Deliveries of new Boeing 787 Dreamliners may not resume until late October 2021, as the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has rejected Boeing’s proposal to approve inspection of new twinjets, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal on September 4, 2021.
Boeing met with the FAA in order to persuade the aviation regulator to approve the 787 Dreamliner inspection method on August 2, 2021. However, the attempt did not come to fruition, the Wall Street Journal reported.
This is the latest interruption in Boeing’s attempt to revive deliveries of 787 Dreamliners, which have been flawed with recurring production issues since 2020.
Recurring production flaws
A myriad of production flaws had forced Boeing to stop 787 Dreamliner deliveries.
The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner quality issue was found in late August 2020, as it appeared that the aft fuselage section of some Dreamliners would not be able to withstand maximum stress, making it more prone to a structural failure whilst in the air.
Another problem was found in September 2020, related to the tail fin of the aircraft. Parts of the horizontal stabilizer were clamped together with greater force than they were designed to.
After addressing the 787 Dreamliner quality issues found in 2020, Boeing ended a five-month hiatus of the aircraft type deliveries in March 2021.
However, in May 2021, the Chicago-based planemaker halted deliveries of Boeing 787 Dreamliner once again, as the FAA requested for more data on Boeing’s proposed solution to address previously disclosed 787 manufacture issues.
Now, the latest production issue was located “near the nose on certain 787 Dreamliners,” the FAA spokesperson told Reuters on July 12, 2021. “This issue was discovered as part of the ongoing system-wide inspection of Boeing’s 787 shimming processes required by the FAA.”
Following the latest quality lapse, Boeing announced it would trim the 787 Dreamliner production rate on July 13, 2021.
“The 787 production rate will temporarily be lower than five per month and will gradually return to that rate,” read Boeing’s statement. “Boeing now expects to deliver fewer than half of the 787s currently in inventory this year.”