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New Boeing whistleblower breaks silence about crucial flaws in 787 Dreamliner

Simon Calder’s Travel

A new Boeing quality engineer whistleblower has spoken out about concerns over alleged shortcuts in assembling the 787 Dreamliner.

Following the revelations, a Senate subcommittee has now called a hearing next week on Boeing issues and recent apparent safety failures.

Sam Salehpour, a Boeing quality engineer, is expected to speak on the safety concerns of the manufacturing of the 787 Dreamliner in a 17 April hearing that the subcommittee has called.

The subcommittee has summoned Boeing CEO David Calhoun to testify about the company’s jetliners, various reports have revealed, following Mr Salehpour voicing alleged crucial flaws in a New York Times article on Tuesday.

Boeing told The Washington Post that the company is “cooperating with this inquiry”, adding that it has offered to provide documents, testimony and technical briefings, and is discussing with the committee about the next steps.

Boeing CEO David Calhoun has been summoned to testify on 17 April (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Mr Salehpour told The New York Times that he worked on the 787 but became concerned about changes to how the giant sections of the plane’s fuselage, the main body, were fitted together in assembly.

The whistleblower said that the fuselage came in several parts, all from different manufacturers, and were not the same shape while they were being put together.

The engineer became alarmed, alleging that Boeing was taking shortcuts, resulting in excessive force being applied to narrow unwanted gaps in the assembly connecting pieces of the Dreamliner’s fuselage.

Mr Salehpour claimed that the force led to deformations in the composite material that is used in construction, which could contribute to material fatigue and premature failure of the composite.

Boeing conceded that those manufacturing changes were made, but Paul Lewis, a spokesperson for the company, told The New York Times there was “no impact on durability or safe longevity of the airframe”.

The engineer claimed that shortcuts were taken in the assembly process (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Mr Lewis added that Boeing had done extensive testing on the aircraft and “determined that this is not an immediate safety of flight issue”.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it has been investigating Mr Salehpour’s allegations but…

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