Boeing (BA) announced the already-delayed launch of its new jet -- the 787 Dreamliner -- is experiencing yet another setback. In a statement late Thursday, the company said it has "elected" to inspect the planes due to "workmanship issue with the 787's horizontal stabilizers." The jets five test planes will not fly until the inspection and rework are completed.
Some airplanes, Boeing said, have issues with improperly installed shims and the torque of associated fasteners on the horizontal stabilizers, which are the smaller wings on the plane's tail. This portion of the tail was built by Italian manufacturer Alenia, according to the Seattle Times, which broke the news.
The quality problems were discovered this past week. Boeing wants to inspect the planes to ensure there are no discrepancies. Boeing has 23 planes already built and anticipates inspections to take one to two days. It has a rework plan in place and expects it will take up to eight days for each airplane requiring additional work, the airplane maker said.
Despite this setback -- which appears to be due to third-party issues -- Boeing says it anticipates the issue will be addressed within the existing program schedule. The 787 remains on track for first delivery to All Nippon Airways by the end of this year, it said.
That would be a relief as production of the carbon-composite airplane has been delayed five times in three years, and the first flight was postponed six times, as a result of a host of problems, Reuters reported. Boeing has already received 860 orders valued at $148 billion, making the Dreamliner Boeing's best-selling new model.
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