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Boeing has design trouble with the 787 Dreamliner

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Dreamliner Woes Point to Difficulty of Using High-Tech Materials


Despite the steadily increased use of carbon-fiber composite parts in airlines, Boeing Co.'s disclosure Tuesday of design troubles with its 787 Dreamliner highlights the engineering, manufacturing and maintenance issues still associated with such high-tech materials.

By indicating that "a relatively small number" of added internal structural supports are needed on some of the upper portions of both wings, the disclosure underscored a broader problem that the aerospace industry has recognized for a while: shortcomings in computer-design systems' abilities to precisely predict behavior of certain composite parts as they bend and twist in flight.

The areas of the 787 under scrutiny involve a blend of metal and nonmetallic composite materials. Independent structural experts said Tuesday that even the most advanced computer-models sometimes have difficulty accurately predicting how stress will affect the composite parts, or where they attach to aluminum or titanium. In such circumstances, "stress paths" within or between components can be unpredictable.

Regularly scheduled stress tests on the ground revealed that portions of the airframe -- specifically some areas where the top of the wings join the fuselage -- experienced greater strain that computer models had predicted. According to some Wall Street analysts and independent structural experts, it could take months for Boeing to implement a design fix, run more ground tests and adjust computer models to better reflect real-world conditions. The nature of the latest delay also raises the possibility that other portions of the predictive computer models could turn out to need further verification and perhaps adjustment.

Both Boeing and European rival Airbus have opted to reduce weight by relying on composites in their latest jetliners.

I was working in IAI plant where the composite parts were produced,l was working in Clean room (not like Intel's) there were produced lots and lots of composite parts for Dreamliner. Didn't thought then that it would turn out that way...

Hoping like hell that Boeing makes the 787 a big success. They need it.
Australia has 30 on order.

shawn a:
When I made my own surfboards, I ran into breakage where strong, stiff parts met lighter, more flexible parts.
Gradually feathering the flex into the stiffness to a compatible level solved my problem. This is not rocket science. I hope Boeing's problem was not so obvious.

Go and tell them Shawn. They, like all corporations need new management.


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