Giant US aerospace and defence group Boeing has issued an update on its troubled 787 airliner programme, as well as reporting on its civil and military aircraft deliveries during the second quarter of this year. The predominantly composite-construction widebody 787 has been suffering from manufacturing defects.
Last year, deliveries of the type were halted for five months, because of the discovery of errors in the assembly process. The latest flaw has been found “near the nose” of a number of 787s that the company had completed but not yet delivered, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reported. “Although the issue poses no immediate threat to flight safety, Boeing has committed to fix these airplanes before resuming deliveries,” stated the FAA.
Boeing in its statement on Tuesday assured that it “has identified additional rework that will be required on undelivered 787s. Based on our assessment of the time required to complete this work, Boeing is reprioritising production resources for a few weeks to support the inspection and rework. As that work is performed, the 787 production rate will temporarily be lower than five per month and will gradually return to that rate. Boeing now expects to deliver fewer than half of the 787s currently in inventory this year.”
Regarding actual deliveries during the second quarter, for airliners these comprised 50 737s, one 747, eight 767s, eight 777s and 12 787s, for a total of 79 commercial aircraft. For the year-to-date, deliveries came to 113 737s, two 747s, 13 767s, 14 777s and 14 787s, for a combined total of 156.
For military aircraft, including helicopters, second quarter deliveries were composed of six newly-manufactured and 16 remanufactured AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, three new and one remanufactured CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopters, five F-15 Eagle fighters of various marks, seven F/A-18 fighters of various marks, two KC-46 air-to-air refuelling tankers, and three P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol and antisubmarine warfare aircraft. For the year to date, the figures were 15 new and 31 remanufactured AH-64 Apaches, six new and four remanufactured CH-47 Chinooks, eight F-15s, eleven F/A-18s, four KC-46s and six P-8s.
“We continue to work to deliver on our commitments to our commercial, defence, space and services customers, while positioning our business for a stable and strong recovery from the pandemic,” said Boeing. “In the second quarter, we made progress in safely returning the 737 MAX to service in more international markets and increasing the pace of 737 deliveries.”