As reported today by Reuters, Boeing is undertaking corrective steps to fix an issue that has been discovered with their 787. Boeing is saying that incorrect shimming was creating problems on the aft sections of the 787’s fuselage.
Boeing is also standing by its commitment to build 10 new 787s a month, and this recent set back should not affect that plan at this point.
In the article, it goes on to describe the problem as delamination where layers of the composite material used in building the aircraft are coming undone. According to Boeing the delamination is being caused by repeated stress.
Obviously this is not a good thing when it comes to an aircraft whose fuselage is made up primarily of these layers of composites. Personally I think I am going to wait a fair amount of time before flying on the 787. Even though I am by no stretch an Aeronautic Engineer and I don’t understand the particulars when it comes to using composites in building aircraft, I am however an expert in self preservation and will like to keep it that way for another 40 or 50 years!
I know that with any new aircraft design there will be growing pains and bugs (just ask Airbus and its woes with the A380) that are discovered once a new model of aircraft enters real life use and abuse. It appears that Boeing is on top of the problem and is being proactive about it.