Glitch delays FAA OK for Boeing

first_imgSEATTLE – Boeing Co.’s 787 program suffered a potential setback when engineers discovered problems while testing a section of the new airplane, but the glitch is not expected to delay the 787’s highly anticipated debut. The 33-foot prototype of a section of the 787’s fuselage was supposed to be used as part of efforts to gain Federal Aviation Administration certification for the airplane’s manufacturing process. But Boeing spokeswoman Yvonne Leach said the company’s engineers called off FAA certification plans after discovering bubbles in the high-tech composite materials used for the section, and decided the part would likely fail the government test. Leach said the bubbles, created when gases get inside the composite material, were likely caused by a leak in the tool used to build the fuselage. The bubbles could degrade the composites, eventually causing the material to tear or weaken. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2The glitch, which was first reported by Business Week, is not expected to delay Boeing’s plans to deliver the first 787 to Japan’s All Nippon Airways by mid-2008, Leach said. To make up the lost time, the airplane maker has decided to make two more fuselage sections at the same time, and to test them concurrently to make sure they meet quality standards. Leach said the new plan will cost Chicago-based Boeing more money, but the expense is likely worth it. The 787 is an enormous bet for the aerospace company, and investors and airlines alike are watching closely for any signs the company won’t be able to deliver the plane successfully and on time. Boeing plans a family of 787 jets, with the smallest capable of carrying 250 passengers and the largest 330 passengers. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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