Boeing Defends 787 Dreamliner Construction Integrity Amid Whistleblower Alleged Structural Flaws

On Monday, April 15th, Boeing defended the fuselage construction of the Boeing 787 aircraft. The company faced claims from a whistleblower, Sam Salehpour, a former engineer, who last week claimed that Boeing compromised safety by cutting corners during the manufacturing process of these aircraft.

Read the full report of Salehpour’s claim here: Could ‘Break Up’: Boeing Whistleblower Alleges Structural Flaws in 787 Dreamliner

Salehpour stated that the assembly method used for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner placed excessive stress on the aircraft’s joints, which he argued could significantly reduce the aircraft’s lifespan.

Boeing contested Salehpour’s claims, labeling them as “inaccurate” and reaffirming the company’s commitment to safety protocols. Another hearing is scheduled for the upcoming Wednesday, where Salehpour, alongside another former Boeing engineer and an aviation safety expert, will testify at a senate hearing.

Boeing Whistleblower - Boeing 787 - photo by Artyom_Anikeev | iStock
Photo by Artyom_Anikeev | iStock

In response to the allegations, Boeing held a two-hour presentation for the press yesterday, as reported by NBC News. During this briefing, two managing engineers presented a detailed analysis of the stress tests conducted on the 787 Dreamliner.

The manufacturer defended the aircraft’s durability, stating that it underwent testing for 165,000 flight cycles under various conditions. To test the fuselage’s redundancy, a 300-pound pendulum was used to strike the skin.

Steve Chisholm, Boeing’s director of mechanical and structural engineering, noted that the company’s stress tests exceeded the usual requirements. The tests pushed the aircraft’s structure to its limits, and engineers determined that damage to the fuselage panels would not occur until well beyond the expected service life of a 787.

The engineers explained the method of assembling various sections of the fuselage, which involves joining them with gaps smaller than 0.005 inches. According to reports, this process includes drilling and cleaning holes, and then installing fasteners to exert a binding force.

Featured image by gk-6mt | iStock

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