Boeing expects delamination issue to slow 787 deliveries in the near term

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Boeing expects the inspection and repair of 787s affected by composite delamination due to improper longeron shimming to slow near-term deliveries, but is unlikely to change its full year delivery forecast.

"We don't think it will impact deliveries for the year, it will slow things down initially though," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh at a dual 747-8F and 777F delivery to Korean Air Cargo in Everett, Washington 6 February.

Boeing is currently forecasting delivering between 35 and 42 787s in 2012.

The airframer began inspecting more than 50 787s spread across its Everett facility and in-service fleet with All Nippon Airways after discovering improper shimming of longerons in the aircraft's Section 48 aft fuselage, which caused the composite skin to delaminate.

"It's a relatively easy fix, we're working on the engineering on it," said Albaugh.

Boeing has declined to say how many aircraft have been affected by the shimming issue; however, Flightglobal has confirmed that at least three have been identified with sources saying there are "significantly more" affected aircraft.