Dreamliner flaw found: Boeing to inspect cockpit windows

written by Hannah Dowling | March 19, 2021

Front exterior shot of a United Airlines 787 Dreamliner

Boeing has found another manufacturing fault in some of its 787 Dreamliners, and will begin carrying out inspections on flight deck windows.

The embattled US planemaker has said it has already begun testing the cockpit windows in a limited batch of aircraft, after it learned that a supplier had altered its production process.

As such, Boeing aims to ensure that the windows still meet all its requirements despite the change.

It becomes the latest of a string of manufacturing flaws that have forced Boeing to conduct stringent quality control checks on its fleet of already-built Dreamliners, which has, to date, delayed the delivery of new Dreamliners for over four months.

However, mechanics and engineers at Boeing are working around the clock to attempt to re-start deliveries of Dreamliners by the end of this month, as was promised by Boeing during a January earnings call.

The last time Boeing delivered a 787 to a customer was in October last year, before it began to find flaws in the aircraft’s fuselage, including minor dimples at the joinery.

Boeing has not yet said whether this latest quality control inspection requirement will take a further toll on the speed at which it can re-start deliveries.

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In a statement, Boeing reiterated an earlier comment that it was “progressing through inspections and rework as necessary on undelivered airplanes”.

“Based on our current plans, we continue to expect to resume delivering 787s by end of March; however, we will continue to take the time necessary and will adjust any delivery plans as needed,” the statement added.

Boeing currently has a backlog of around 80 Dreamliners that have been built and are currently stored at its factories as inspections continue.

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The news comes one month after the US Federal Aviation Administration issued an airworthiness directive demanding inspection of over 200 787 Dreamliners, after new defects were located.

The directive was issued following reports of torn decompression panels in the bilge area, according to the regulator.

The issue essentially pertains to the panels that separate the bottom of the passenger cabin from the cargo hold underneath.

The FAA estimated the directive will affect 222 Dreamliner aircraft in the US.

In December, Boeing announced it had found another flaw in the fuselage of its undelivered 787 Dreamliner jets.

The US planemaker said the same flaw reported in the jet’s fuselage in August 2020 had now been found in other areas of the aircraft.

Boeing has said the defect pertains to some areas where fuselage segments were joined, with these joins potentially not being as smooth as required.

The engineering specifications at issue are roughly equivalent to the width of a human hair, the company noted.

Boeing also said the problem does not pose an imminent safety hazard.

Other faults found in the months since August 2020 pertained to the plane’s horizontal stabiliser, and its tail fin.

Another Dreamliner flaw found: Boeing to inspect cockpit windows Comment

  • Pete

    says:

    Please stop continually referring to Boeing as “the embattled US planemaker”.
    Please consider the company’s incredible contribution to civilisation and, in contrast, our own modest efforts.
    Perhaps refer to the company with a little more respect, cognisant of their ground breaking contribution to our industry
    Examples:
    “the legendary US planemaker” or
    “ one of the worlds greatest companies” or
    “ the maker of the 707 & 747 “ or
    “ one of the greatest companies of the modern era “ or
    Well you get the idea.

    • Paddy Rogers

      says:

      Well said PETE, Boeing is a great company and worthy of respect.

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