Boeing recalls eight 787 jets with structural issues

Aircraft recently delivered to United, Singapore and Air Canada have lower strength than recommended in fuselage carbon fiber structures

Boeing issued a directive to United Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Air Canada to ground eight 787s after the manufacturer identified issues with the strength of the carbon structures of these planes.

The information was revealed by the Air Current website, according to people familiar with the situation. In a statement, Boeing confirmed two distinct manufacturing problems in the rear section of the fuselage of these aircraft and that “does not meet our design standards”.

Because of this issues, those planes would not be able to withstand the maximum stress expected in flight and could fail. Boeing will inspect and repair the eight undisclosed version jets in order to return them to service.

According to Air Current, the problem parts are manufactured by the North Charleston unit, which opened in 2012 exclusively to produce the Dreamliner aircraft.

The Boeing 787 in North Charleston plant (Boeing)

Falling demand

In operation for almost a decade, the Boeing 787 marked a new generation of commercial jets by introducing more efficient wings and engines and, above all, a structure mostly made of composite material. This advance made the plane less weight and enabled improvements such as better quality pressurization, larger windows and a more pleasant flight experience for passengers.

After a turbulent start, the Dreamliner has become a successful product and is approaching the milestone of 1,000 aircraft delivered (977 units until July). Meanwhile, demand for the widebody has been falling and Boeing will have to cut the monthly production ratio from 14 to just six planes in 2021.


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