Boeing Finds New 787 Dreamliner Manufacturing Flaws, Could Affect Upto 893 Dreamliners - Aero World

Boeing finds new Dreamliner manufacturing flaws. Photo: Boeing

Boeing warned on Tuesday of delays in deliveries of its popular 787 Dreamliner's, as the horizontal stabilizer in the aircraft's tail is raising global concerns.

Boeing identified three separate production flaws over the past year, prompting the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to investigate thoroughly. This may hamper efforts to develop an alternative cash-cow to its grounded 737 MAX.

During fabrication, Boeing engineers learned of the Dreamliner's horizontal stabilizer flaws. The engineers discovered that some components were clamped with greater force than specified, which could eventually result in improper gap verification and shimming. 

Photo: Boeing

Although the manufacturer announced it on Tuesday, it had identified the problem back in February. This particular flaw was discovered at a Boeing plant in Salt Lake City.

Regarding this, the FAA spokesperson said that it, "is investigating manufacturing flaws affecting certain Boeing 787 jetliners. The agency continues to engage with Boeing."

This issue could impact up to 893 of the approximately 1000 Dreamliners manufactured so far. This horizontal stabilizer issue could eventually require the inspection of as many as about 89% airplanes.

Boeing Everett factory
Photo: Boeing

What the manufacturer has to say...

Regarding this recent manufacturing flaw, Boeing said:

"We are inspecting production airplanes to ensure any issues are addressed before delivery. We are taking the appropriate steps to resolve these issues and prevent them from happening again. 

"The FAA has been fully briefed and we will continue to work closely with them going forward. The analysis is underway to determine if action is required on the in-service fleet."

Boeing 787 Dreamliner
 Photo: Boeing

However, one of the manufacturer's spokesperson said that the clamping issue is being corrected on aircraft still being manufactured. 

Boeing said that it expects the inspections will affect the timing of 787 deliveries in the near-term. Recently, the US manufacturer said:

"The market and logistical challenges from COVID-19 continue to affect our commercial airplane orders and deliveries, as we work closely with our customers on their fleet requirements."

Boeing Everett factory
Photo: Boeing

"Separately, our quality assurance program identified distinct issues in 787. We are taking the time to thoroughly inspect completed 787s to ensure that they are free of the issues and meet all engineering specifications before delivery. We expect these inspections to affect the timing of 787 deliveries in the near-term."

Eight Boeing 787's already out of service...

Boeing Co. has already told its Boeing 787 customers operating eight affected planes to remove them immediately from service after the manufacturer found issues in the fuselage in August.

Boeing pulled eight 787s from service in August. Photo: Singapore Airlines

The manufacturer found two distinct manufacturing issues, so they asked to ground them so that they can be repaired. Boeing has estimated that it will take two weeks to solve these issues in an aircraft.

Singapore Airlines, Air Canada, and United Airlines said they each had one of the affected planes. The FAA is conducting a thorough review of the cause of this problem.

Boeing delivered only 13 aircraft in August, down from 18 planes a year earlier and up from four in July.


  1. Boeing should bring back the 727, that was a tank with wings!