With bedeviling technical and certification challenges across its major programs, Boeing’s immediate financial and industrial concern remains the on-going near-halt in 787 production and freeze in deliveries. While Boeing announced it would slow the rate at which it builds 787s in mid-July below five per month, some suppliers have halted work and deliveries of large structural sections by at least one major supplier won’t restart until at least October 26.
Early last month, the Federal Aviation Administration rejected a Boeing proposal to restart deliveries that did not have the support of the company’s own engineers, according to those familiar with discussions. Boeing has sought to avoid deeply invasive and time consuming inspections on the more than 100 787s awaiting delivery by applying a statistical analysis of selective inspections as representative of the manufacturing quality of the aircraft.
“We are working with the FAA through the rigorous process to resume 787 deliveries. While this work has a near-term impact to our operations, it’s the right course of action and we will continue to take the time necessary to ensure we meet the highest standards,” a Boeing spokeswoman said in a statement to The Air Current.
In presenting Boeing’s path to validating its analysis to the FAA for one particular quality issue relating to the structure surrounding the jet’s cargo and passenger doors, Boeing engineers delegated by the FAA to ensure the company’s compliance with airworthiness regulations disagreed with management’s approach, according to a person familiar with the situation, corroborating the specifics of the August 2 meeting first reported Sept. 6 by the Wall Street Journal.
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