Boeing is making another significant design change to the Dreamliner to accommodate yet another problem that had not been previously disclosed. Boeing ordered suspension of fuselage production at an Italian subcontractor in June when it became apparent small wrinkles were forming in the composite skin. Spokesperson Lori Gunter tells Design News: “We have designed a fix for the barrels that have already been built-a simple patch that is installed from the outside of the airplane. We are completing a permanent fix to the design that will accommodate the changes in the stringer without needing to install a patch-this basically consists of adding a few layers of composites in key areas of the fuselage.”
As reported in Design News, Boeing engineers are also redesigning the area where the wing mounts to the fuselage. The Dreamliner is already two years behind schedule.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed a surface preparation method to improve joining carbon composites with aluminum, with potentially far-reaching ramifications for high-volume industrial applications.
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