Boeing tomorrow will offer its second quarterly update on the progress of the 787 Dreamliner as it awaits its maiden voyage which could be delayed. Boeing has been saying late summer which technically means within the next 18 days, but the Seattle Times (ST), citing unnamed sources, reported Saturday that the first flight could be delayed until late October or beyond due to a fastener shortage. The 787 fastener shortage was broken in the Wall Street Journal on June 19. The ST story said that the plane rolled out on July 8 for the plane’s debut was held together with temporary fasteners which had to be replaced with permanent ones. "Power on" when all electrical systems are switched on is still weeks away, the ST reported.
Orders for the plane - 684 at last count, according to the company - have been so strong that the company is considering building 14-16 a month, double the highest rate for the any widebody jet from Boeing or Airbus, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. No doubt, the Boeing’s Everett plant is a busy place these days where Boeing execs and engineers try to reconcile booming demand with parts shortages and complex manufacturing logistics.
The Witchita Eagle also ran the ST story about the possible delay and said the company is seeking to temporarily transfer 60-80 mechanics from Boeing’s defense plant in Wichita to Everett, presumably to alleviate the 787 crunch.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Solar and wind energy are becoming more viable as a source of energy on the electric grid. For decades, the major drawback to solar and wind was that they’re temperamental. A cloudy day kills solar and a still day renders the wind turbines useless. Automation tools, however, are providing a path to help these renewables become practical.
In honor of Earth Day, the National Security Agency has launched the STEM Recycling Challenge in Maryland schools to encourage kids to think about where the garbage they throw out every day actually goes. The agency has also introduced “Dunk,” a muscular blue cartoon recycling bin wearing shorts and sneakers.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
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