As part of efforts to play-down the storm which has blown up over revelations of a production flaw in some Alenia-built Section 44/46 fuselage barrels, Boeing vice president, marketing for BCA, Randy Tinseth, has provided a few interesting updates and clarifications.
In his blog he explains that the repair was required in two locations, and that it is currently being installed on fuselage sections in-build at Global Aeronautica’s South Carolina site. “It will be installed on completed fuselage sections in Italy and here in Everett,” he adds. Tinseth also reveals that inspections show that what he describes as “microscopic wrinkles in the skin plies” have not shown up in any of the assembled aircraft at Everett. Specifically he says the defect “did not appear on any of the first seven fuselage units, which include the first five flight-test airplanes, as well as the static and fatigue-test airplanes.”
The issue was located in two areas of the skin believed to be relatively close to the junction between the Section 44 (right) and 46 (left), here visible where the bulge in the taped line of sensors is shown on the unpainted fuselage of ZA004. (Guy Norris photo)
Meanwhile, in case you might be heading to Paine Field this weekend hoping to see the 787 on the move, you might want to reconsider. Hydraulic system performance verification ground tests, including an engine run, will now be performed on ZA002 on Saturday morning. However taxi tests, which will see ZA002 move under its own power for the first time, are not expected until sometime on Monday, August 17 at the earliest it seems. Pre-taxi test preparations also include a ‘wet/dry’ Trent 1000 motoring ground test which, surprising though this may sound, does not involve actually having to start the engines.