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Boeing restarts 787 deliveries after 14-month hiatus

written by Liam McAneny | August 17, 2022

Boeing has finally resumed deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft after a 14-month hiatus, with American Airlines receiving a 787-8 last Wednesday.

Delivery of the Dreamliner was initially halted in late 2020, before being resumed in early 2022 and halted again at the end of May 2021 at the request of the FAA due to quality problems.

American Airlines has announced that it will receive another nine 787-8 aircraft before the end of 2022.

Boeing has navigated several problems and difficulties with its Dreamliner fleet. In September 2020 company found that components in the horizontal stabilisers had been clamped together with too much force.

This raised concerns about possible issues with improper gap verification and shimming as the components were fully assembled.

Special inspections were performed to address this issue, as well as the further shimming issues on the aft fuselages of the Dreamliner’s, a problem which was discovered in 2019.

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Compounding these issues were imperfections found in the fuselage skins of the aircraft.

Then, in July last year, Boeing revealed that it had found additional problems with the Dreamliner aircraft. The cause of concern was the forward pressure bulkhead. Engineers discovered that there were small gaps between two sections of the bulkhead during inspections.

The bulkhead problems were reported to the FAA, which mandated a rework of the components. The rework was time-consuming and costly, involving the bulkhead being removed and entirely replaced.

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The final issue restricting the return of the 787 to service was a supply problem faced by Boeing. A sub-supplier to the company was found to have used faulty titanium that affected parts supplied to Boeing by Leonardo.

Boeing claimed that the faulty titanium was not a flight safety issue, but admitted that the issue did “complicate efforts” to bring the 787 back into service.

14 months later, Boeing is ready to roll out the 120 Dreamliners in its inventory following approval from the FAA. Boeing chief financial officer Brian West said that the company and the FAA had finished all necessary flight checks.

In a statement released alongside the announcement of deliveries restarting, Boeing said, “We have resumed 787 deliveries, following our thorough engineering analysis, verification, and rework activities to ensure all airplanes conform to Boeing’s exacting specifications and regulatory requirements.”

“We remain committed to maintaining transparent discussions with our regulators, customers and suppliers to ensure we continue to deliver airplanes that meet all regulatory requirements and Boeing’s highest quality standards,” the statement read.

Boeing restarts 787 deliveries after 14-month hiatus Comment

  • James Smith

    says:

    Does additional work in accordance with the FAA directive need to be performed on existing Dreamliners that have continued to fly with airlines around the world? For example, do the problems with the horizontal stabilisers, imperfections in the fuselage skins or the installation of new forward pressure bulkheads need to be inspected and quickly remedied on these hundreds of Dreamliners. I haven’t read any news items about recalls or inspections to fix any of these problems on existing aircraft.

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