A Wall Street Journal report shows that Boeing is expanding its inspections on new Dreamliner 787s after discovering new manufacturing defects.
Dreamliner 787s were introduced in 2011 and has become popular for international flights. Some were found to have defects in the carbon-composite fuselage surface where spots are not smooth enough, resulting in tiny gaps in the fuselage section links and long term structural damage.
The Chicago-based airline and government regulators remain confident that the defects fail to warrant an imminent threat besides further boosting an extensive FAA review requested earlier this year.
Boeing will search for the latest defect during mandatory comprehensive maintenance checks as its aircraft age.
The latest defect is Boeing’s fourth assembly line lapse in the past few months. As a result, November was the first month since 2013 Boeing did not deliver a single 787 besides May when the aircraft manufacturer suspended operations.
“These findings are part of Boeing’s review of assembled 787 aircraft to ensure each meets our highest quality standards prior to delivery to customers,” said a Boeing spokesman.
Facing FAA pressure, Boeing has ramped up internal quality controls in hopes of closing gaps that allowed for defects to proliferate.
Boeing’s defects have caused significant delivery delays earlier this year and continue to threaten its profit margins. Data from Ascend, an aviation research firm, shows that the airline has built 53 undelivered 787s as of earlier this month.
In October, Boeing announced that it would be ending production of the 787s at the Seattle area facility.