787 fuselage damaged by worker

Image by flickr user Flying BlueImage by 20080701dreamliner.jpg It looks like more delays for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner after damage to the fuselage at a North Charleston facility.

Reports are coming out that an Alenia Aeronautica employee using incorrect fasteners caused damage to the fuselage of Boeing's already long-delayed 787 Dreamliner at the Global Aeronautica facility in North Charleston. The damage affects Dreamliner No. 4, which had been pegged as a turning point in program. Boeing says the damage has since been repaired, but it's the latest in a string of setbacks for the Dreamliner.

From Flightglobal.com's FlightBlogger:

Boeing underscored that the incident was isolated and unrepresentative of the production system but declined to provide specific details about the incident.

According to sources, incorrect fasteners were improperly installed in the wrong holes causing damage to the composite structure during the join process in Charleston. When installed, each fastener "splintered out the hole" causing significant enough damage to postpone delivery of the center fuselage.

Boeing added that Global Aeronautica would have met the commitment of the completion of assembly and on-time delivery had the incident not taken place. As a result, the center fuselage is being held in Charleston for continuing assembly work to meet the level of completion originally committed to Boeing by Global Aeronautica.

Stay updated on local stories connected to the 787 program at our Dreamliner topic page.For some backstory on the 787 Dreamliner, here's a good write-up from last month by The Post and Courier, including a photo gallery and video of the Vought Industries facility. Vought had owned a 50 percent stake in Global Aeronautica, but sold it to Boeing last month. Alenia also owns a 50 percent stake in GA. The Vought and GA facilities are located near one another in North Charleston and both do work on the Dreamliner.

Meanwhile, The Post and Courier's John McDermott has a column out yesterday that talks about the 787's progress, and some major milestones that it has recently met in the power-up process as it shoots for a late 2009 launch date.