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Monday, July 22, 2024

Major Manufacturing Errors Found On a Boeing 777 : AirlineReporter

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The embattled aircraft manufacturer Boeing today announced that it discovered a major manufacturing error on one of its aircraft. While the planemaker’s issues to date largely focused on the 737 MAX, this morning’s news related to a larger member of its lineup, the 777. The triple-seven is arguably Boeing’s most commercially successful widebody aircraft, making today’s announcement particularly troublesome.

Boeing’s Everett production facility, where the 777 is assembled (photo: Boeing)

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun, who will be stepping down from his role at the end of this year as part of a major company shake-up, held a press conference this morning regarding this development.

“A manufacturing anomaly made it past our quality controls on the 777 production line,” Calhoun admitted. “A few major components of this particular 777-300ER aircraft were installed in the wrong location, and it was only shortly before delivery that those abnormalities were discovered.”

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun answering questions after today’s press conference

AirlineReporter was able to obtain an exclusive leaked image of the aircraft in question. It appears that two forward fuselage sections were installed underneath the wings in place of the aircraft’s engines. Furthermore, an unusually large variant of General Electric’s GE90 engine appears to have been installed in place of the cockpit at the front of the aircraft.

Images obtained of the affected aircraft.

A Boeing employee who asked to remain anonymous noted “I walked up to the plane when it arrived at the plant’s completion and delivery center and … well something just didn’t feel right. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was. But I’m glad that we spoke up.”

This model demonstrates the correct locations of the 777’s cockpit and engines.

Aircraft safety expert Faye Kinuse remarked “This was a scary near miss. If the mistake hadn’t been discovered and any pilot attempted to operate the aircraft, who knows what could have happened.”

Furthermore, other similarly significant manufacturing errors have been found in 777s that are operating today. A whistleblower pointed authorities to an aircraft operated by Emirates, which owns the world’s biggest 777 fleet. The plane in question, delivered two years ago, appears to have unintended additional sections included in its fuselage.

When reached for comment about the discovery, a Boeing spokesperson noted that “while this error is regrettable, on the bright side this aircraft offers unparalleled economics on a per-seat basis.”

While Airbus had previously remained above the fray of Boeing’s manufacturing woes, it appears that some of their airplanes may harbor similarly severe assembly problems. Members of the planespotting community in Frankfurt, Germany recently posted photos taken of a Lufthansa Airbus A380 with six more engines than normal.

“We were understandably alarmed when we were alerted about the issue,” said Lufthansa spokesperson Öpse Deise. “However it now makes sense why that particular aircraft cruises at Mach 3.”

Airbus held a press conference to express regret for the error. Striking a more upbeat note, the company pointed to its new A3 line of aircraft, designed with environmental sustainability in mind. As a shortened version of the A320 family it is small enough to be propelled by its passengers via bicycle pedal power, giving it a net-zero carbon footprint.

Editor’s Note: Happy April Fools’ everyone, thanks for sharing in a bit of fun with us. We hope you liked revisiting those crazy airplane photoshops that were big on YouTube and message boards years ago. Thanks and credit to the people behind the images we used, including @SwiftOnSecurity and the Infinite Flight message board, though a lot of those photos were posted anonymously. Also kudos to those of you who noticed that our Dave Calhoun pic was actually actor Wallace Shawn.

SENIOR CORRESPONDENT – NEW YORK, NY. Manu is an avid air traveler, private pilot, and a dedicated AvGeek. He enjoys writing about aviation from a millennial’s perspective, and co-manages AirlineReporter’s social media and video projects. His day job is as a doctor in NYC.


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