Design issues on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner get almost as much scrutiny as Tiger Woods pulling out of his driveway. The latest issue is the status of the much-discussed fix to the midsection of the composite fuselage.
Some composite material surrounding bolt holes delaminated during recent tests, but the issue isn’t expected to slow the first test flight of the Dreamliner. The delamination occurred in areas around metal plugs that are installed after exposure to liquid nitrogen. The bolts expand as they thaw.
A Boeing spokesperson said: “The freeze plug process is a standard repair we perform on both metallic and composite structure. We have extensive experience using these techniques. We have not seen any issues with these repairs that are inconsistent with our experience or the capability of these repair techniques.”