Monday, November 21, 2016

Assembly accident may force Boeing to scrap 787-9 under construction

According to sources, an assembly mishap during the wing-body join for a 787-9 destined for Xiamen Airlines may force Boeing to scrap the left wing of the aircraft and possibly the fuselage itself as well.  The aircraft in question, ZB813 (LN 512) entered final assembly on November 1, 2016 in North Charleston and was due to be delivered in January 2017.

The mishap came when manufacturing techs drilled holes into the stack up of the wing/body join. They drilled a 7 degree angled hole, and also drilled an over sized hole straight through the test (angled) hole which didn't clean it up. It produced an eyebrow crack on both sides.  

Boeing engineers will have to look at putting in a large expansion plug (or freeze plug) but it is a large hole that has to be plugged.  

Xiamen will have to approve of the repair but if they don't then Boeing may have to scrap the wing and fuselage.  Currently the aircraft is in position 6 in the 88-30 assembly building with both wings attached.  As the line pulses the aircraft under assembly has to be pulled out so that they can be properly positioned in the next line position for continued assembly positions. LN 512 is essentially a large road block in the middle of the 787 final assembly hall.  I'm not sure what impact this will have to the start of final assembly of ZC001 (LN 528) which is the first 787-10.  I don't think it will have an effect as the aircraft is due to start final assembly around December 6th or December 7th.

I hope to have more information on this development.


larmeyers said...

Uresh is there anything like the EMC at Charleston where an airframe can be repaired for an extended period of time?

David Cummings said...

To be honest if I was the airline that was assigned this airframe I would be worried, I wonder if anyone has any further news as it's been a couple of days and one would have thought they would have investigated the issue by now and be close to making a decision.
Does anyone have photos of It?

In other news two LATAM 787s, CC-BBC and CC-BGD collided on the ground at Santiago. BBY has damage to the right hand stabiliser and BGD has damage to the outer 6ft at least of its left hand wing.

Pete Templin said...

Any idea why C 88-30 seems to be "allergic" to using Position 4?

Andy Buss said...

A picture of the damage to the wing of the LATAM 787: