Boeing Co. announced Friday that they discovered hairline cracks in the wings of nearly 40 of its 787 Dreamliners that were in production, which marked yet another setback for the newest jet in the company.
The cracks were not found on planes that are currently being used by airlines and because of that pose no risk of safety, said Boeing. The problems, said Boeing would not alter the plans the company has to deliver 110 of the aircraft in 2014.
Boeing however, said the cracks which occurred on the model that is larger that is currently in flight testing, could cause a delay by a couple of weeks in the date the airlines will be delivered their new aircraft.
Questions were raised on the disclosure of the cracks about the repair costs and a possible increase in the overall plane’s weight. However, there did not seem to be any major trouble for the airline manufacturer, said industry experts.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries the wing maker notified Boeing last month of the cracks, which arose after the company based in Japan altered its process in manufacturing.
Chicago based Boeing said it notified its customers immediately of the possible delays. It said none of the aircraft that were potentially affected by the crack problem was delivered.
The FAA said it was not aware of the problem and that it would work together with Boeing to ensure all issues were corrected prior to the delivery of the airplanes.
Shares of Boeing fell by 54 cents in afterhours trading to $128.
The newly found cracks are just the latest problems for the aircraft, a jet that is high-tech largely made of a composite of carbon fiber that has been hit by teething issues since it entered service during 2011, three years after originally scheduled.
In 2013, batteries made of lithium-ion overheated on two of the aircraft prompting regulators to ground the entire fleet worldwide for over three months while Boeing had the battery system redesigned. This year another battery was discovered overheated.
Airbus has also struggled with cracks on the wings of its het the A380.