Manufacturing defect leads Boeing to ground several 787 jets


Boeing has found manufacturing defects on some of its 787 long-haul airliners in areas where parts of the fuselage are attached, the latest setback for the aircraft manufacturer whose 737 Max is still grounded after two fatal crashes.

The company said on Friday that eight planes needed to be inspected and repaired before they were allowed to fly, and contacted airlines, which have pulled the planes out of service.

Boeing declined to identify the airlines involved, but United Airlines, Air Canada and Singapore Airlines confirmed each had a plane on the ground for inspection.

Boeing Co. said it discovered “two separate manufacturing problems” with the back of some 787s, which means the planes do not meet design standards. The company said it had notified the Federal Aviation Administration and was trying to determine the cause of the problem.

The issue was first reported by The Air Current, which said it was the first known case of a structural issue with the aircraft’s predominantly carbon-fiber fuselage, which brought Boeing to tell the airlines to soler the 787.

The 787, which Boeing calls the Dreamliner, entered service with many airlines in 2011 and has become popular with airlines for longer journeys due to its size and fuel efficiency. Boeing has delivered nearly 1,000.

In 2013, when there were around 50,787 in service, the planes were stranded around the world for three months after the batteries of two of them overheated, including a Japan Airlines 787 that was parked at Boston Logan Airport. Regulators allowed the 787s to resume flight after Boeing redesigned the housing around lithium-ion batteries used for auxiliary power systems, including the electrical system in the cockpit.

Last year, Singapore Airlines grounded two of its 787s after seeing fan blades on some Rolls Royce engines deteriorating faster than expected.


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