Dreamliner shimming repairs might take 10 to 14 days per plane

Reuters reports that 55 Dreamliners could require shimming repairs, with each aircraft repair taking 10 to 15 days. Boeing says it still expects to meet its planned production schedule of 10 planes per month by the end of 2013.

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Reuters reported on Feb. 23 that the repair needed to correct a flaw in the composite fuselage of The Boeing Co.'s (Everett, Wash., USA) new 787 Dreamliner will take 10 to 14 days per plane, says Pat Shanahan, general manager of airplane programs for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Improperly shimmed gaps between the fuselage skin and stringers were discovered in some aft fuselage sections produced by Boeing in South Carolina. "Going in and removing a shim that's in place today and replacing it with the new shim is disruptive. It's going to take us 10 days, two weeks to go and do," Shanahan told Reuters. The repair will be done concurrently with other work on the 787, so it will not necessarily add that amount to the production of each Dreamliner, the report said.

Boeing reports that as many as 55 assembled Dreamliners could have the shimming problem. Still, Boeing has stood by its production rate target of 10 planes per month by the end of 2013.

According to the report, Shanahan said it is not usual for such issues to arise on new airplane programs, but the 787 receives more public scrutiny than other planes. "On the 87, people are very sensitive. Can a small issue grow into a big issue?" he said. "So we spend most of our time just knocking them down as quickly as possible."

Click here for original Reuters report.