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Boeing tests 787 cockpit windows as probe widens

Issac John /Dubai
issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com Filed on March 17, 2021
A Boeing 787 airplane being built for Norwegian Air Shuttle is shown at Boeing Co.'s assembly facility, in Everett, Washinton. Boeing is dealing with a new production problem involving its 787 jet, in which inspections have found flaws in the way that sections of the rear of the plane were joined together. — AP file

The manufacturer has elected to test the cockpit windows on select aircraft, after reports that they may not be up to standard. The decision comes after learning that a supplier is said to have altered its production processes

US plane-maker Boeing is scrutinising the flight-deck windows of some of its 787 Dreamliners as it expands its search for potential manufacturing flaws that have delayed deliveries of its new-gen jetliner.

The manufacturer has elected to test the cockpit windows on select aircraft, after reports that they may not be up to standard. The decision comes after learning that a supplier is said to have altered its production processes.

The emergence of the new potential glitch comes as Boeing’s mechanics and engineers work frantically to try to restart Dreamliner deliveries by the end of March, 2021.

This is not the first 787 production issue to have arisen in recent months for the embattled manufacturers of Boeing 737 Max, which was cleared to return to the skies just recently after being grounded for close to 20 months. Max was grounded worldwide on March 13, 2019, after two crashes, one in Indonesia in 2018 and the other in Ethiopia in 2019.

Indeed, Boeing has also had to contend with the discovery of dimples in 787 aircraft’s inner lining. Last month, the US Federal Aviation Administration published an airworthiness directive requiring the examination of 222 Dreamliners.

Leading UAE carriers Emirates and Etihad are customers of 787 aircraft. In 2019, Emirates announced that it had signed a full purchase agreement for 30 Boeing 787-9 aircraft, worth $8.8 billion at list prices, at the Dubai Airshow 2019. Under its agreement with Boeing, Emirates has exercised its right to substitute the B777x with B787s.

The 787’s ongoing production issues have also hampered deliveries of the aircraft in recent months. The most recent Dreamliner delivery saw Etihad receive a 787-10 last October.

Responding to queries about the window checks, a Boeing representative referred back to the company’s March 9 statement that said it is “progressing through inspections and rework as necessary on undelivered airplanes.”

“Based on our current plans, we continue to expect to resume delivering 787s by the end of March; however, we will continue to take the time necessary and will adjust any delivery plans as needed,” the company said in a statement.

— issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com

author

Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.





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