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Boeing Finds New “Manufacturing Defects” in 787 Dreamliners Prompting Grounding

Boeing Finds New “Manufacturing Defects” in 787 Dreamliners Prompting Grounding

Embattled aircraft manufacturer Boeing has found two “distinct manufacturing defects” with certain 787 Dreamliner aircraft, prompting the grounding of eight jets that are already in service with various airlines so that repairs can be carried out. The 787 program previously faced issues shortly after its launch in 2011 and last year, the New York Times published an exposé accusing Boeing of “shoddy production” of the widebody aircraft.

The new issue has been found in the join of two fuselage sections near the rear of the aircraft according to a statement from the manufacturer. The FAA has already been notified and an investigation is underway.

“We determined that eight airplanes in the delivered fleet are affected by both issues and therefore must be inspected and repaired prior to continued operation,” a spokesperson for Boeing explained. One of the eight affected planes is operated by Singapore Airlines but is currently grounded anyway because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We immediately contacted the airlines that operate the eight affected airplanes to notify them of the situation, and the airplanes have been temporarily removed from service until they can be repaired,” the statement continued.

Boeing hit back at accusations reported by the New York Times in April 2019 that claimed the company “pushed its workforce to quickly turn out Dreamliners, at times ignoring issues raised by employees.”

The newspaper said Boeing promoted a culture that “valued production speed over quality” and pressurised workers into not reporting safety concerns. Qatar Airways is even said to have refused 787’s from Boeing’s manufacturing facility in Charleston, South Carolina because of it had previously received damaged planes from the factory.

Boeing strenuously denied the allegations, telling workers that the report painted a “skewed and inaccurate picture” and that the report was inaccurate.

Shortly after its debut in 2011, the Dreamliner was grounded for three months because of a serious fire risk caused by a faulty battery pack. Rolls-Royce engines for the 787 have also faced serious issues, forcing various airlines to ground their Dreamliners for months at a time so that repairs can be carried out.

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