Delivery of fourth 787 flight test aircraft hits snafus

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Sustained damage to the center fuselage of the fourth flight test aircraft in the 787 programme has delayed delivery to Boeing, reports ATI affiliate Flightblogger.

The aircraft sustained damage to the center fuselage at the Global Aeronautica facility in Charleston, SC, Boeing has confirmed. Specifically, the damage occurred to section 44, a monolithic bonnet structure joined to the center wing box fabricated by Alenia Aeronautica based in Italy.

Boeing noted an Alenia employee did not follow proper procedures, but the repair has been completed and the issue has been resolved.

The airframer says it should know soon when the center fuselage should be delivered, and underscored the incident was isolated, and unrepresentative of the production system.

Aside from the nose and center fuselage sections, all other major structural sections for test aircraft four have arrived in Everett.

Delays in delivery of the fourth test aircraft should not affect the start of flight testing with aircraft one early in the fourth quarter. Recently, both the inboard flaps and honeycomb-shaped radar were installed on the first test aircraft.