Boeing is testing the cockpit windows on some of its 787 Dreamliner as the troubled plane maker widens its search for possible manufacturing flaws that have delayed deliveries of its flagship airliner, according to people briefed on the matter.
The U.S. manufacturer has been testing cabin windows on a limited batch of planes after learning that a supplier modified its production process, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is sensitive. Boeing wants to make sure the windows still meet its requirements after the change, but the tests are not expected to affect March deliveries, one of the people said.
The emergence of another potential failure comes as Boeing mechanics and engineers work to try to resume deliveries of the 787 Dreamliner later this month, in line with what executives promised during an earnings call in January. The manufacturer hasn’t delivered any of the planes since October after discovering more of the tiny dimples in the inner skin where carbon-fiber fuselage barrels are fused to form the airframe, Bloomberg reviewed.
When asked about the window revisions, a Boeing representative referred to the company’s March 9 statement that said it is “progressing through inspections and rework as needed on undelivered aircraft.”
“Based on our current plans, we continue to expect to resume delivery of 787s by the end of March; however, we will continue to take the necessary time and will adjust any delivery schedule as needed,” the company said in the statement.
The production disruptions have forced Boeing to stockpile more than 80 Dreamliners around its factories and in the California desert, creating new concern just as the crisis surrounding its 737 Max wanes.
One of the 787’s main buyers, Air Lease Corp, has warned that production problems “seem to have multiplied” on the twin-aisle jet. “There are more and more inspections,” said John Plueger, CEO of the Los Angeles-based aircraft leasing company.
By Alex Beltyukov/Wikimedia