The problems at Boeing are starting to stack up, at a time when few airlines are ordering new planes and going through their current orders to see which order they can cancel. Boeing has now disclosed another problem with the construction of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft that could cause further delays on aircraft deliveries, and provide another headache for the beleaguered American manufacturer.
Boeing says the new problem affects the plane’s horizontal stabiliser, but only on planes that are yet to be delivered. The 787 horizontal stabiliser issue are not believed be a concern for safety but will affect future deliveries as it is sorted out anyway. In August the company grounded 8 of the 787 series planes over a problem that joined the parts of the 787’s main fuselage.
The company has already been unable to deliver back orders of its best-selling plane, the 737 Max, for 18 months. 737 Max jets, around the world, were grounded in March 2019 after 2 fatal crashes, in Indonesia and Ethiopia, that killed 346 people.
Until recently, the 787 Dreamliner had been largely trouble-free (notwithstanding some early problems with its onboard batteries). It’s also been one of the only shining lights in a company hemorrhaging huge amounts of money as it battles its 737 Max groundings, a worldwide pandemic and a toxic relationship with the flying public who now openly question the safety of its aircraft.
The FAA says they are looking at whether 900 of the 787 Dreamliners, already delivered and in service. will need to be inspected due to manufacturing problems. Boeing reports that, other than the eight 787 planes already identified and grounded, the other 787s in service do meet the required specifications to continue to operate.
“We are inspecting production airplanes to ensure any issues are addressed prior to delivery. We are taking the appropriate steps to resolve these issues and prevent them from happening again. The FAA has been fully briefed, and we will continue to work closely with them going forward.”
The FAA say that they are working with Boeing to investigate the flaws and it was too early to speculate on what additional steps, if any, would need to be taken.
In addition to delayed deliveries of Boeing planes, there have been 445 orders for jets cancelled in 2020, though some of those cancellations are actually changes to other models.
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