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AVIORADAR - Croatian aviation website

Boeing 787 in new trouble

Written by Karlo Mudri.

© AvioRadar - Karlo Mudri (FRA- 03/09/19)
© AvioRadar - Karlo Mudri (FRA- 03/09/19)

At the end of August, on 8 Boeing 787 aircraft, Boeing found a problem at the hull joints, ie the gap where two parts of the fuselage touch. In the case of these 8 aircraft, this gap was not within acceptable limits and the pressure on the fuselage was not distributed evenly. In addition to the gap between the parts of the hull, there was a problem with the smoothness of the inner cladding. The surface of the inner formwork that is made of carbon fiber (of which over 50% of the hull is made) does not have the level of smoothness that it should have. The gap problem combined with the smoothness of the composite can significantly reduce the integrity of the hull. The mentioned 8 planes are owned by United, Air Canada and Singapore Airlines.

In addition to the mentioned problems with the fuselage, a new problem arose with horizontal stabilizers, but this time not on 8 aircraft but on almost 90% of them out of 1000 produced. On the mentioned horizontal stabilizers, the gaps between the parts are larger than they should be. These gaps are extremely small (about 0.0127 cm). The gap can lead to premature aging of the material. Although this problem is not a safety problem all aircraft affected by this problem will have to undergo a modification to fix this problem while on aircraft that are in the factory modifications will be made there. It has not yet been decided whether the affected aircraft will continue to fly or will be temporarily withdrawn from service until the necessary modification is carried out.