The Wall Street Journal is reporting (paid subscription or free metered view) that Boeing and a key supplier, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, are inspecting the wing assemblies of 43 yet to be delivered 787 Dreamliner aircraft after discovering hairline cracks caused by a manufacturing process.
According to the report, the supplier informed Boeing that a change in its manufacturing process may have caused the cracks. Inspections are being carried out at Boeing assembly facilities near Seattle and Charleston South Carolina. Boeing indicated to the WSJ that none of the 123 Dreamliners delivered to-date are affected by this wing issue.
The WSJ quotes sources as indicating that the latest problem stems from fasteners use to connect shear ties to the carbon composite wing panel. Boeing indicates that it will take 1-2 weeks to inspect and correct this situation on the impacted production aircraft. Boeing further indicated to the WSJ that it fully expects to maintain its schedule for customer delivery of 110 787’s this year although Q1 shipments could slip beyond March.
The saga of the 787 supply chain glitches continues.