787 Repairs Could Cost Hundreds Of Millions: Report


Reuters is reporting that Boeing will spend hundreds of millions of dollars or more to inspect and repair Boeing 787s that are suspected to have manufacturing flaws in the fuselage skins. Boeing stopped delivering Dreamliners in October and didn’t fix the manufacturing process until February, according to the unnamed sources used for the report. It’s not clear how many other aircraft in the fleet are affected and Boeing has not told airlines how many aircraft are involved, Reuters reported. Eight aircraft were grounded last August because of the potential defect. Boeing has started the inspections and repairs with 88 aircraft built in the last year or so that have been stored since completion while engineers figure out how much of the fleet is affected.

The 88 stored aircraft will undergo a monthlong inspection and repair process that a Reuters source described as “open heart surgery.” The seats and floors of the aircraft have to be removed and the internal fuselage skins measured to detect the wrinkling, which is invisible to the naked eye. Where wrinkling is found, the fasteners on both sides of the skin have to be removed and a shim installed to fill the gaps that cause the wrinkling. The repair work has already begun at Boeing factories in Washington and South Carolina and a source told Reuters it could take years to fix the fleet. The report came as the FAA announced $6.6 million in fines against Boeing for failing to meet obligations under a 2015 settlement agreement and for two other violations.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. The once-reliable Boeing has been ruined by the bean counters who have no understanding of engineering or aircraft building. An engineering company should always be run by engineering-minded folks, at least when it comes to design and engineering decisions.

  2. This is what happens when you stop following the protocols that made the company successful. These post merger with MD aircraft are having issues due to managing the dollars instead of the engineering. Sad.

  3. While happily employed and engaged in flying the Boeing product for years, I’m saddened to see what has happened to this great aircraft manufacturing company. While carrying my bags through the terminal, I along with others often hummed “I ain’t going unless it Boeing”.