FlightGlobal.com affiliate FlightBlogger today reports that an attempt to reduce the weight of the Boeing 787 has caused a costly redesign for the centre wing box.
Boeing engineers previously changed the centre wing box design to save weight by thinning out the density of the spars.
However, Flightblogger reports, that move backfired after the company learned the redesign could trigger premature buckling of the load-bearing spars.
Asked for comment, Boeing did not deny the decision to redesign the centre wing box.
“It is normal during the development of a new airplane to discover the need for design enhancements,” says a Boeing spokeswoman. “We are working with our partners to address the need for design changes in some areas. While these changes are not good for final assembly because they are dealing with travelled work at this time, the design changes are not the sole pacing item.”
The centre wing box delay was originally disclosed to the public on 19 March by a JP Morgan analyst, citing International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC) founder Steven Udvar-Hazy.
The 787 centre wing box is supplied by Japan’s Fuji Heavy Industries.