Bloomberg News

Boeing to Check All Completed 787 Dreamliners for Delamination

February 22, 2012

Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Boeing Co. will check all completed 787 planes for delamination after a production fault affected the fuselage of the first composite-plastic passenger aircraft.

“It’s something we can address in a short period of time and it will impact some short-term deliveries,” Jim Albaugh, Boeing’s commercial aircraft head, told reporters today in Singapore. “But in terms of the number of deliveries for the year, it shouldn’t have any impact at all.”

Inspecting about 55 planes, excluding test aircraft, and tackling the production issue have disrupted Boeing’s efforts to raise output of the twin-engine 787 after it ended more than three years of delays by delivering the first Dreamliner in September. Delamination is a separation that can occur in composite materials when layers crack and lose strength.

The Chicago-based planemaker has traced the issue to an incorrect assembly in a support structure within the plane’s aft fuselage, Scott Lefeber, a spokesman, said earlier this month. There are no “short-term safety concerns,” he said.

Boeing intends to hand over the first General Electric Co.- powered 787 to Japan Airlines Co. next month, Albaugh said. All Nippon Airways Co., the only operator of 787s so far, uses Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc engines.

Tests on the GE engine “for all intents and purposes are done,” Albaugh said. JAL said last week that it expects to receive the aircraft at the end of March.

Boeing also expects to recoup lost production caused by U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to the 787 factory in Everett, Washington last week, Albaugh said. The President went to the plant to highlight efforts to boost U.S. exports.

“We did lose several shifts of production,” Albaugh said. “With a little overtime and increased productivity, it’s not going to impact orders.”

--Editors: Neil Denslow, Subramaniam Sharma

To contact the reporter on this story: Kyunghee Park in Singapore at kpark3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Neil Denslow at ndenslow@bloomberg.net


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