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Fri March 7, 2014
Boeing Inspecting About 40 Undelivered Dreamliners For Possible Wing Cracks
Boeing says it is inspecting about 40 Dreamliners that may have hairline cracks in their wings. No planes in service are affected; the issue only affects some aircraft still in production.
Company spokesman Doug Alder says the wing manufacturer, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, told Boeing that a change in their manufacturing process may have caused the cracks, which Alder says are very small.
Fixing the wings may delay some deliveries, he says, but the time required to fix the issue will vary between one and two weeks. The company isn’t changing its forecast of delivering about 110 787s this year, Alder says.
“We understand the issue, what must be done to correct it, and are completing inspections of potentially affected airplanes,” Alder said in an email.
Boeing recently accelerated production of its long-haul, fuel-efficient Dreamliner to 10 planes a month, though the company has reportedly been coping with production issues at its South Carolina factory. The majority of Dreamliners are built at Boeing's factory in Everett.
The Chicago-based company has been working to improve reliability of the plane after it was grounded last year due to smoldering lithium-ion batteries.
The news of the wing cracks was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.