Just to remind you, it was in January 2013, due to overheating of lithium-ion batteries, oil leaks and brake problems, that the F.A.A., the U.S. Agency for Civil Aviation, ordered a detailed inspection of the Boeing Dreamliner. Well, the findings of this investigation into the 787 design, manufacturing and assembly process has just finally been rendered public; and the verdict states that the "Dreamliner" is completely safe ! In its report of over 70 pages, the federal agency : “... found that the aircraft was soundly designed, met its intended safety level, and that the manufacturer and the F.A.A. had effective processes in place to identify and correct issues that emerged before and after certification. ...”. Nevertheless, the investigators did find "problems" in the manufacturing process of the 787 suppliers. The production of this aircraft is in fact based on numerous sub-contractors, resulting in much higher than expected supervision costs and delays in deliveries on several continents.
The U.S. regulator proposes therefore that Boeing strengthen its internal procedures and to monitor its suppliers more closely. The FAA will also, itself, extend its scope of control beyond the United States. A change that seems to have happened at an opportune moment for some; Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Boeing's Japanese sub-contractor in charge of manufacturing the wings of the 787 has in fact just detected cracks in the wings of 40 aircraft - aircraft that are not yet in service, but which will have to undergo one to two weeks of repairs leading to a delay in deliveries; nevertheless Boeing says it will deliver 110 Dreamliners well this year.