Boeing is Fixing the Dreamliner Shimming Problems; Obama Praises the “Airplane of the Future”

Boeing discovered that 55 units of its flagship airplane model, the 787 Dreamliner, have a potential to shimming problems in the future. However, the airplane manufacturer stressed that they are addressing the issue and it will only take several days for per aircraft to correct the problem.

Airplane manufacturers apply shimming to fill in spaces between parts of the aircraft. According to a report by the industry publication Flightglobal, the 787 Dreamliner have improperly joined pieces that had caused “parts of the aircraft’s carbon fibre structure to delaminate”. The problem surfaced because incorrect shimming were done on the support structure located at the aft fuselage of some units of Boeing 787.

The discovery of the problem started in early February, but Boeing Vice-President Jim Albaugh assures the aviation community that this is just a minor problem and should not cause safety alarms.

“It’s very fixable and we are in the process of fixing the airplanes that are in flow, there is not a safety or flight issue on the airplanes that we’ve delivered and this is a long term issue that has to be addressed,” he said.

Albaugh is also confident that the shimming problems would not cause delays on their Dreamliner delivery schedule.

“It’s something that we can address in a short period of time. It will impact some short-term deliveries, but in terms of the number of deliveries for the year, it shouldn’t have any impact at all,” he added.

787 Dreamliner is a wide-body jet liner that can seat 210 to 290 passengers. It is Boeing’s most fuel-efficient aircraft and uses 20% less fuel than Boeing 767, albeit they are similar in size. It took its first flight in December 15, 2009 and entered the commercial market with All Nippon Airways in 2011.

The Boeing 787 has been hailed as the “airplane of the future.” Even President Obama is amazed by the fuel efficient aircraft when he toured the Boeing manufacturing facility last week.

source: AFP, http://www.bizjournal.com

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