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Industry News
Boeing reinspects Dreamliner horizontal stabilizers

The Bloomberg news agency reported on Aug. 11 that The Boeing Co. is reinspecting its fleet of 787 Dreamliner jets to ensure that the sections built by Alenia, a unit of Italy’s Finmeccanica SpA, meet the planemaker’s standards

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Posted on: 8/16/2010
Source: CompositesWorld

The Bloomberg news agency reported on Aug. 11 that The Boeing Co. (Seattle, Wash., USA) is reinspecting its fleet of 787 Dreamliner jets to ensure that the sections built by Alenia, a unit of Italy’s Finmeccanica SpA, meet the planemaker’s standards.

Boeing spokesperson Lori Gunter told Bloomberg that after uncovering flaws in horizontal stabilizers made by Alenia Aeronautica in June, Boeing assessed the company’s manufacturing process and decided to check on flight-test and production planes. 

“Based on what we’ve seen so far, we believe the inspections and any issues we find can be readily addressed,” Gunter told Bloomberg. “We are assessing the impact, if any, to our schedule.”

Alenia makes center fuselage sections 44 and 46, as well as the horizontal stabilizers, for the 787, all from composite materials. Stabilizer flaws may be one of multiple problems that cause the Dreamliner’s entry into service to move to 2011 from late 2010, Boeing has reported. Bloomberg reports that Finmeccanica’s co-general manager Alessandro Pansa said on a July 29 conference call that the stabilizer’s problems have been fixed. Alenia declined to comment on more recent stabilizer inspections. 

In a conference call with analysts, Jim Albaugh, president of Boeing’s commercial plane business, said Boeing has found additional 787 problems that might prompt the company to take back work now done by vendors/partners. Boeing bought South Carolina Dreamliner operations from vendor Vought Aircraft Industries in 2009.

Information: Click here for original Bloomberg report.  

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