Boeing defends 787 Dreamliner from whistleblower’s claims | Airlines

Boeing 787 Dreamliner 1.jpg

Boeing has launched a defense of the 787 Dreamliner and 777 after a whistleblower claimed the aircraft’s longevity and safety was put at risk during assembly.  

On April 16, 2024, Boeing spoke at its facility in South Carolina, where the 787 Dreamliner is built, to provide evidence that refutes whistleblower Sam Salehpour’s claims. 

During a two-hour talk, two Boeing executive engineers explained how the fuselage panels on the 787 and 777 are fitted and secured.  

Journalists were taken through the stress tests for the 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which included testing the plane for 165,000 cycles – each cycle equivalent of a flight. 

Steve Chisholm, Boeing’s Chief Engineer for mechanical and structural engineering, told reporters that the average 787 accrues about 600 flights a year.  

“We did 165,000 cycles. There were zero findings of fatigue in the composites,” Chrisholm said during the media briefing. 

According to the Seattle Times, Boeing also explained the extensive tests and analysis carried out after deliveries of the 787 were stopped in 2000 because small gaps had been found at the fuselage joins.

Reuters added that Boeing also noted that that no heavy maintenance inspections conducted after six and 12 years of any 787 flying today have found any airframe fatigue.

Salehpour is set to testify on April 17, 2024, before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s investigations subcommittee and discuss his evidence.  

The FAA has confirmed that it is investigating Salehpour’s allegations and stated that it “thoroughly investigates all safety reports”.   

Whistleblower’s claims

Last week, Salehpour claimed that problems arose during production of the Dreamliner after changes were made to how large sections of the fuselage were fitted together.    

The issue centers on tiny gaps located at the joins of the 787 fuselage sections, which arrived at Boeing from different manufacturers.    

These gaps were…

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