Sun, Nov 16, 2008
Nutplates Used On 737s Since August '07 Lack Anti-Corrosive
Boeing has announced a delay in the delivery of its 737
airliners to replace fasteners that were manufactured without a
required anti-corrosive cadmium coating, and is making plans to
inspect 394 of the 737s already in service with the defective
Boeing spokeswoman Vicki Ray told the Associated Press the
uncoated nutplates have been installed on 737s since August 2007.
Used to fasten bundles of wires and other items to the inside of
fuselages, each plane has thousands of them.
"We're replacing them as we find them," said Ray. "Also to be
addressed is the in-service fleet, and we're still working on a
plan for that," adding that the defective parts are not a risk to
flight safety at present.
Spirit AeroSystems operates an assembly facility in Wichita, KS
that provides fuselage and wing components for nearly every model
of Boeing aircraft. Spokesman Ken Evans said Spirit had
received the fasteners from a Boeing-approved supplier, and
discovered the defect in August.
"Our re-work is going very well," Evans said. "We feel pretty
good about it."
As ANN previously reported, Boeing has been
beset with various fastener problems of late. In September 2007,
Boeing reported delays in the assembly of its 787 Dreamliners due
to a shortage of aluminum and titanium fasteners made by Alcoa.
In March 2008, a Boeing 757 enroute from Orlando to Philadelphia
lost a two-by-four-foot wing panel detached
from the left wing when fasteners failed due to metal fatigue.
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