The Boeing Dreamliner 787 Could Be the Next Spruce Goose

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The headline takes certain exaggerated liberties, sure, I admit that, but nevertheless today marks the second time in two months that the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been delayed due to structural failures during the testing process.

I'll let Boeing tell you about the latest snafu, with snarky blogger filter uncharacteristically removed:

"In two areas on the fuselage, the structure doesn't have the long-term strength that we want," said Boeing spokeswoman Lori Gunter.


What that means is wrinkles. Microscopic wrinkles. Dangerous, drop-out-of-the-frickin'-sky wrinkles in the fuselage that negatively affect the plane in ways I don't want to think about given I'm already antsy about air travel. Boeing has therefore ordered Italian supplier Alenia Aeronautica to halt production of these faulty fuselage sections immediately so that carbon fiber patches can be applied to make things right.

Carbon fiber patches or not, customers were expecting the first Boeing 787 orders to be filled by first quarter 2010. That's not going to happen. As we've detailed here in the past, the phrase "perpetual delay" has become synonymous with the 787 project, which has cost Boeing billions of dollars. Seventy-two planes have been canceled thus far (although, to be fair, 800 orders are still on the books). [Silicon Valley via Slashdot]