Boeing announced yesterday that it recently identified a workmanship “issue” with the 787's horizontal stabilizers, forcing the company to inspect each of the test airplanes before they resume flying. The company said it expects the inspections to take between one and two days. Alenia builds the horizontal stabilizers on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Boeing has found improperly installed shims and improper torque of associated fasteners on some of the airplanes, the company said. The problem could involve 23 airplanes in all.
The company has already implemented an inspection and “re-work” plan for airplanes in production. For airplanes requiring re-work, the repairs will take up to eight days each. “It is not unusual for these issues to arise in the course of production programs. They are identified, dispositioned and dealt with through our normal processes,” Boeing said in a statement.
The company stressed that reports that it grounded the fleet are incorrect. “Boeing has made the decision to inspect the horizontal stabilizers on all flight-test airplanes before their next flights to ensure any rework is completed as quickly as possible,” it said. “We expect that this issue will be addressed within the existing program schedule. The 787 remains on track for first delivery to ANA by the end of this year.”