With a well-filled sales book, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will return to the production lines thanks to a green light given by American regulators. Banned from marketing for nearly two years, the long-haul aircraft had several manufacturing problems that alerted the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a few months after the problems with the 737 Max.
These manufacturing problems, concerning the structure, came to point out one of the main assets of the model. The aircraft, the most efficient in the range, was developed over many years to reduce its fuel consumption by 20% compared to an Airbus A330 or a Boeing 777, two other long-haul aircraft with equivalent dimensions, thanks to the massive use of composite materials (50%), graphite (45%) and fiberglass (5%).
He made himself known to the general public by participating in the world record for non-stop flights. Qantas, for example, flew it from Sydney to London, a distance of 14,484 km and more than 17 hours of travel. The company Air Tahiti Nui linked Tahiti to Paris with a flight of 15,715 km traveled in “only” 15 hours and 45 minutes.
Each aircraft inspected
The first defects noted by the agency date back to August 2020. The FAA took the decision to suspend deliveries from November until March 2021. But with new defects noted since then, the The aircraft was completely withdrawn from deliveries from May 2021 to August 2022. “We expect deliveries to resume in the coming days”the regulator said in a statement.
The only condition for the resumption of deliveries will be to go through the control box. If Boeing actually performed “necessary changes” to lift the suspension, each copy that leaves the factory will still have to go through the agency inspection box.
Boeing 787 problems
But what were the defects found by the FAA? To date, no aircraft in circulation has been the subject of an accident, but malfunctions between the connection of a portion of the fuselage and on the horizontal stabilizer had worried the regulators. Another problem, “near the nose of some 787 Dreamliners” was observed, without our being able to obtain further information.
Between November 2020 and March 2021, the main defect pointed out concerned standards of solidity in the use of titanium elements such as floor fixings, “not to engineering standards”. But the agency preferred to reassure clients by saying that “this defect did not call into question the safety of the flights”.